Yale University.

YDS Home>News

Archived Press Releases:

 


Emilie M. Townes PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

John Lindner
Director of External Relations
203-432-5363
john.lindner@yale.edu

For immediate release: April 20, 2007

"FAITH AND CITIZENSHIP" TOPIC AT YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL GATHERING

New Haven, CT-On May 3-4 Yale Divinity School will host a public conversation entitled "Faith and Citizenship," featuring E.J Dionne of the Washington Post and The Brookings Institution as the keynote speaker.

Among other well-known participants joining Yale faculty in the conversation will be Gary Hart, former senator from Colorado; James Joseph and James Laney, former ambassadors, respectively, to South Africa and South Korea; Bryan Hehir, the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the JFK School at Harvard University and president of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Boston; Congressman David Price of North Carolina; and Heidi Hadsell, president of Hartford Seminary.

Dionne, a popular speaker and syndicated columnist, has co-edited several books relevant to the issue of faith and citizenship in the past six years, including: One Electorate Under God? A Dialogue on Religion and American Politics. He is a regular political analyst for National Public Radio and a frequent guest on the Chris Matthews Show, the Tim Russert Show, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

The event is being held in conjunction with the YDS Board of Advisors meeting, which always includes a public conversation on a topic of contemporary significance. Harold Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School, said, "We believe this year's conversation has the potential to bring fresh thinking into the national discourse of faith and politics in advance of the 2008 elections."

The keynote address will be delivered at 5:00 p.m. on May 3 in Marquand Chapel at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, 409 Prospect St., New Haven.

On May 4, two panel discussions will be held, both in Marquand Chapel. The first, beginning at 8:30 a.m., will be on the subject "Faith and Citizenship in Global Perspective." The second, at 10:30 a.m., will be on "Faith and Citizenship in the United States." Moderating the first panel will be Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School. Harlon Dalton, professor at Yale Law School and adjunct professor of law and religion at Yale Divinity School, will moderate the second panel.

Following the panel discussions will be a luncheon featuring a conversation between Hart and Dionne. Participation in the luncheon is by invitation only, but all other parts of the conference are free and open to the public.

All presentation will be webcast live on the Yale Divinity School web site at: http://www.yale.edu/divinity/video/live.campus.event.shtml


Thomas H. Troeger PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: June 26, 2007

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL PUBLICATION EXPLORES ISSUES OF FAITH, ENVIRONMENT

New Haven, CT-NEW HAVEN, CT-The Spring 2007 issue of Reflections , Yale Divinity School's magazine of religious inquiry and opinion, focuses on the relationship between religious belief and care of the environment. The issue, entitled GOD'S GREEN EARTH: Creation, Faith, Crisis, features the views of some of the world's leading thinkers on the subject, including Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; writer Bill McKibben; James Gustave Speth, dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; and Green Belt Movement founder and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai.

In the lead article, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, founders of the Forum on Religion and Ecology and members of the Yale Divinity School faculty, set the tone for the 76-page issue when they write, "A many-faceted alliance of religion and ecology along with a new global ethics is awakening around the planet...This is a new moment for the world's religions, and they have a vital role to play in the emergence of a more comprehensive environmental ethics. The urgency cannot be underestimated. Indeed, the flourishing of the Earth community may depend on it."

The Spring 2007 Reflections also marks the first issue published under the guidance of a new editor, Ray Waddle, longtime religion editor of The Tennessean in Nashville, TN, who joined the magazine staff early this year. In his column, Waddle writes, "Directly or indirectly, the words and images in this Reflections issue point to something strange and urgent about the new century. Despite our civilization's dazzling tonnage of data, we labor with a deficit. We claim a paucity of convincing metaphors that can explain this world, its damage and pain, its yearnings and interconnectedness, in ways that mobilize consensus and healing." Readers may discover some valuable models for consensus and healing in the pages of GOD'S GREEN EARTH.

Additional resources, including a companion study guide to GOD'S GREEN EARTH, will be available in mid-July on the Yale Divinity School web site at: http://www.yale.edu/divinity/ Subscriptions to Reflections are free and can be requested on the web site, where multiple copies can also be ordered.

A major symposium on religion and the environment, "Renewing Hope: Pathways of Religious Environmentalism," organized by Tucker and Grim, will be held at Yale Feb. 29-March 2, 2008. It is jointly sponsored by Yale Divinity School , the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Yale Center for Bioethics, and the Forum on Religion and Ecology.

Yale Divinity School is an interdenominational, nonsectarian school of theological training - one of 11 graduate and professional schools at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Each year, some 140 students graduate with one of three degrees offered by the school: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Religion, and Master of Sacred Theology.


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: January 24, 2007

GLOBAL VILLAGE SHELTERS INSTALLED ON YALE CAMPUS

New Haven, CT-"What does it mean to build the city of God today?"

That is a question posed by Judith Dupré, a Yale Divinity School student from Mamaroneck, NY who curated the installation of six Global Village Shelters on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle-home of Yale Divinity School, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

Her answer: "At the Divinity School, I'm investigating the nature of sacred architecture. At a time when half the world lives on less than two dollars a day, what's sacred is the provision of basic shelter."

Inexpensively manufactured GVS shelters are used as transitional homes and health clinics in Pakistan, Grenada, and Afghanistan. The public installation, erected Jan. 23 and on display until the end of February, is intended to raise social consciousness and provide practical knowledge to graduates who might eventually work with the world's poorest communities.

"The Global Village Shelter can create communities and individual homes while preserving dignity, property, and hope for people in need," said Mia Ferrara Pelosi, part of the father-daughter architectural team based in Morris, CT that designed the shelters and donated them for this installation." The shelter's simple and effective design has a direct correlation with its action in the field. Simple on-site set up, clean aesthetics, and a concise solution to a vast problem; these elements allow our design to be both humble and grand in its humanitarian endeavor."

papericonThe innovative design permits assembly of units in under a half hour, using common tools. Manufactured by Weyerhaeuser, the paper company, the houses are made of laminated corrugated cardboard that is waterproof, fire resistant, biodegradable, and can withstand most climates for at least 18 months. As architectural types they are unique, having greater stability and offering more privacy than tents, but costing a fraction of other temporary shelters now on the market.

As stark and simple as the homes might appear, they would be considered a profound luxury in most refugee camps, Dupré notes. Typically, refugees live in open fields, and for the lucky ones home is a ragged plastic tarp that provides little defense against rain or running waste.

Some of the shelters were installed in December on a short-term basis, in connection with the YDS Advent service.  Dean of Chapel Siobhán Garrigan and Liturgical Coordinator Emily Scott brought the installation to campus and worked with Director of Chapel Music Patrick Evans and the Marquand Chapel Team to incorporate it as a major liturgical element of the annual Advent Service.  Dupré was the visionary behind the project and the first to imagine that such an exhibition might benefit the YDS community.

The installation puts Sterling Divinity Quadrangle in company with a number of distinguished venues where the shelters have already been displayed, including the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Aspen Ideas Festival, Fortune's Brainstorm Conference, Washington D.C.'s National Building Museum, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Global Village Shelters are a part of the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.

At the exhibition's conclusion, the shelters will be available to anyone having use for them and the willingness to take them away.

Sterling Divinity Quadrangle is located at 409 Prospect St., New Haven.

Additional contact information:

Judith Dupré, 914-777-0645

Mia Ferrara Pelosi, 860-567-4118


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: October 23, 2006

BOOTS ON THE GROUND WAR DOCUDRAMA COMES TO YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL

New Haven, CT-On Nov. 6 at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, Trinity Repertory Theatre from Providence, RI will present a reading, by the original cast, of Boots on the Ground, a docudrama about the current war in Iraq and how the war directly affects Americans. The reading will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Common Room of Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, located at 409 Prospect St., New Haven, CT. Free and open to the public, the event is hosted by the Initiative on Religion and Politics at Yale.

The play was conceived and written by Laura Kepley, Trinity's artistic associate, and playwright D. Salem Smith. Together, they collected over 150 hours of interviews with more than 70 Rhode Islanders: soldiers, veterans, family members, teachers, doctors, journalists, and clergy.

The Initiative on Religion and Politics at Yale, based at Yale Divinity School, seeks to foster thoughtful activism, enrich scholarly discourse, and deepen public conversation on the place of religion in public life, both nationally and internationally. Guided by a coordinating committee of faculty and students from a variety of disciplines and religious affiliations, the Initiative draws on the strengths of intellectuals across and beyond Yale University, and of religious leaders in New Haven and around the world.

For additional information, please contact Harlon Dalton, Yale Professor of Law and Divinity at (203) 432-9957 and harlon.dalton@yale.edu.


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

Christian Scharen,
Director, Faith as a Way of Life Project, Yale Center for Faith & Culture, 203-432-8671, christian.scharen@yale.edu

Gretchen Wolfram
Lilly Endowment
317-916-7304
wolfram@lei.org

For immediate release: September 12, 2006

YALE CENTER FOR FAITH & CULTURE AWARDED GRANT TO STUDY HOW PASTORS LEARN THROUGH PRACTICE

New Haven, CT-Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Yale Center for Faith & Culture at Yale Divinity School to conduct a five-year research project aimed at determining how pastors, as they practice their profession, develop the complex and distinctive intelligence that leads to excellence in ministry. Participating in the research will be 50 pastors, along with 60 seminary students and their pastoral supervisors, located in five diverse communities throughout the United States.

"The study will both help pastors better understand their own developmental learning in professional practice and strengthen the particular contribution of graduate theological education-in the classroom and in practical field education settings," said Christian Scharen, who will lead the new study and is director of the Center's Faith as a Way of Life Program. "It will also highlight the profound roles congregations play in pastors' learning at various stages in their development."

Scharen said the initiative, The Learning Pastoral Imagination Project, will draw upon and extend a recent Carnegie Foundation study that explored how theological education fosters the development of a pastoral imagination that has the capacity to integrate professional knowledge and skills with moral integrity and religious commitment. The findings of that study were published in the book Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and Pastoral Imagination (Jossey-Bass, 2006).

According to Scharen, the study could help theological education avoid some of the pitfalls of the past century, when the training of ministers, and other professionals as well, largely emphasized theory over practices and, in so doing, failed "at exactly the point of the integration of knowledge into pastoral practice."

Over the 2007-2011 project timeline, a series of focal studies will be conducted at the five project locations, involving interviews with the students and their mentors and with pastors at various intervals in years of practice. The hope is that these studies will reveal, with care and subtlety, the long formation process through which the reflective capacity, perception, and practical skills that lead to "pastoral imagination" develop and advance.

The project will result in publication of scholarly and popular articles, three books, and a website of resources and information for participants and others, such as local churches.

Harold Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School, said, "Educating effective pastors and religious leaders is central to the mission of YDS. This new grant from the Lilly Endowment will enable Chris Scharen and his colleagues to gain new insight into the ways such effective pastoral leaders are formed in the course of practicing their calling. The study will in turn inform the thinking of theological educators as we adapt our curricula for the twenty-first century."

Co-directing the project, and acting as senior advisor, will be Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture and the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology. Volf will convene and chair a project advisory council.

Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family-J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli-through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. The Endowment, however, is a separate entity from the company with a distinct governing board, staff and location. It is devoted to the causes of religion, education and community development.

Yale Divinity School, one of the professional schools of Yale University in New Haven, CT, is an interdenominational institution that draws its faculty from the major Christian traditions, with a student body representing more than three-dozen denominations and groups. Instruction is provided in the history, doctrines and polity of all the major church bodies.

 


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: September 12, 2006

DUKE REFORMATION SCHOLAR TO DELIVER BAINTON LECTURE ON SEPTEMBER 26

Go to>View this lecture online, 5:15pm est, Tuesday, Sept. 26.

