May 11, 2015 beloved longtime faculty member James Bianchi, J.D., passed from this life. Jim taught an important course called Religion and the Law, and had just created a new course called Moral Advocacy: Overcoming the Divide. A dedicated teacher, advocate, musician, artist, singer and ritualist, Jim tirelessly served the Pagan community for many years. Read more here.
I only took one class- Religion and the Law- from Jim. He was a great teacher… he communicated his passion for the subject very well, and he made things interesting. He also provided a lot of practical experience and guidance in legal research. He made “going into the stacks” seem like both an exciting adventure and a holy mission. – Hugh Eckert
Jim was such a gentle teacher. I was only in one class with him, and had to drop out part way through due to some issues in the ‘life-outside-of-class’ department. He was generous and supportive as I worked through the process, and sad and forgiving when I eventually gave up for the semester. In the few sessions I managed to attend, he was so clear, erudite without being stuffy, razor-sharp-witted without causing injury. I always thought I would go back and take that class again. I’m sorry he won’t be there. – Maggie Beaumont
He and I talked earlier in the year about the course and he was excited about the implications of the research of the author of the text he intended to use. Fortunately, I had read the book so we had a good conversation about the course and the text/author he planned to build the course around. I am saddened by his death; may he rest in peace. – David Oliver Kling
James was a special friend and we connected on multiple levels. We worked with Cherry Hill Seminary together, and he helped me with strategies for both my lawsuit for Pagan rights in the prisons, and on the Pentacle Quest. He also gave me advice when I started my Foundation. James was always quick to offer assistance, and seldom asked for anything in return. James and I played music together and I can still hear the sound of him playing the recorder, which was only one of his many musical talents. Each year I looked forward to him calling the quarters in Gaelic at the Druid rituals, and his robed presence in the Dance Macabre. James was a multifaceted guy with a foot in several communities, and he played a significant role in each and every one. He will be dearly missed! I feel honored to have been able to have served him during his last days and to comply with several of his last requests. I had the opportunity to bless and anoint James before he passed, with the sacred oil from my tradition which he himself helped make. And per his and his son’s wish, I will carry some of his ashes across the sea with me to be buried under the ancient Druid Tree on the Windsor Estate in Ludlow England. You will be missed my friend, but I know you will make your presence known when I walk in the deep woods and secret places. What is remembered lives! – Patrick McCollum
I am truly sorry to hear this. Jim was a great teacher and passionate about sharing important legal information with fellow Pagans. I learned so much from his class and it stood me in good stead when my husband and I became embroiled in a religious freedom lawsuit. His loss is a great one for Cherry Hill Seminary and for the greater Pagan community. – Carol Kirk
Although we only met through emails, I will remember Jim for his sense of humor. His messages always had something that would make me smile. – Wendy Griffin
He helped CHS set a standard for excellence from our very early years. We will all miss him more than I can say. – Holli Emore