Reverend Howard Moody, social activist, Marine, self-proclaimed Christian agnostic, pastor for 35 years of New York’s Judson Memorial Church and great friend to Arcosanti that entire time, has died this past week at age 91.
Moody became famous – and highly revered – in New York and in America for his stands on civil rights, abortion, Viet Nam, drug law reform. He also helped to create Judson Poets Theatre, the famous off-off-Broadway performance space attempting – and succeeding – to make his church relevant to the life of its community.[photo: Howard Moody with Paolo Soleri in the Soleri Archives in 2008]
He first came to Arcosanti as a workshop participant in the 1970’s, and his presence here became entirely relevant to the life of our community. Howard Moody renewed himself and his activism in the American Southwest, spending time in the Hopi lands and returning for several additional visits to Arcosanti. His was a powerful voice at the 1978 Arcosanti Festival, “Art in the Environment” appearing in conversation with the architect, critic and educator Peter Blake. And Howard was an integral part of the 1981 conference and performances, “Teilhard and Metamorphosis”, sharing panel discussions with Thomas Berry, President of the Teilhard Society; economist and writer Paul Hawken; futurist Hazel Henderson; and then-Governor-of-Arizona Bruce Babbitt.
Howard Moody donated a good bit of his time and his reputation to the Arcosanti project; he also donated money. His last official act in 2006 – sporting his usual crew cut and unusual tuxedo – was to accompany Paolo Soleri to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in Manhattan where Paolo was honored with the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Thank you Howard Moody. Your life was a beacon of clear thinking and powerful action to your congregation in New York and to our community at Arcosanti.
We miss you already.