New Haven, CT-David C. Steinmetz, the Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of the History of Christianity at Duke Divinity School, will deliver the 2006 Bainton Lecture at Yale Divinity School Sept. 26 on the topic "The Domestication of Prophecy in the Early Reformation."

papericonSteinmetz will describe how "fateful consequences" for both Protestants and Catholics grew out of a shift in worship practices during the Early Reformation, when Protestant reformers began to emphasize preaching over against the sacramental practices central to Catholic worship.

In a précis of his lecture, Steinmetz wrote, "Indeed, viewed from one angle, the Protestant Reformation could be described as a prophetic movement in the late medieval Catholic Church. It transformed what had been a sacramental fellowship in which preaching had been regarded as beneficial but not essential into a worshipping assembly in which the public preaching of the Word became the central defining act."

Steinmetz is a specialist in the history of Christianity in the later Middle Ages and Reformation. In recent years he has concentrated on the history of biblical scholarship and learning in Europe from 1350 to 1600. Before arriving at Duke in 1971, he taught at Lancaster Theological Seminary of the United Church of Christ. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University and at the University of Notre Dame as well as a Guggenheim Fellow at Cambridge University and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Herzog August Bibliotek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.

He serves as general editor of the series, Oxford Studies in Historical Theology and is a member of numerous editorial boards. He is co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology (2004) and author of a number of books on the Reformation including, most recently, Reformers in the Wings: From Geiler von Kaysersberg to Theodore Beza (2000).

He is a United Methodist minister in the North Carolina Annual Conference and a former president of the American Society of Church History.

The Roland Bainton Lectureship was inaugurated in 1988, honoring the two foci of Professor Bainton's life and work: church history and the church's witness to peace and justice. Bainton arrived at Yale as a student in 1914, was appointed to the faculty in 1921 and remained a member of the community until his death in 1984. He officially retired from Yale Divinity School in 1962 as the Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History.

The lecture, free and open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. in Niebuhr Lecture Hall, followed by a reception in the Sarah Smith Gallery. Yale Divinity School is located at 409 Prospect St., New Haven.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

Christian Scharen
Director, Faith as a Way of Life Project
Yale Center for Faith & Cultur
203-432-8671
christian.scharen@yale.edu

For immediate release: September 1, 2006

"CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE?" A CONFERENCE ON CHRISTIAN RESPONSES TO POVERTY

 

NEW HAVEN, CT-What is the faithful response to dire poverty? Are there solutions to poverty that go beyond the cycle of desperate circumstances and appeals for generous donations? What would an approach look like that offered the poor more than "crumbs from the table" and instead helped them gain an equal place at the table?

One year after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast and exposed the deep structural problems associated with poverty, these are among the questions that continue to be on the minds of many in the faith community. They are also among the themes that will be addressed at the third annual Sarah Smith Memorial Conference on Moral Leadership, to be held September 21-22 at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT. The title of the conference is "Crumbs from the Table?" The Creation of Wealth and the Persistence of Poverty.

The conference will feature international leaders from business, development, economics, politics and theology. While much Christian conversation has focused on providing direct aid, this interdisciplinary gathering will explore ways Christians can mount a more comprehensive attack on inequality and poverty by turning to entrepreneurial ventures.

A highlight of the conference will be a panel discussion entitled "Beyond Crumbs?" Christian Approaches to Development: The Case of Microfinance, moderated by Theodore R. Malloch, chairman and CEO of The Roosevelt Group, who has served with the World Economic Forum and The Aspen Institute. Others on the panel will include:

  • Vinay K. Samuel, internationally recognized development economist and theologian and director of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.
  • Collin R. Timms, founder and chairman of the Guardian Bank in Bangalore, India, which provides credit to poor and marginalized populations.
  • Susy Cheston, senior vice president for policy at Opportunity International, which advocates for greater access to microfinance and AIDS programs to help the poor.
  • Gary Moore, founder of The Financial Seminary and author of a number of books focused on integrating religion and spirituality with personal financial management.
  • Dale Hanson Bourke, president of PDI, a marketing and strategy firm specializing in work with nonprofit organizations and author of a number of books, including the forthcoming The Skeptic's Guide to Global Poverty.

Individual talks will also be given by Samuel and Timms, and by Tony Hall, U.S. ambassador to the United Nationals Agencies for Food and Agriculture and a leading advocate for hunger relief and human rights programs around the world.

The Sarah Smith Memorial Conference on Moral Leadership, sponsored jointly by Yale Divinity School and the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, is dedicated to the life and ministry of Sarah Smith (1941-1999), a Yale Divinity School graduate who had a passion for moral leadership and was involved with talks, seminars, and retreats across the country. She was the author of the book Mid-Life: Coming Home.

For the Yale community, all aspects of the conference, including a reception and luncheon, are free with registration. Outside the Yale community, individual sessions of the conference are free and open to the public, but the cost of attending the entire conference, including the reception and luncheon, is $150. Complete information about the conference is available on the web at http://www.yale.edu/faith/ss/crumbs.htm.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: May 16, 2006

HAROLD ATTRIDGE TO BEGIN SECOND FIVE-YEAR TERM AS DEAN OF YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL

New Haven, CT-Harold W. Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, will begin a second five-year term as dean effective July 1, 2007.

In a May 8 letter to the Divinity School community announcing the reappointment of Attridge, Yale President Richard C. Levin said, "The Divinity School and the University are fortunate to have the services of such an outstanding leader.

"In response to my request for an assessment of the Dean's performance during his first term," Levin noted, "I received numerous letters strongly recommending his reappointment. In these helpful letters, as well as in my meetings with many of you, it became evident that the Dean is viewed with great admiration and respect.

"Known for being a good listener, colleagues pointed with approval to Dean Attridge's fairness, sensitivity, and intellectual leadership. Students also enjoy their interactions with the Dean, who has clearly demonstrated a commitment to excellence for the School. I was gratified to find my own admiration for Harry Attridge's work echoed so enthusiastically."

Attridge's first term began during a difficult time at the Divinity School, when the school was still emerging from a time of intense controversy related to plans - eventually aborted - to abandon the Sterling Divinity Quadrangle and relocate the School nearer the central campus. At the end of his first year as dean, work was completed on the School's multi-million dollar renovation, and Attridge spearheaded an effort to intensify the engagement of YDS beyond the Quadrangle.

Among the major outward-reaching initiatives during his first term was creation of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, which in just a few short years has become a significant point of contact between the Divinity School and congregations, pastors, and lay religious leaders throughout the country. Other such initiatives included: the launch of an innovative community-based summer internship program for students called "Public Leadership in Ministry" based on theories of leadership drawn from community organizing; full-time staffing of the School's Office of Communications; creation of an Office of Career Counseling; resurrection of YDS's journal of opinion, Reflections; and establishment of the "Summer Term at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle" for clergy and laity.

In other areas, Attridge has encouraged fuller participation of the School's Board of Advisors; recruited several highly regarded senior faculty; realized ahead of schedule a plan to provide significantly increased levels of financial aid for students; created, as part of the renovation of the Quad, electronic classrooms featuring the latest audio-visual and technological enhancements; and strengthened the School's program in ministerial studies, which engages students in the practical aspects of ministry. He has also strengthened ties with the Institute of Sacred Music and the affiliated Berkeley Divinity Schools, close partners with the Divinity School in theological education.

Attridge is a highly regarded New Testament scholar. But just as he has encouraged the Divinity School as a whole to be more outward looking, so, too, has he taken his own scholarship beyond the academy. On numerous occasions over the past two years, he has spoken around the country and overseas to local congregations, Yale club gatherings or national television and newspaper audiences on subjects such as The DaVinci Code, trust in the Scriptures, the selection of a new Pope, and the emerging shape of religion in the twenty-first century.

Attridge has made scholarly contributions to New Testament exegesis and to the study of Hellenistic Judaism and the history of the early Church. His publications include Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, First-Century Cynicism in the Epistles of Heraclitus, The Interpretation of Biblical History in the Antiquitates Judaicae of Flavius Josephus, and Nag Hammadi Codex I: the Jung Codex, as well as numerous book chapters and articles in scholarly journals.

He has edited eleven books, most recently, with the Institute of Sacred Music 's Margot Fassler, Psalms in Community. He has been an editorial board member of Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Harvard Theological Review, the Journal of Biblical Literature, and the Hermenia Commentary Series. He has been active in the Society of Biblical Literature and served as president of the society in 2001.

He holds an A.B. from Boston College; a B.A. an M.A. from Cambridge University (Marshall Scholar); and a Ph.D. from Harvard University (Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows).

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: February 23, 2006

FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD A.M.E. CHURCH WILL GIVE PARKS-KING LECTURE AT YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL

New Haven, CT-Bishop Vashti McKenzie, the first woman to serve as titular head the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will deliver the 2006 Parks-King lecture at Yale Divinity School on February 28. Her lecture will be preceded by a panel presentation on black women in ministry and community leadership featuring prominent women with ties to the Divinity School.

papericonBishop McKenzie was elected in 2004 to a one-year term heading the church as president of the A.M.E.'s Council of Bishops and currently serves as presiding prelate of the church's 13th Episcopal District, which encompasses Tennessee and Kentucky. Her lecture will begin at 5:15 p.m. in Marquand Chapel, Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. The lecture, free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception in the Common Room.

The Parks-King lecture, hosted by the divinity school since 1983, commemorates the legacies of Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Its goal is to bring the contributions of African American scholars, social theorists, pastors and social activists, to Yale Divinity School and to the wider New Haven community.

The theme of the forum, scheduled for 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Marquand Chapel, is "Black Women Redefining Ministry and Community Leadership in the Twenty-First Century: The YDS Influence."

Moderating the panel will be Emilie M. Townes, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at YDS. Four members of the panel are Yale Divinity School graduates: Curtissa Cofield, a Connecticut Superior Court judge; Jewelnel Davis, chaplain at Columbia University; Angelique Walker-Smith, executive director of The Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis and host of the "Faces of Faith" television program in Indianapolis; and Bonita Grubbs, executive director of Christian Community Action in New Haven. The fifth panelist is Claudia Highbaugh, Harvard Divinity School chaplain and chaplain at Yale University and YDS during the 1980s.

The forum is part of a YDS-centered research project on theological education for blacks in America, conducted by Yolanda Y. Smith, assistant professor of Christian Education at YDS, and Moses N. Moore, Jr. a YDS graduate and associate professor of American and African American religious history at Arizona State University.

A book signing with Bishop McKenzie will be held prior to the forum from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the YDS Student Book Supply.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

Christian Scharen
Director, Faith as a Way of Life Project
Yale Center for Faith & Culture
203-432-8671
christian.scharen@yale.edu

For immediate release: February 1, 2006

"EMERGENT THEOLOGICAL CONVERSATION" AT YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL, FEBRUARY 6-8

New Haven, CT-They sometimes have off-beat names like "Jacob's Well," "Solomon's Porch," or "Vintage Faith." They are churches tied to the growing "Emergent" international network of congregations that see themselves as living the Gospel in a "postmodern, postcolonial" world that is undergoing dramatic changes-politically, philosophically socially, economically, and spiritually. Shifts in the cultural landscape may demand new paradigms for ministry and worship, and some 275 Emergent church leaders will gather at Yale Divinity School Feb. 6-8 to take up the challenge.

Yale Divinity School 's Center for Faith and Culture -- http://www.yale.edu/faith/home.htm -- is hosting the conference, entitled the "Emergent Theological Conversation." The centerpiece of the gathering will be a three-part conversation between participants and Miroslav Volf, director of the Center for Faith and Culture and the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at the Divinity School. Facilitating the conversation will be Christian Scharen, director of the Center's Faith as a Way of Life Project, and Tony Jones, national coordinator of the Emergent network. Also participating will be Brian McLaren, pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, MD, who was named by Time Magazine in February 2005 as one of America 's 25 most influential evangelicals.

Volf has done extensive work in subjects such as inclusion, embrace, and forgiveness, in the context of the intersection of faith and life. Jones said Volf's work promises to be of particular interest to conference participants since many are developing intentional Christian communities among "traditionally forgotten people." Jones is currently studying at Princeton Theological Seminary and was formerly minister to youth and young adults at the Colonial Church of Edina, MN.

The Yale Divinity School gathering marks the sixth annual Emergent conference to bring together church leaders and theologians, aimed at "advancing and sophisticating" the movement, according to Emergent Village, a loose-knit network of Emergent congregations and one of the conference sponsors.

In addition to the three conversations with Volf, a number of "breakout" sessions are planned on subjects such as social justice and poverty, spiritual formation, the new monasticism, diversity, the politics of repentance, and the intriguing topic "Quantum Realities and Theological Imagination." Another session will explore the new "Shaping Christian Vision Project," which is aimed at asking "big questions" about culture, mission and the gospel.

Jones, an organizer of the conference, described registrants as "pastors, church planters, artists, songwriters, missionaries, and others who are dramatically rethinking the traditional conceptions of the gospel and the church."

Emergent Village speaks of the new realities facing churches this way on its web site at www.emergentvillage.com :

"This complex and many-faceted transition calls for innovative Christian leaders from all streams of the Christian faith around the world to collaborate in unprecedented ways. We must imagine and pursue the development of new ways of being followers of Jesus... new ways of doing theology and living biblically, new understandings of mission, new ways of expressing compassion and seeking justice, new kinds of faith communities, new approaches to worship and service, new integrations and conversations and convergences and dreams."

Emergent churches defy easy description, partly because the movement is young and loose-knit. But, as their names often suggest, they do tend toward the non-traditional.

The web site of one Emergent congregation, the Church of the Apostles in Seattle, explains its approach to mission as "a new way to walk that's crazy beautiful" and tohelpgodchangeeverything -italics, all one word.

Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, CA distinguishes itself from the typical congregation by describing itself as " a church of 'people,' not a place you go to." The explanation? "This may sound confusing, but nowhere in the New Testament do you read that the followers of Jesus 'went to church.' What you do read is that the church (the people) gathered together. There is a big difference between the two. The church is the people, not a place or a meeting you attend. We believe that in the modern world, the 'church' has become known as place that people go to vs. a people on a mission for God."

A focus on congregational life beyond Sunday worship appears to be part of the Emergent toolbox, as does a knack for bending high technology to God's purposes. Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis, for example, says, " We welcome you to join us in person at any of our gatherings, meals or conversations. We invite you to look around our website and interact using the message boards, chat room and email. We invite you to join with us in pursuing the dreams and love of God for the world in the way of Jesus."

Further information about the conference is available at: http://www.emergentvillage.com/Site/Resource/Events/2006TheoConv.htm.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: January 27, 2006

DARTMOUTH SCHOLAR TO DELIVER CHISOLM LECTURE AT YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL

New Haven, CT-Susan Ackerman, professor of Religion and of Women's and Gender Studies and chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College, will deliver the William Anderton Chisolm Lecture at Yale Divinity School on January 31. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Niebuhr Lecture Hall, beginning at 5:15 p.m., followed by a reception. The title of her lecture is Women and Ancient Israelite Household Religion.

Ackerman is a specialist in the religion of ancient Israel and the religions of Israel 's neighbors- Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Canaan. She is the author of three books, the most recent of which is When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David (Columbia University Press, 2005).

The Chisolm Lecture series, established in 1998, is funded through the Francis Asbury Palmer Foundation, an independent New York-based foundation that supports higher education, with a strong emphasis on seminary support. This year's lecture represents the last of five Chisolm lectures funded through the foundation's grant to Yale Divinity School. The lectures were created in honor of William Anderton Chisolm, who served for over 50 years as a director of the foundation until his death in 1998. Chisolm was a grandnephew of Francis Asbury Palmer and had a lifelong interest in educating students who planned to pursue pulpit ministries.

In her lecture, Ackerman will review some of the archaeological evidence for ancient Israelite household shrines and consider women's roles within such sanctuaries. It is her contention that these localized places of worship offered women opportunities for more meaningful participation in their culture's religion than may have been available to them in ancient Israel 's large state temples, such as those located in Dan, Bethel, and Jerusalem.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: November 18, 2005

EMILIE TOWNES ELECTED VICE PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN ACADEMY OF RELIGION

New Haven, CT-Emilie M. Townes, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African-American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School, has been elected vice president of the 10,000-member American Academy of Religion, putting her in line to assume the presidency in 2008. The official announcement of Townes's election was made Nov. 18 during a Board of Directors meeting preceding the AAR 's 2005 annual meeting in Philadelphia, Nov. 19-22.

Townes would be the first African-American woman to serve as president of the Academy, which is the world's largest association of scholars who teach or research topics related to religion. Townes called the election of an African-American women a "signal moment" in the life of the Academy. She currently serves on the AAR Program Committee and has chaired the AAR Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession and also chaired the AAR Ethics Section.

Townes is a pivotal player in the construction of "womanist theology," a field of theological and ethical reflection in which the historic and present-day insights of African American women are brought into critical engagement with the traditions of Christian theology. Among her books are Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope (Scholars Press, 1993), In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness (Abingdon Press, 1995), and Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health Care and A Womanist Ethic of Care (Continuum Press, 1998).

She was appointed to the Yale Divinity School faculty in July 2005 after having served at Union Theological Seminary as the Carolyn Williams Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics.

Townes says one of her primary goals as an elected officer of the AAR will be to ensure that religious discourse has a place in the public realm, reaching beyond the confines of the academic universe.

"In an increasingly polarized world and a larger academic environment that can often be hostile to things religious, we cannot, as a body of scholars, absent ourselves from the public conversations we now have about religion," she said in a statement published during the election period, which ended Nov. 1.

In an interview conducted on the eve of the meeting in Philadelphia, Townes added, "I want to be very clear that those of us who teach religions and religiosity for a living need to learn how to speak to the public. We have ceded that ground to folks who have a very narrow understanding of what comprises the religious in American life.

"The AAR is an academy full of people who do this all the time-help people understand the nature of the religious, whatever it looks like. And so we need to have a much more public voice, and an intelligible public voice."

Another major task facing Townes, particularly in the year of her presidency, is administrative, as the AAR transitions from a pattern of concurrent shared annual meetings with the Society of Biblical Literature to entirely separate meetings. The two societies met separately from 1964 to1971, then together beginning in 1972. But as of 2008, when Townes is scheduled to be president, the two will begin separate meetings with concurrent meetings held only once every four years.

The decision to make the split caused "controversy and anguish" among some AAR members, according to an AAR task force report, and there is still simmering dissatisfaction with the chosen course, particularly amongst theological schools and seminaries, whose faculties are split fairly evenly between the two organizations.

Townes, who did not support separation, welcomes further discussion even though the decision has been finalized. "I think as long as members of AAR want to talk about this we need to have an open ear... I have just enough experience pastoring in the local church to know that the one way you can really get people to come after you is to not let them talk... Who knows what will come of it. I don't know."

Townes will serve one year each as vice president, president-elect, president and, finally, as immediate past president in 2009.

Through academic conferences and meetings, publications, and a variety of programs and membership services, the AAR fosters excellence in the scholarship and teaching of religion. AAR members can be found at more than 1,500 colleges, universities, schools, and seminaries in North America and abroad. The AAR was founded in 1909 and is a constituent member of the American Council of Learned Societies.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: November 1, 2005

THE REV. DR. CYNTHIA HALE AT YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL AS LUCCOCK VISITOR

New Haven, CT-The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, founder and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, GA, will visit the Yale Divinity School campus November 9-10 under the Luccock Visitorship. She will preach in Marquand Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on the second day of her visit. The recipient of numerous awards for outstanding preaching, Hale was the first woman to serve as chaplain of the day in the U.S. House of Representatives and for the opening session of the Georgia State Senate.

Ray of Hope Christian Church, affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), was founded 18 years ago. Under Hale's leadership, the congregation has grown from an initial group of four persons meeting for Bible study to a church of 3,500 with average Sunday worship attendance of 2,000.

The Luccock Visitorship was established in 1963 in memory of Halford E. Luccock, who served as professor in the Divinity School from 1928 to 1953. The Luccock Visitor is a person, usually a parish minister, invited to spend time at Yale Divinity School interacting with faculty and students.

Hale holds a doctorate of ministry from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. She earned a B.A. from Hollins College in Virginia and an M.Div. from Duke University.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

Will Mebane
Yale Black Seminarians
203-230-8880
will.mebane@yale.edu

Jason Turner
Yale Black Seminarians
203-436-3453,
jason.turner@yale.edu

For immediate release: October 31, 2005

JASON RICHARDSON MEMORIAL CONCERT SCHEDULED FOR BATTELL CHAPEL AT YALE

New Haven, CT-Battell Chapel on the Yale University campus will be the setting for a Nov. 12 concert in memory of Jason Richardson, a 2003 graduate of Yale Divinity School who died suddenly last January during leadership of worship services at his home church, Southern Baptist Church in Harlem. Proceeds of the concert, including revenue from a live CD recording, will go toward the Jason Richardson Memorial Scholarship at Yale Divinity School. Sponsors of the event are the Yale Black Seminarians and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

The concert and live recording, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., will include music by many of Richardson 's friends, paying tribute to his memory through song. At the time of his death, Richardson was serving as director of the Marquand Gospel Choir, which will perform at the concert. Among other individuals and groups scheduled to participate are the Black Church at Yale, Brain Bellamy, Rob Boulter, Gamma Phi Delta Christian 03 MFraternity, Alisha Lola Jones, Cece Jones, Kergyma, Mark Miller, McCall Memorial Mass Choir, Kersten Stevens and the Yale Gospel Choir. Donations of $10 are requested.

"There are few people who can enter into the lives of persons for a short period and impact them in such a way that their lives are altered forever," said Jason Turner '06 M.Div., a friend of Richardson and current president of the Yale Divinity School student body. "What an awesome gift from God!"

Richardson was a vital part of the Yale Divinity School / Institute of Sacred Music for a number of years as a student and as musician for the Marquand Gospel Choir. He was known for his warm presence and radiant smile and, beyond his talents as a musician, Richardson was an educator and taught at the College of New Rochelle.

Above all, Richardson was a preacher who shared the "good news" not only in the Marquand Chapel pulpit but also from the pulpit of the Southern Baptist Church in Harlem, where he served as youth minister.

As a Yale Divinity student, Richardson was extremely active, serving as co-pastor of the Black Church at Yale, as a Marquand Chapel minister, and as a member of the Black Seminarians. He was a recipient of the Jess H. and Hugo A. Norenberg Prize for excellence in preaching and/or the conduct of corporate worship.

Persons who would like to donate to the scholarship but who cannot attend the concert may send checks made payable to Yale University Divinity School, with an indication that the gift is for the Jason Richardson Memorial Scholarship, to the following address: Development Office, Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: September 27, 2005

TWO DECADES AFTER SAM TODD'S DISAPPEARANCE, YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL REMEMBERS HIM

New Haven, CT-Two decades after being called back from Christmas recess to help search for missing classmate Sam Todd, Yale Divinity School alumni will gather in Marquand Chapel on October 10 for a service in his honor: Mourning a Loss, Celebrating a Life.

Todd was entering his last term at YDS when he disappeared in New York City in the early morning hours of January 1, 1984 after a night of celebration with his younger brother, Adam, and friends from Vassar College, where Sam Todd had earned his undergraduate degree in 1981. Countless hours of street-by-street searches in New York by YDS students, faculty and friends; placement on the New York City Police Department's Missing Persons list; thousands of fliers posted throughout New York City; multiple articles in the New York Times and other major media-all failed to turn up any trace of the 24-year-old student who was known for his love of jazz and his commitment to peace and justice issues.

Scheduled to preside at the service is Letty M. Russell, professor emerita of theology, who was teaching at YDS when Todd was a student. A luncheon will be held prior to the 1:30 p.m. service, which is being held in conjunction with Convocation and Reunions 2005. Alumni are being invited to share memories of Todd or recollections of the search in New York City that will be put into a Yale Divinity School memory book of Sam Todd.

Speaking in Marquand Chapel shortly after the disappearance, Professor William Muehl described the response of the YDS community at the time this way: "When word of their friend's absence reached the student body at Sterling Quadrangle, response was both immediate and dramatic. First by twos and threes in private cars and then by the score in chartered buses, young men and women descended on Manhattan and its immediate environs in search of their fellow student..For all our differences and conflicts there is at the heart of this community a kind of love which springs into sacrificial action when the right call is sounded."

In Sam Todd's honor, YDS is establishing a scholarship fund aimed at providing financial aid to students from Africa or Asia who show an interest in ministries committed to social justice, empowerment of people and peace. Initial support for the fund comes from the Todd family and through the generosity of a friend of Sam Todd's parents-George Todd '51 B.D., a Presbyterian minister and former director for Urban Mission at the World Council of Churches, and Kathleen Todd.

Todd's deep social concerns were reflected in the kinds of activities he chose to pursue in New Haven: volunteering at a soup kitchen, employment at a Connecticut food bank, active participation in the Center for Human Rights and Economic Justice at YDS and working as an organizer in peace demonstrations. During the fall of 1983 he helped organize a conference called Civitas addressing issues of faith in the city.

As a Vassar student, he spent a summer traveling to Kenya and Zimbabwe. In Kenya he visited church-sponsored self-development projects in squatter communities and met trade union leaders. He met church leaders participating in national development and pressuring the government to work for more equal distribution of wealth. During his visit to Zimbabwe, Todd taught teenagers who had dropped out of school to take up arms in the liberation struggle, helping them catch up with their education.

In his application to Yale Divinity School, Todd had written, "At the Divinity School I would like to further explore our Judeo-Christian heritage which professes the movement in history toward the kingdom of God. I am attracted to the church because it is not bound by the demonic principalities of state institutions or private businesses. I believe it is the task of the church to join with the people and challenge those systems which repress the ability and potential of people to work toward a more just society."

Two months before his disappearance, Sam Todd had passed the first round of Presbyterian ordination qualifying exams.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: September 26, 2005

JOHN W. O'MALLEY, S.J., TO DELIVER ROLAND BAINTON LECTURE

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - John W. O'Malley, S.J., Distinguished Professor of Church History at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, will deliver the 2005 Roland Bainton Lecture at Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect St., on Monday, September 26. The lecture, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. in H. Richard Niebuhr Lecture Hall. A reception will follow the presentation.

O'Malley will speak on the subject "Vatican II: Did Anything Happen?" Vatican Council II, called by Pope Jon XXIII, was held from 1962-1965 and is often regarded as the most significant religious event since the sixteenth-century Reformation. Among the distinctive "progressive" teachings of Vatican II are that the church's mission includes action on behalf of justice and peace and is not limited to preaching and celebration of the sacraments; there is a hierarchy of truths, and not all official teachings of the church are equally essential to the integrity of Catholic faith; the Catholic Church is not the only means of salvation. Describing the substance of his lecture, O'Malley said, "Forty years after the close of the council, some scholars and prelates have begun to denounce the idea that the council was in any sense a 'new beginning' and denounce historians who subscribe to the idea. They want a history 'according to the truth.' Can we help them?"

Trained in the history of religious culture, O'Malley teaches and conducts research on ecclesiology, medieval Scholasticism, Renaissance humanism, and the history of preaching and sacred rhetoric. His special concern is the interaction between culture and religion. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.

His book Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era (Harvard University Press, 2000) was awarded the Roland Bainton Prize for History. O'Malley's other recent books include Four Cultures of the West (Harvard University Press, 2004) and The Jesuits: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts 1540-1773 ( University of Toronto Press, 2000). He is currently working on a book about Vatican Council II.

Among O'Malley's many honors are the Paul Oskar Kristeller Lifetime Achievement Award of the Renaissance Society of America (2005) and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Italian Studies (2002). He has served as president of the Renaissance Society of America (1998-2000) and of the American Catholic Historical Society (1991), is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the American Philosophical Society.

The Roland Bainton Lectureship was inaugurated in 1988, honoring the two foci of Professor Bainton's life and work: church history and the church's witness to peace and justice. Bainton arrived at Yale as a student in 1914, was appointed to the faculty in 1921 and remained a member of the community until his death in 1984.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: September 26, 2005

CONFERENCE FRAMES QUESTIONS ABOUT PUBLIC FAITH IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD

NEW HAVEN, CT -"Does the practice of faith require the articulation of faith?"

This was a question posed by Yale Law School Professor Harlon Dalton in welcoming remarks at the Sept 15-16 Sarah Smith Memorial Conference 2005, sponsored by Yale Divinity School, the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, and Yale Law School. Dalton, an ordained Episcopal priest, did not attempt an answer but observed that the question and others like it are complex and need to be addressed "with humility."

papericonIndeed, there was much humility at the conference, entitled Religiously Incorrect? Public Faith in a Pluralistic World. But navigating the difficult terrain of religion in the public square proved to be a challenge for some of the sharper minds in the business, and as many questions as answers may have been in the air when all was said and done.

That was not a cause for disappointment, however. In his concluding remarks, Miroslav Volf, director of the Center for Faith & Culture, praised the interdisciplinary makeup of the conference, which he termed a "veritable feast" of fruitful ideas and counter ideas - not from grand theorists but from "practitioners with their ears close to the ground."

Among those practitioners were four well known judges representing federal and state courts, the chairman and CEO of a company consistently rated as one of the nation's best corporate citizens, and a former U.S. representative who leads a 20,000-member congregation in New York. From the academic side were Nancy T. Ammerman of Boston University, a leading sociologist of religion, and Stephen Carter, a professor of law at Yale and one of the nation's leading public intellectuals on the subject of religion and politics. In the audience of about 100 persons were a mix of pastors, businesspersons, marketing specialists, workplace chaplains, and Yale faculty and students.

One of the difficult topics that received much scrutiny was the extent to which religious beliefs and sentiments should have a role in the judicial process. There were questions about questions-for example, whether nominees to the bench, such as Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, should be asked about their religion during the review process. One of the toughest questions was whether judges should publicly identify religious influences that affect their opinions. And conflicts between a judge's faith and the law prompted varied responses.

Carter, who argued in his influential book The Culture of Disbelief that American law and politics "trivialize" religious devotion, said, "It is not at all surprising that questions about the religion of candidates often arise." Such questions may appear "at first blush" to be church/state infringements, said Carter. But in some cases it is clear why a judge's religious sentiments would be relevant, he argued, such as in the case of a person affiliated with the Christian Identity Movement, which believes the "chosen race" is reserved to those who are white, Christian and American.

"Many of us would be interested in the extent to which that judge's religious convictions...are going to play a role in decision-making," said Carter.

Questions about citing religious sources in written judicial decisions prompted much discussion. All four of the judges acknowledged that jurists are influenced by their faith traditions. But they differed on the extent to which judges should acknowledge such influences in their decisions.

Judge Wendell L. Griffen of the Arkansas Court of Appeals, an ordained Baptist minister who has written on issues of religion and law, called keeping religious influences out of the written record "disingenuous." But Judge Joan Gottschall, U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois, while acknowledging the influence of faith, contended that religious language should be "translated" into legal categories.

Arguing for more transparency regarding religious influences, Griffen asked, "What is the harm in just coming clean and saying so?"

"We must make sure that our backgrounds, which do influence us, do not bias us," said Judge Robert H. Henry of the 10 th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge William Pryor of the 11 th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the controversial former attorney general of Alabama, was asked about potential conflicts between a judge's faith and the law. In such a case, said Pryor, a judge should simply recuse himself or herself from deciding the case. But if a judge believes strongly in a duty to affirmatively resist a law viewed as evil then that judge should not be sitting on the bench at all, in Pryor's judgment.

Both liberals and conservatives have roundly criticized Pryor. A devout Roman Catholic with conservative political views, he prosecuted former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for disobeying a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building.

"In my perspective, I had a moral duty to obey the federal injunction," Pryor told the conference audience. "As a Christian I had a duty to obey the moral authority."

Mike Volkema, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller, the furniture company, frequently cited for its innovation and sense of social responsibility, made a case for opening the workplace to the "whole person," including their religious lives. He contrasted that style with a quote he attributed to Henry Ford: "I know people have heads and hearts and hands, and all I want is the hands. Isn't it too bad that they're attached to a person?"

Ultimately, Volkema predicted, the younger generation of workers-who he said refuse to "compartmentalize" their lives-will force companies to make room for faith in the workplace: "When businesses start to figure out they've got to offer something different, they will."

papericonSociologist Nancy Ammerman, who has studied U.S. congregations and conservative religious movements for many years, observed, "Organized religious traditions are still very much with us."

She said religious sentiments "are not confined to a nice, neat private sphere, nor need they be." Because persons intersect on so many different levels, Ammerman noted, it is not surprising that religious talk shows up in secular contexts and secular talk finds its way into religious conversation.

Ammerman urged a "more active pursuit of intersections" and the "active listening to stories of others" as a way to find common ground amid the increasingly pluralistic American religious landscape. She pointed to the African American faith tradition as an example of "rich stories and songs that shape a way of life... that mobilize public action."

The Rev. Floyd Flake, senior pastor of 20,000-member Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica, NY and former U.S. Representative, said his faith guided him in office and he let people know it. "Because I dared to have a faith belief, there were people who believed in me," he said.

Many of the projects in Greater Allen's sprawling, $100 million commercial and residential developments and social service enterprises received government funding - long before President George W. Bush's "faith-based initiative" program was established, Flake noted. But in some situations, he said, he would not want to accept government money because of strings that might be attached-the reason he did not rely on government funds to build an $8 million private school that serves 500 students.

After the conference, David W. Miller, executive director of the Center for Faith & Culture, said the conference had accomplished what it set out to do: "The expectation at a conference like this isn't to come up with the final solution or the one-size-fits-all answer. But what we can do is help begin to frame the question, even give voice to the question, strip some of the vitriol and emotion out of the public discourse on these questions of religion in the public square and begin to be known for creating a space where people can with authenticity, passion, intellect and respect talk about these questions.

Back to Top


YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: September 7, 2005

PUBLIC FAITH IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD IS TOPIC OF SEPTEMBER CONFERENCE

NEW HAVEN, CT-What is the appropriate role of religion in pubic life? That is the question at the center of a Sept. 15-16 conference- Religiously Incorrect? Public Faith in a Pluralistic World- to be held at Yale Law School and sponsored jointly by the Law School, Yale Divinity School and the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.

Increasingly, the function of deeply held religious beliefs in the public arena is being raised as a topic of debate-for example, the recent discussions over whether Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts's Catholic faith should play a role in his work as a member of the Court. More broadly, the question becomes, "What is the appropriate role of authentically held religious beliefs in shaping how we make decisions in our various professions?"

Religiously Incorrect? will bring together distinguished representatives from law, the ministry, and the business community to address questions such as these. The concluding keynote panel will feature three prominent judges and will be moderated by Stephen L. Carter, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor at Yale Law School, author of the highly acclaimed book The Culture of Disbelief. Judges scheduled to serve on the panel, which will address the topic "Faith on the Bench," are William Holcombe Pryor, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, 11 th Circuit; Wendell L. Griffen, Arkansas Court of Appeals; Robert H. Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit; and Joan Gottschall, U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois.

Delivering the opening lecture will be distinguished sociologist of religion Nancy T. Ammerman of Boston University. She has spent much of the past decade studying American congregations and previously conducted extensive study of conservative religious movements. Other featured speakers include former New York Congressman Floyd Flake, senior pastor of 20,000-member Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica, NY, and president of Ohio's Wilberforce University; and Mike Volkema, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller, a company that has been honored as being among the country's best corporate citizens.

Also participating, from the Law School, will be Professor Harlon Dalton and, from the Divinity School, Miroslav Volf, director of the Center for Faith & Culture; David W. Miller, executive director of the Center; and Christian Scharen, director of the Center's Faith as a Way of Life Project. Religiously Incorrect? is the second conference in an annual series held under the auspices of the Divinity School 's Sarah Smith Conference on Moral Leadership.

Members of the Yale community are welcome to attend all sessions free of charge. Preregistration is required for participants who are not Yale affiliated. More information is available by contacting the Center at (203) 432-8629, ycfcinfo@yale.edu, and at the conference web site: http://www.yale.edu/faith/initiatives/smc_2005.html

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

David W. Miller
Executive Director
Yale Center for Faith & Culture
203-432-8669
david.w.miller@yale.edu

For immediate release: July 7, 2005

YALE CENTER FOR FAITH AND CULTURE HOSTS CHAPLAINCY CONFERENCE

The Yale Center for Faith and Culture will host a national conference on workplace chaplaincy August 17-19 at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, 409 Prospect St. The conference, entitled Workplace Chaplaincy:  Hot Issues and Best Practices, is intended to be a forum for dialogue on pressing issues facing those in the corporate world who are involved with some aspect of workplace chaplaincy programs.

The conference is being held under the auspices of the Center's Ethics and Spirituality in the Workplace program, which is designed to help people integrate the claims of their faith and the demands of their work. The major audiences of the program are business and clergy leaders; MBA students and clergy candidates; and corporations and congregations.

The primary sponsor for the August conference is Tyson Foods, Inc., the nation's largest producer of protein products and one of America 's largest corporate users of workplace chaplains. Other supporters include Marketplace Ministries, Inc., Corporate Chaplains of America, and Chaplains Associated, Inc.

Scheduled conference speakers, among others, are John Tyson and Alan Tyson-chairman/CEO and chaplain, respectively-of Tyson Foods; Tim Embry, CEO of American LubeFast, Inc.; Robert Pettus, Jr., vice chairman of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated; Naomi Paget, a chaplain with the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and David Miller, executive director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.

Some of the topics to be covered are "The National Picture of Workplace Chaplaincy for the Next Decade," "Thorny Legal Issues of Workplace Chaplaincy," "Workplace Ministry Models & Resources," and "What Chaplains Mean to My Company and To Our Total Life."

More information about the conference, including registration information, is available on the Center web site at http://www.yale.edu/faith/initiatives/esw_ncwc.html.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: July 6, 2005

PROFESSOR KRISTEN LESLIE TESTIFIES AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON AIR FORCE ACADEMY

By Gustav Spohn
Director of Communications

Washington, DC -Yale Divinity School Professor Kristen Leslie said the United States Air Force Academy must do a better job of distinguishing between good pastoral care and evangelism in testimony she gave June 28 at a Congressional hearing on the religious climate at the United States Air Force Academy.

The testimony of Leslie, a United Methodist minister and assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling at YDS, was delivered before the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Armed Services. For the past several months, Leslie has been at the center of a nationwide controversy over religious practice at the Academy after she and a group of her students reported observing "stridently evangelical themes" during a weeklong stay at the Academy during summer 2004.

papericonThe Congressional hearing, entitled "Religious Climate at the U.S. Air Force Academy," was scheduled in the wake of an Air Force headquarters report on religion at the Academy that cited a number of instances of inappropriate behavior by cadets and staff but concluded that the Academy is acting "aggressively" to correct shortcomings.

In her testimony, Leslie said she and her six students saw some good things at the Academy during their stay but added, "At the same time, we saw some things that concerned us."

Besides Leslie, the panel heard testimony from two others: Air Force Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, who led the panel that wrote the headquarters report, and retired military chaplain Jack Williamson, executive director of another group that visited the Academy and issued a report, the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces.

Citing what she termed "very sectarian" prayers and offerings of pastoral care in a pluralistic context, Leslie said her students were baffled because they did not see how "good order and discipline and unit cohesion" could be maintained by "exhorting basics (cadets in basic training) to return to their tents to tell other basics that in fact if they didn't profess the same kind of religious tradition then in fact they would go to hell." That was a reference to a Protestant worship service Leslie's students had observed during which a chaplain told cadets that persons not "born again will burn in the fires of hell," followed by an exhortation to proselytize other cadets.

"We saw the cadets themselves with the 'heathen flight' that many of you have read about where those cadets, the basics choosing not to go to worship services, were put together in a 'heathen flight' and marched back to their tents," said Leslie. "On the basic cadet training courses we saw some well-intentioned cadets trying to give courage to other cadets but in very uni-dimensional ways: 'Jesus will be with you, Jesus will save you.'"

The trip made by Leslie and six of her students in summer 2004 developed out of the relationship Leslie had built during her counseling work with the Academy in the wake of widespread sexual assaults at the campus in Colorado Springs, CO. Based on their previous experience with her, Academy chaplains invited Leslie and her students to attend Basic Cadet Training in summer 2004, where they were to assess the work of the chaplains and help enhance chaplains' skills in cadet-centered pastoral care.

Other critics -among them currents students, Academy alumni, and the watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State-have cited additional examples of what they say is religious intolerance, some of which are also noted in the official Air Force report issued on June 22:

  • the hanging of a banner containing an overtly Christian message by the football coach in the team locker room;
  • the Air Force Academy commandant leading a "challenge and response" cheer about Jesus in front of a group of cadets of mixed faith;
  • distribution of flyers advertising religious events in the cadet dining hall and over the public address system;
  • failure of the Air Force Academy to consider the religious practices of cadets of minority faiths when setting the cadet schedule;
  • public expressions of faith by senior staff and faculty members, in some cases in inappropriate venues such as classrooms.

"It was clear in my mind," Leslie told committee members, "that in that environment there was not a clarity with some of the leadership, both chaplains and other leaders, [about] the difference between good pastoral or spiritual care and evangelism."

"We were left with the impression that in that environment these 18-22 year olds were left trying to negotiate how to be in the environment with different religious traditions sitting side-by-side because we were seeing examples where the leadership was not giving good guidance.

"That's a hard topic, and it's an emotionally filled topic, one that the cadets should not be left to try to negotiate by themselves."

papericonBrady acknowledged that there are problems at the Academy but contended most cases amount to behavior that is "wrong" although not "malicious."

Nevertheless, he cited a need for clear "operational guidelines" relating to religious diversity that would inform not only the Academy but the entire Air Force as well. "We are committed to getting this right," said Brady, "and we won't fail you."

For his part, Williamson, representing the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces, observed that the problems at the Academy are not unique to the Academy but represent an ongoing discussion about religious diversity in the culture at large. "This debate is very present in our culture," he said. "This is a robust debate." Members of the Conference are the point of contact between the armed forces and over 250 religious denominations- recruit ing, endorsing and providing oversight for clergypersons who desire to serve as chaplains in any one of the branches of the armed forces.

Williamson reported that he and his team observed "some overreaching" at the Academy that he suggested stemmed from "long years of practice that have gone unchallenged." What is needed, he suggested, is "a sense of balance" that will foster respect in a religiously pluralistic environment. But Williamson warned against allowing "the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction" and, in effect, establish "a new religion of non-religion."

Many of the questions and comments from members of Congress were directed at Brady, asking what the Air Force plans to do to overcome the problems at the Academy. But two of the Representatives, John Hostettler of Indiana and Mike Conaway of Texas, took the position that critics are trying to stifle the voice of Christian Evangelicals.

"I'm a Christian, and Jesus Christ is my personal savior," said Conaway. "Through this whole discussion, I felt attacked."

Congressman Steve Israel, New York, and Congresswoman Lois Capps, California, however, pressed the Academy to take seriously the reports of intolerance at the Academy. Israel called for creation of a special bi-partisan commission that would oversee the work of the Air Force on the issue. And Capps, '64 M.A.R., said cadets "need to feel and know they are part of one team." She warned, "Intolerance can threaten that unity."

Capps and Israel had released a joint statement a week earlier criticizing the Brady panel's report on the Academy, contending that it did not go far enough.

Air Force Capt. MeLinda Morton, the Air Force Academy chaplain whose outspoken criticism fueled much of the current controversy, shares those sentiments. Morton was not invited to speak before the Congressional panel, but she held a press conference in Washington several hours before the panel met and asserted that the authors of the report "failed to connect the dots" by focusing on cadet behavior instead of the command structure at the academy.

"The problem facing the academy," she told reporters, "is a problem of leadership, not cadets." Morton, ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, resigned her position in the military the day before the release of the Brady panel's report.

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: July 1, 2005

DANA ROBERT OF BOSTON UNIVERSITY TO LECTURE AT MISSIONS CONFERENCE

NEW HAVEN, CT - Prof. Dana L. Robert of the Boston University School of Theology will present the George Edward and Olivia Hotchkiss Day Associate Lecture on July 8 at this year's Yale-Edinburgh Group Conference. The lecture is open to the public and will be delivered at

5 p.m. in Niebuhr Lecture Hall at Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. The topic of Robert's lecture is "From St. Patrick to Bernard Mizeki: Missionary Saints and the Creation of Christian Communities."

Robert is the Truman Collins Professor of World Mission at Boston University. Her research and teaching interests span the fields of mission history, the history of world Christianity, and mission theology. Her books include African Christian Outreach, Vol 2: Mission Churches (ed., South African Missiological Society, 2003), American Women in Mission (Mercer 1997), and co-authorship of the textbook Christianity: A Social and Cultural History (Prentice-Hall, 1997). Robert's book Gospel Bearers, Gender Barriers: Missionary Women in the Twentieth Century (ed., Orbis) was named an outstanding book in mission studies for 2002; and her book "Occupy Until I Come": A.T. Pierson and the Evangelization of the World (Eerdmans, 2003) was one of the outstanding books in mission studies for 2003. With M.L. Daneel, she edits the book series "African Initiatives in Christian Mission" (University of South Africa Press). She has held numerous lectureships at other seminaries and was plenary speaker at the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches in 2002.

Co-sponsors of the conference, in addition to Yale Divinity School, are the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World at the University of Edinburgh, and the Overseas Ministries Study Center in New Haven. The Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and Non-Western Christianity is an informal group of scholars that was formed to facilitate discussion and exchange of information about historical aspects of the missionary movement and the development of world Christianity, with special emphasis on the sources for documentation. It is a forum where viewpoints from the fields of political, social, diplomatic, and religious history can converge to reassess the significance of the missionary movement and its worldwide effects.

Further information about the conference is available at http://www.library.yale.edu/div/2005y-einfo.htm

Back to Top


papericon PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: May 10, 2005

EMILIE M. TOWNES APPOINTED PROFESSOR OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES IN RELIGION AND THEOLOGY AT YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL

NEW HAVEN, CT - Emilie M. Townes, the Carolyn Williams Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, has been appointed professor of African American studies in religion and theology at Yale Divinity School, effective July 1. The senior position in African American Studies has been vacant since the departure of Gilbert Bond from the Divinity School two years ago, a void that has been filled temporarily with part-time faculty.

papericonTownes (pictured left) has played a pivotal role in constructing the field of "womanist theology and ethics." Broadly defined, "womanist theology" is a field of theological and ethical reflection in which the historic and present-day insights of African American women are brought into critical conversation with the traditions of Christian theology. In exploring the growing edges of the field, Townes pushes readers and students to think critically about womanist perspectives-not only on traditional theological themes but also on issues such as health care, economic justice, poetry, and linguistic theory.

Her first two major works, Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope (Scholars Press, 1993) and In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness (Abingdon Press, 1995) were groundbreaking texts in the field. In Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health Care and A Womanist Ethic of Care (Continuum Press, 1998), Townes develops an ethical argument for adequate health care based on empirical and scientific data.

Townes holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago, a D.Min. from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the joint Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary/Northwestern University Program in Religious and Theological Studies. An ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., she recently taught several courses at Yale over three semesters as a visiting scholar.

Back to Top


mckenzie PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: May 10, 2005

THOMAS H. TROEGER APPOINTED PROFESSOR OF HOMILETICS AT YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL

NEW HAVEN, CT - Thomas H. Troeger, the Ralph E. and Norma E. Peck Professor of Preaching and Communications at The Iliff School of Theology, has been appointed professor of homiletics at Yale Divinity School, effective July 1. Troeger fills the senior position in homiletics currently held by David Bartlett, who retires at the end of the present term.

smithTroeger (pictured left), a former president of the Academy of Homiletics, is known not only as an excellent teacher of preaching but as a major contributor to literature in the field as well. At Iliff, he has taught homiletics since 1991-using an unorthodox pedagogy designed to help students avoid fixed and predictable ways of encountering the biblical texts, connect their preaching to "lived experience," and develop capacities to engage the imaginations of people in the pews. He has published six books about preaching that are used widely in the classroom and by clergy. Troeger is also a student of worship and liturgics, an accomplished musician-he plays the flute-and a writer with two published volumes of hymns and poetry to his credit. He has co-written five books on worship and church music.

Troeger's most recent books include Preaching and Worship (Chalice Press, 2003), Above the Moon Earth Rises: Hymn Texts, Anthems and Poems for a New Creation (Oxford University Press, 2001) and Preaching While the Church is Under Reconstruction. The Visionary Role of Preachers in a Fragmented World. (Abingdon Press, 1999).

Troeger holds a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Virginia Theological Seminary, an S.T.D. from Dickinson College and a B.D. from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, where he also taught from 1977-91. He is an ordained minister in both the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Episcopal Church and served as a pastor for seven years. He received his B.A. from Yale in 1967.

Back to Top


smith PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: April 5, 2005

CHRISTL MAIER, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF OLD TESTAMENT, SELECTED HENRY LUCE III FELLOW IN THEOLOGY

NEW HAVEN, Conn - Christl Maier, associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School, is one of seven scholars selected nationwide as a 2005-06 Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology. The Luce Fellows program was established in 1993 to identify leading scholars in theological studies and to provide them with the necessary financial support and recognition to facilitate their work. Selections were announced by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc., which supports the program.

Each of the scholars selected will engage in a yearlong research project in various areas of theological inquiry. Maier has chosen to conduct research in the area of Bible and the Church on the topic Space and Gender in Biblical Concepts of Jerusalem. She will explore the formation of Jerusalem as sacred space and its function as a religious symbol.

At the conclusion of their year of research, Fellows will gather at the annual Luce Fellows Conference to present and critique their work and to discuss with current and past Luce Fellows how their work may have an impact on the life of the church and the broader society.

In a letter announcing the award, ATS Executive Director Daniel O. Aleshire said, "Over the years the program has developed a corps of scholars who provide theological studies with fresh insights and strong leadership, and who make significant contributions to the church and the wider audience of the general public."

Maier came to Yale Divinity School in 2003 from an assistant professor position at Humboldt University in Berlin. Her academic interest focuses on the Old Testament Wisdom tradition with special interest in its sociological setting, issues of the redaction and composition in the Book of Jeremiah and feminist biblical hermeneutics. She has written two books, Die "fremde Frau" in Proverbien 1-9 (1995) and Jeremia als Lehrer der Tora (2002). She has contributed several articles in journals, book essays, and numerous reviews in the Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, mostly in German, and is co-editor of four books.


leslie PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

David Miller
Executive Director
Yale Center for Faith & Culture
203-432-8669
david.w.miller@yale.edu

For immediate release: March 11, 2005

YALE CENTER FOR FAITH & CULTURE HOSTS APRIL CONSULTATION ON PURPOSIVE LIFE AND WORK

New Haven, CT-Current research suggests that only small numbers of Americans see links between their religious faith and work life, but an April 1-3 consultation at Yale Divinity School (YDS) is aimed at attacking this "Sunday-Monday disconnect."

"One's faith is often a crucial resource to help people find deeper personal meaning and greater societal purpose in their work," said David W. Miller, co-chair of the consultation planning team and executive director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, which is hosting the event. "This conference will help Christians draw on new conceptions of vocation as a means to think about being called to a 'purposive life and work.'" Open to the public, the gathering is intended to bring together the insights and experiences of clergy, academics and lay people from various professions and workplace settings.

Miroslav Volf, the Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at the Divinity School and director of the YDS-based Center, will deliver the keynote address. The consultation theme is Called to Purposive Life and Work: New Perspectives on Vocation and Occupation.

"Increasingly, people engaged in the work world want to live an integrated life, where their personal values are aligned with their workplace values," said Miller, who teaches business ethics at both the Divinity School and Yale School of Management and spent 16 years in senior executive positions in international business and finance prior to studying theology and ethics. "They want all aspects of life, including work, to have meaning and purpose."

The goal of the consultation is threefold: to explore fresh ways of tackling the Sunday-Monday disconnect among Christians; to consider creative breakthroughs being made to discover God's call to, and gifts for, purposive life and work; and to develop strategies for a more complete embrace of this dimension of the Gospel by the whole Christian community. Miller estimated that there will be 100 persons participating, about 60 percent from the marketplace and various other professions and about 40 percent clergy or academics.

This gathering will serve as the thirteenth annual consultation of the Coalition for Ministry in Daily Life, a leading player in the growing movement to integrate faith and life. The CMDL describes itself as "an international network of Christians and their organizations committed to fostering the affirmation and practice of ministry in daily life by all followers of Christ." Paul Minus, a retired United Methodist seminary professor and non-profit executive from South Orleans, MA, is president of the CMDL, and Miller is a member of the organization's board.

According to Minus, recent research dramatically underscores the distance that separates the faith and work lives of many contemporary Americans. He points to findings such as these, uncovered in the research of Princeton University sociologist of religion Robert Wuthnow:

  • Just 22 percent of people who attend religious services weekly report that their faith has any influence on their choice of work.
  • Only 13 percent of church members say they would talk to their pastor about ethical problems at work.
  • Just 4 percent of church members would talk to their pastor about the stress they encounter at work.

Although Minus sees a thirst for integrating faith and work among churchgoers, he argues that the churches have failed to respond adequately:

"A major stimulus for this attention to vocation and occupation has been the fact that for many people today there is a hunger for fresh meaning and purpose in their daily lives, especially in their increasingly harried and stressful time in the workplace. Inevitably, some Christians have asked if there is gospel wisdom available to address this hunger. But, unfortunately the churches' answers often have not been clearly or compellingly given, to the point that many Christians no longer bother to ask."

The consultation begins with a reception the night of April 1 and concludes at noon on April 3. The program will alternate between plenary presentations and small-group discussions, with ample opportunity for one-on-one conversations with people of like occupations and interests.

Co-chairs of the consultation planning team are Miller and John Lewis, executive director of the San Antonio-based Center for Faith in the WorkPlace, which, along with YDS, is one of six co-sponsors of the gathering. 

The deadline for registration is March 25. Full details about the conference and registration are available at: www.yale.edu/faith/initiatives/esw_cmdl.html (or contact heather.templeton@yale.edu ). Information about the ongoing work of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture can be found at the Center's website at www.yale.edu/faith and through the Center's free eNewsletter, which can be ordered on the web.

Back to Top


leslie PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release, February 4, 2005

Ensign, Sorensen lectures at Yale Divinity School to feature former Cambridge dean and Harvard Medical School psychiatrist

NEW HAVEN, Ct - Don Cupitt, former dean of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Richard Mollica, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, will deliver lectures at Yale Divinity School on February 28 and March 1, respectively. Cupitt will deliver the Loring Sabin Ensign Lectureship in Contemporary Interpretation of Religious Issues, founded in honor of Loring S. Ensign, M.Div. '51. His topic will be A New Method of Religious Enquiry. Mollica will deliver the Margaret Lindquist Sorensen Lectureship, which focuses on politics and ethics, on the subject The Transfiguration of Healing: The care of survivors of mass violence and torture. Each lecture will begin at 5:15 p.m. in the H. Richard Niebuhr Lecture Hall and will be webcast live on the Yale Divinity web site at http://www.yale.edu/divinity/video/live.campus.event.html.

Cupitt is best known as a teacher and writer, often described as a "radical theologian" or "liberal religious thinker." Most of his books belong to a single series of twenty-three titles that reflect the development of his thinking, from Taking Leave of God (1980) to Emptiness and Brightness (2002). A frequent broadcaster, mainly for the BBC, he has made three TV series, one of which, "The Sea of Faith," (1984), also gave rise to a book.

He was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he studied natural sciences, theology and the philosophy of religion. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1959. From 1962-1965, he was Vice-Principal of Westcott House, an Anglican theological college in Cambridge, and became Dean of Emmanuel College in 1966. From 1968 to 1996 he also lectured in the Cambridge Faculty of Divinity.

Cupitt describes his "new method" as follows: "The new method proceeds by analyzing the philosophy, the system of values and the religious outlook that are already coded into our ordinary language, showing how we are constrained by it, and how it is changing. The resulting religion of ordinary life may be understood as a fulfillment of the Protestant tradition. The true religion, we learn, is already there and we already believe it: it only needs to be bought out into the open. When we see it clearly for the first time, it is a big surprise."

Mollica, who earned an M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School in 1979, is director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, which for the past quarter-century has studied the mental health impact of war and violence and developed methods of treatment. He developed the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, which is the first culturally validated instrument to measure trauma/torture and psychiatric symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in refugee populations. It is being used worldwide, having been translated into over 30 languages.

Caring for traumatized persons worldwide has lead to a discovery of an essential architecture of the "trauma story" that can be used in the healing experience by therapists and trauma survivors, according to Mollica. The emphasis of Mollica's presentation will be on self-healing and overcoming the fear of illness and tragedy as depicted in Raphael's Transfiguration, and in modern images of mass violence and natural disasters (e.g.,Tsunami earthquake).

Back to Top


David Steinmetz PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

Paul Stuehrenberg
Yale Divinity Librarian
203-432-5292
paul.stuehrenbeg@yale.edu

For immediate release: February 2, 2005

The Yale Divinity Library and World Council of Churches have signed a letter of agreement to microfilm selected materials from the WCC archives, building on five years of previous collaboration between the institutions that resulted in the microfilming of four major Council collections.

The agreement, unveiled January 21 at World Council of Churches headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, will help preserve additional archival holdings documenting the Council's work around the world, some affiliated organizations, and its predecessor bodies. Under the agreement, funding will be provided through Yale Divinity School 's Kenneth Scott Latourette Initiative for the Documentation of World Christianity, a proactive program for preserving and providing access to material documenting the history of Christian missions and World Christianity.

"These archives are important primary documents for understanding the history of Christianity in the twentieth century," said Paul Stuehrenberg, Yale Divinity librarian, who represented Yale at the signing ceremony in Geneva. "We are delighted that this project both preserves this important documentation and makes it available to scholars and the church."

According to Stuehrenberg, the agreement solidifies a collaboration that until now has proceeded on an ad hoc, project-by-project basis. He estimated that there is at least five years of microfilm work to be done in the near term. Ann Okerson, Associate University Librarian, Yale University Library, and Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, are signatories of the agreement.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) describes itself as the broadest and most inclusive among the many organized expressions of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose goal is Christian unity. The organization brings together more than 340 churches, denominations and church fellowships in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world, representing some 400 million Christians and including most of the world's Orthodox churches,

In previous years, the Yale Divinity Library has underwritten the cost of microfilming World War II era material (1938-1948) documenting the founding of the World Council of Churches; the World Student Christian Federation archives; and archives of the Programme to Combat Racism, a controversial Council program that supported liberation movements in underdeveloped countries. A fourth collection, the archives of the Dialogue with People of Living Faiths, a program to encourage Christians to be open to persons of different religious traditions, is currently being microfilmed at a cost of 34,300 Euros. These microfilm collections are distributed by IDC Publishers of Leiden, the Netherlands.

The Latourette Initiative provides funding for the microfilming of published and archival resources documenting the history of Christian missions and the life of the churches in countries where missionaries served. The Initiative is named for Kenneth Scott Latourette (1884-1968), who was the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity at Yale Divinity School. Latourette was instrumental in changing the focus of the Day Missions Collection at Yale from a resource for training missionaries to a collection documenting the history of Christian missions. The endowment he established to further the work of the Yale Divinity Library provides the funding for the Latourette Initiative.

Other microfilming projects supported by the Initiative include the archives of the Regions Beyond Missionary Union, held at the University of Edinburgh; monographs related to the "Old Believers" held by the Russian National Library; and the missions archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Back to Top


Global Village Shelters on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle. PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: January 28, 2005

New Haven, CT-Denys Turner, a highly regarded University of Cambridge theologian, has accepted a joint appointment to the faculties of Yale Divinity School and the Yale University Department of Religious Studies, effective July 1. In announcing the appointment, Yale Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge called Turner's presence "an exciting addition to the faculty."

Turner, a Roman Catholic, will fill the senior position in historical theology at Yale, held previously by such distinguished intellectual historians such as George Lindbeck and, most recently, Marilyn McCord Adams. The appointment of Turner, who was also being wooed by another major research university, marks the end of a two-year international search for an eminent authority in historical theology. The search committee was committed to finding a scholar with an intimate acquaintance with leading medieval theologians coupled with an ability to analyze their thinking with contemporary conceptual tools.

Since 1999, Turner has been the Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge and a Fellow of Peterhouse. From 1995-99 he was as member of the Department of Theology at the University of Birmingham. Previously, he taught at the University of Bristol and at University College, Dublin, and was a visiting lecturer at Manhattanville College in New York. He has taught on a wide range of subjects, including contemporary philosophy of religion, metaphysics, ethics, political and social theory, medieval philosophy and theology, and the history of medieval mysticism.

Turner earned his doctorate at the University of Oxford, and his B.A. and M.A. at University College, Dublin. His area of concentration is the study of the traditions of Western Christian mysticism, with special emphasis on doctrines of religious language and of selfhood and on the links between the classical traditions of spirituality and mysticism and the social and political commitments of Christianity. Earlier, Turner focused his research on the relations between Christianity and political and social theory, particularly between Marxism and Christianity.

"I look forward to having him as a productive colleague," said Attridge, noting that Turner has "an ambitious research program" and the skills to elucidate the relevance of the theology of the Middle Ages for contemporary constructive theology and religious studies.

Turner has written numerous books and articles. His books include Faith Seeking (SCM, 2002), The Darkness of God (Cambridge University Press, 1995), Eros and Allegory (Cistercian Publications, 1995), Marxism and Christianity (Blackwell, 1983), and On the Philosophy of Karl Marx (Sceptre, 1968). Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press is Faith, Reason and the Existence of God.

He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Catholic Institute for International Relations, the Committee for the World of Work of the Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops of England and Wales, the Laity Commission of the Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops of England and Wales, and the Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for England.

Back to Top


PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

For immediate release: January 27, 2005

New Haven, CT -The Rev. Dr. John W. Kinney, a well-known theologian and historian at historically black Virginia Union University, is the featured speaker at this year's Parks-King Lecture at Yale Divinity School. The Parks-King Lecture, hosted annually by the Divinity School since 1983, commemorates Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Its goal is to bring the contributions of African American scholars, social theorists, pastors and social activists to YDS and to the wider New Haven community.

The lecture by Kinney, who is dean and professor of theology and historical studies at Virginia Union's Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology, will examine the restoration of community, the convergence of head and heart, and the church and the academy-in the context of the Parks-King legacy, African American history month, and current global realities. The lecture will be held Feb. 15, 5:15 p.m. at Marquand Chapel. A reception in the Day Missions Library will follow.

A luncheon forum titled "Forging the Dream: Remembering YDS in the Pre-civil rights Era" will precede the Parks-King Lecture. A panel made up of Black YDS alumni from the 1940s and 1950s will examine the pedagogy of gender and racial inclusion at YDS. Scheduled forum participants include Dr. Richard I. McKinney, '42, former president of Storer College, professor of philosophy emeritus, and former chair of the Department of Philosophy at Morgan State University; the Rev. Dr. Rena Weller Karefa-Smart, '45, the first black woman graduate of YDS, proponent of global ecumenism, Episcopal priest, and former professor of Christian Ethics at Howard University School of Religion; the Rev. Samuel Slie, '52, '63, associate pastor of the Church of Christ at Yale and Morse College Fellow; and Mrs. Bernice Cosey Pulley, '55, World YWCA representative to the United Nations (ECOSOC) and social justice activist.

The forum will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Common Room of the Divinity School. Participants are asked to bring their own lunches, but beverages and desserts will be provided. A book signing will immediately follow the luncheon.

This year's forum is the first in a series that will be held over the next 18 months exploring the black presence at YDS. Future forums will focus on themes such as YDS and the wider New Haven community, Black women and the YDS experience, and Black alumni and their impact throughout the world. A concluding conference will feature black YDS alumni who are contributing to contemporary black theological education in the church and the academy.

The forums are part of a research project titled "'Been in the Storm So Long': Yale Divinity School and the Black Ministry-One Hundred and Fifty Years of Black Theological Education." The purpose of the project is to contribute to the understanding of the history of theological education for blacks in America, with particular attention to the experience of blacks at Yale Divinity School. It also seeks to elucidate the impact that theological education at YDS had on the lives and careers of myriad alumni, church and community leaders. In addition, the study will attempt to ascertain effective (as well as ineffective) strategies employed in the theological education of blacks in hopes of contributing to the formation of new paradigms for black theological education.

Principal investigators of this collaborative project are the Rev. Dr.Yolanda Y. Smith, assistant professor of Christian Education at Yale Divinity School, and Dr. Moses N. Moore, Jr., '77, associate professor of American and African American religious history at Arizona State University. Smith's expertise is in Christian pedagogy, and she also has experience in the gathering of oral histories and preservation techniques. Moore's expertise is archival research. Both will also draw upon their previous research related to the black experience at Yale Divinity School.

According to Smith and Moore, preliminary research reveals that, since the irregular and unofficial matriculation of James W. C. Pennington ("the Fugitive Blacksmith") in the 1830s, black theological education and Yale Divinity School have been intertwined. Generations of black ministers, educators, missionaries, and community leaders have been shaped by their encounter with the faculty, students, and wider environs of the Divinity School. These men and women have critically and selectively appropriated theological and ministerial tools provided by the Divinity School to address the varied and changing needs of the black community. Yale Divinity School has in turn been enriched by the presence of black students (as well as black faculty and staff) who have shared their vibrant culture and religiosity with the YDS community, along with their unique theological and biblical insights.

Unfortunately, the investigators contend, the history and significance of the more than 150 years of theological education of blacks at Yale Divinity School has been overlooked and ignored by scholars of American religious and theological history. Their study is presented as a corrective of that oversight. Smith and Moore believe that their project, though focused on Yale Divinity School, will nevertheless help illuminate the broader history and impact of black theological education and its continued importance. In addition, they hope that the written and oral testimony of those who have "Been in the Storm So Long" might instruct and inspire present and future black seminarians as they also prepare to minister in an increasingly complex and fractured world.

Yale Divinity School is located at 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT.

Back to Top


PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT:
Gus Spohn

Director of Communications
203-432-3466
gus.spohn@yale.edu

Christian Scharen
Associate Director
Yale Center for Faith & Culture
203-432-8671
Christian.Scharen@yale.edu

For immediate release: January 24, 2005

Yale Divinity School Announces Theology Live Project

New Haven, CT - A lecture series sponsored by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture will explore how faith can have substantial public impact for good without use of intolerant or coercive attitudes toward others. The series, entitled "Theology Live," offers Yale and the broader New Haven community the opportunity to engage with and learn from leaders in diverse fields who have "gone live" with their ideas, endeavoring to engage and shape the broader public with a voice rooted in and informed by faith.

"The series is different than the typical approaches that explore religion and public life," said Christian Scharen, associate director of the Center. "Whereas 'public theology' tends to consider faith in relation to public policy issues, and questions about 'religion in public' tend to follow John Rawls in asking about the proper place of religion in a liberal democracy, our approach will engage academics, public intellectuals, and practitioners for whom faith matters."

According to Miroslav Volf, director of the Center, the core question the series is asking is close to the core question of the Center itself: "To what extent can faith make itself manifest as generative of human flourishing in all spheres of life?"

The series begins February 4 with a lecture by Robert Wuthnow, the Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor of Sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University and the author of many books on the sociology of religion, including the classic Restructuring of American Religion.His lecture will be delivered at 11:30 a.m. in the Divinity School 's Neibuhr Hall.

Following are the subsequent lectures in the series, all free and open to the public:

  • Phil Vischer, February 10 at 6:00 p.m. at Yale Divinity School, Neibuhr Hall. Mr. Vischer, founder of Big Idea Productions and creator of Veggie Tales, has had an impact on millions through his innovative films, including the acclaimed feature-length film, Jonah.
  • Dorothy Bass, February 24 at 6:00 p.m. at Yale Divinity School, Latourette Hall. Dr. Bass, leader of the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People of Faith, is actively contributing to a revival movement in American Christianity focused on the practice of faith in all spheres of life. Many churches and book groups have used her most influential work, Practicing Our Faith.
  • Nicholas Wolterstorff, March 23 at 6:00 p.m., Yale Divinity School, RSV Room. Dr. Wolterstorff, a highly respected teacher, is the Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, emeritus, and the author of a wide range of works, including the recent anthology titled Educating for Shalom.
  • James Forbes, April 1 at 11:30 a.m., Yale Divinity School, Latourette Hall. The Rev. Dr. Forbes, regularly named one of America 's best preachers, leads the historic Riverside Church in New York City. In the tradition of that great church, Dr. Forbes speaks to the most pressing contemporary problems, alternately invoking the fire of the prophetic and the balm of the merciful.
  • Jeffery Stout, April 7 at 6:00 p.m., Yale Divinity School, Neibuhr Hall. Dr. Stout, one of the most effective and incisive interpreters of the moral ligaments that bind our nation's common life, serves as chair of the Department of Religion at Princeton University and is the current president of the American Academy of Religion. His most recent work, Democracy and Tradition, has sparked fresh conversations about religious traditions within the American polity.
  • Phyllis Tickle, April 22, 11:30 a.m., Yale Divinity School, Latourette Hall. Ms. Tickle has made a tremendous impact on religious publishing, both as an editor and as a first-rate author. For many years the religion editor at Publishers Weekly, she helped shape a booming section of the book market and has keen insights into the spiritual tenor of modern times. Additionally, she has published widely on religious themes, including a series of well-received memoirs of growing up in rural Tennessee and a three-volume edition of the Daily Office.
  • C. William Pollard, Retired Chairman, The ServiceMaster Company, lecture TBA.

More information is available at www.yale.edu/faith. Chris Scharen can be reached directly at: 203.432.8671 or Christian.Scharen@yale.edu.

Back to Top


PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT: Gus Spohn 203-432-3466
Christian Scharen
Associate Director
Yale Center for Faith and Culture
203-432-8671

For immediate release: December 2, 2004

Yale Divinity School Announces Awards for Linking Faith, Values and Life

New Haven, CT -A series of awards given by Yale Divinity School will explore the relationship of faith to daily life, including such issues as the place of moral values in public discourse that created such controversy during the 2004 presidential election.

The four $5,000 awards, given under the Faith as a Way of Life project at the Divinity School 's Center for Faith & Culture, will be used to design creative ways to teach future church leaders, both lay and ordained, ways of living faith and values in all spheres of life.

Christian Scharen, Associate Director at the Center for Faith & Culture, said "We're very impressed with the way our award recipients have caught the vision for teaching in theological education that focuses future pastors and lay leaders on the task of how to live the faith holistically and how to mediate faith as a way of life to persons, communities, and cultures."

The awards were given as a result of a competition that solicited ideas for turning seminary education toward the complexity of living faithful lives in today's world. This kind of complexity was demonstrated clearly in the 2004 election, which showed that many people experience a disconnect between private faith and values and public institutions, even while many others long for a connection in these arenas.

Winners of the awards are from schools representing various Christian denominations and regions of the nation, yet all exhibit a passion for deepening the facility of pastoral leaders to think theologically about their lives and the world and to communicate that to congregations. Each of the courses proposed will be developed and taught over the next few years, and findings from the courses will eventually be disseminated to theological schools across the country for possible replication.

Professors Gary Parrett and Paul Lim of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in the Greater Boston area proposed a course focused on history, theology, and practice of catechesis-the practices of teaching faith to new Christians. They seek "to inculcate a more holistic way of being-in-the-world for both the classroom learners and the parishioners, fostering a distinctive Christian identity while not losing the relevance."

Professors Ann Garrido and Celeste Mueller of The Aquinas Institute in St. Louis, MO, proposed a course that envisions church leaders as practical theologians who make the connections between theology and life. They believe that certain habits of mind and heart are what foster the ability of students "to be ministers who make faith a way of life and help communities to do so in the context of authentic theological conversation."

Professors Bruce Ashford and David Nelson of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, will develop a course to assist pastors to serve families trying 'to live wisely in God's world by focusing on training parents to train their children to think and live Christianly." The idea, novel for a Southern Baptist seminary, is to engage and interact with various dimensions of culture in order to model and mediate a thoughtful living of faith in the midst of all spheres of life, rather than maintaining a separate and disconnected stance in relation to culture.

The fourth award went to Professor Ian Markham of Hartford Seminary in Hartford, CT, who proposed a course that imaginatively takes up the daily devotional practices of average Christians. In Markham 's course, students will be asked to consider both the personal and communal public impacts of their personal practices of prayer, meditation and scripture reading. Markham wants students to practice as well as reflect on these most basic of religious actions so that they are more effective at forming communities where prayer and work intertwine seamlessly.

The Faith as a Way of Life Project is supported by funding from the Lilly Endowment Inc. in Indianapolis, IN. The Project's mission is to " equip pastors for excellence in the central task of Christian ministry: helping to mediate faith to persons, communities, and cultures as a life-integrating and life-transforming reality." Further information is available on the web at http://www.yale.edu/faith/initiatives/fwl.html.

Back to Top


PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT: Gus Spohn 203-432-3466

For immediate release: November 3, 2004

Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee Focus of Yale Conference

New Haven, CT -- An international group of scholars gathered at Yale Divinity School and at the University's Whitney Humanities Center October 23-25 to grapple with questions of religion, ethnicity and identity in the Galilee of Jesus, including the centuries leading up to and following Jesus' ministry.

The conference, entitled Ancient Galilee in Interaction: RELIGION, ETHNICITY, AND IDENTITY, addressed the issue of Hellenistic influences in the region - a topic of scholarly discussion fueled in the 1960's by publication of Martin Hengel's classic text Judaism and Hellenism. In that book, Hengel argued for a heavy Hellenistic influence in Israel over against previous interpretations that viewed early Christianity and formative Judaism as occurring on a more isolated Semitic stage.

The conference's opening address was delivered by Sean Freyne of Trinity College, Dublin, who spoke on the topic Galilean Studies: Old Issues, New Questions. Freyne is author of the 1983 book Galilee: From Alexander the Great to Hadrian, which focused the debate more narrowly on Galilee.

Over three days, the approximately 70 conferees grappled with a multitude of interpretations of a steadily growing body of literary, historical and archeological material that offers intriguing evidence about the degree of Hellenization in ancient Galilee. Sometimes that evidence may even seem contradictory, such as the presence of mosaics with pagan motifs alongside stepped pools characteristic of ritual baths common in rabbinic and Pharisaic circles.

Yale Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge, an authority on Hellenistic Judaism and the history of the early Church, suggested that one outcome of the conference will be to force anyone who has wrestled with the complex interactions that were discussed to "think a little bit harder about how these interactions change dramatically over time." The situation in Galilee around the time of Jesus was "a little more complex than some of the earlier debates suggested," he said. Attridge expressed hope that the compelling issues raised at the conference would help accomplish one of the gathering's main purposes: to encourage more work in this area by a new generation of young scholars.

Eighteen papers were delivered at the conference on subjects as varied as Did Galilee Decline in the Fifth Century (Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ); Was There a Priestly Revival in Late Antique Galilee ? (Seth Schwartz, Jewish Theological Institute of America); Distribution Maps of Archaeological Data in the Galilee as an Attempt to Create Ethnic and Religion Zones (Mordechai Aviam, University of Rochester); and Small Change? Coins and Weights as Mirrors of Ethnic Transition in First/Second Century C.E. Tiberias (Marcus Sigismund, University of Wuppertal).

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany and the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund provided funding for the conference. Sponsoring the event with the Divinity School were the Office of the Provost, the Program in Judaic Studies, the Department of Religious Studies, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Whitney Humanities Center.

Back to To


PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT: Gus Spohn 203-432-3466

For immediate release: November 2, 2004

Scholar of World Christianity to Deliver Bainton Lecture at Yale Divinity School

Andrew F. Walls of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland will deliver the Roland Bainton Lecture at Yale Divinity School on Nov. 16. The topic of his talk, which is free and open to the public, is "The Vernacular Principle in Christian History." The lecture will begin at 5:15 p.m. in the H. Richard Niebuhr Lecture Hall, with a reception to follow. There will also be a live broadcast of the lecture on the Yale Divinity web site at http://www.yale.edu/divinity/video/live.campus.event.shtml.

In this lecture, Walls will explore the tension in Christian history between the process that produces special "Church" languages, hallowed by Christian tradition, for worship and theological discourse, and the process that appropriates the vernacular of popular speech for these purposes. He will examine this tension globally, paying particular attention to the often-neglected case of Africa. The lecture will also raise questions about the present position of English as the "new Latin" in ecumenical debate.

An historian of world Christianity and of Christianity and culture, Walls is Honorary Professor in the University of Edinburgh, Director of the Scottish Institute of Missionary Studies at the University of Aberdeen, and Professor at the Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Centre in Ghana.

He retired as director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World at the University of Edinburgh in 1996, but he still serves as curator of the Centre's research collections. The purpose of the Centre is to advance scholarship in Christianity outside the Western hemisphere, especially through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches. Research and teaching at the Centre focuses primarily on Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Walls is a graduate of the University of Oxford and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and served in West Africa at Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone and at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he was Head of the Department of Religion. For many years he was Professor of Religious Studies and Riddoch Lecturer in Comparative Religion at the University of Aberdeen before becoming director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World. Walls has been Visiting Professor of World Christianity at Yale and at Harvard and Guest Professor of Ecumenics and Mission at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a past General Secretary of the International Association of Mission Studies.

His recent publications include The Missionary Movement in Christian History (Orbis 1996), and The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History (Orbis 2002).

Back to Top


PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT: Gus Spohn 203-432-3466

For Immediate Release: October 21, 2004

Diane B. Obenchain to discuss "God, Confucius and Human Rights"

Diane B. Obenchain, visiting professor of religious studies at Fudan University in China, will deliver the Bartlett Lecture on Tuesday, November 9 at Yale Divinity School on the topic "God, Confucius, and Human Rights." A scholar of comparative religion and culture, she will discuss current interest on the part of Chinese scholars and students in both religion and in the academic study of religion. To illustrate, she will reflect on Chinese ways of understanding the Christian contribution to Confucian cultivation and the Confucian contribution to contemporary Christian moral life, especially as regards human rights. The talk will begin at 5:15 p.m. in the H. Richard Niebuhr Lecture Hall at Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect St. A reception will follow.

A widely published author and speaker on Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist and other religious traditions in China, she has taught the academic study of religion in China since 1988, primarily at Peking University, where she was visiting professor of religious studies from 1988 to 2002. She has also taught at Waseda University ( Tokyo ), the National University of Singapore, and was Associate Professor of Religion at Kenyon College with tenure until 1993. In 2003 Obenchain was a research fellow at Yale Divinity School. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative History of Religion from Harvard University.

She is co-editor of Christ and the Dominions of Civilization, the third volume in a multi-volume collection of papers published by Trinity Press International entitled God and Globalization: Theological Ethics in a Pluralistic World. Obenchain has several books in progress, including the Small Dictionary for the Study of Religion, to be published in both Chinese and English under a grant from The Henry Luce Foundation, and a textbook to introduce the study of religion in China, forthcoming from Peking University Press.

Back to Top


PRINTER FRIENDLY PDF

YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL News Release

CONTACT: Gus Spohn 203-432-3466

For Immediate Release: October 19, 2004

Five Yale Divinity School Graduates Honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards

Five graduates of Yale Divinity School were honored October 12 during the school's Alumni Awards Banquet at the New Haven Lawn Club. The banquet was held in conjunction with the annual convocation and reunions, which took place October 11-14. Previous recipients of Yale Divinity School alumni awards include, among others, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., '56 B.D., former Yale chaplain; Sen. John Danforth, '63 B.D.; and theologian Stanley Hauerwas, '65 B.D., of Duke Divinity School.

Lois Capps, '64 M.A.R., Santa Barbara, CA

The Alumni Award for Distinction in Community Service went to Lois Capps, '64 M.A.R., U.S. Representative from California 's 23 rd Congressional District. Capps is the founder and co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus. She also draws on her extensive healthcare background as co-chair of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, the House Cancer Caucus, the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus, the Congressional School Health and Safety Caucus, the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus, and the House Democratic Task Force on Health.

Capps was born in Ladysmith, WI in 1938. After graduating with honors from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, she worked as a nursing instructor in Portland, Oregon. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Religion from Yale Divinity School while working as head nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She has received honorary doctorates from Pacific Lutheran University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.

She was sworn in as a freshman member of the 105th Congress in1998, succeeding her late husband, Congressman Walter Capps, in California 's 22nd District. Since January 2003 she has served as representative of the newly drawn 23rd District.

Robert A. Evans, '59 B.A., '63 M.Div, Simsbury, CT

Robert A. Evans, '59 B.A., '63 M.Div., Executive Director of the Plowshares Institute, was honored with the William Sloane Coffin Award for Peace and Justice.

The Plowshares Institute is a Simsbury, CT-based organization that seeks to promote a more just and peaceful world community through research and education, service to developing communities, and innovative training in conflict transformation. As executive director, Evans leads intensive traveling seminars in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and conducts national and international seminars on skills training in conflict transformation. He serves as a senior fellow at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, South Africa and as senior trainer at the Centre for Empowering for Reconciliation and Peace based in Jakarta, Indonesia.   

He also studied at the universities of Edinburgh, Berlin, and Basel and received his doctorate from Union Theological Seminary in New York.  An ordained Presbyterian pastor, he has served churches in the U.S. and in Europe.

Christopher R. Glaser, '77 M.Div., Atlanta, GA

The Alumni Award for Distinction in Lay Ministry was presented to Christopher R. Glaser, '77 M.Div., spiritual leader of Midtown Spiritual Community, an interfaith contemplative community in Atlanta, GA. While at YDS, Glaser founded the predecessor group to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) Coalition and, during a campus ministry internship at the University of Pennsylvania in 1976, founded a gay and lesbian peer-counseling program. During his senior year at Yale Divinity School, he began serving on the Task Force to Study Homosexuality of the former United Presbyterian Church as its only openly gay member. Upon graduating in 1977, Glaser served 10 years as founding director of the Lazarus Project, a ministry of reconciliation between the church and the GLBT community located at the West Hollywood Presbyterian Church in California. As an openly gay candidate for the ministry, he was denied ordination. Glaser helped found, and later led, Presbyterians for Lesbian & Gay Concerns (now More Light Presbyterians).
Glaser has published nine books, including Uncommon Calling, Coming Out as Sacrament, and, most recently, Henri's Mantle: 100 Meditations on Nouwen's Legacy.

George A. Lindbeck '46 B.D., '55 Ph.D, Newark, VT

George A. Lindbeck '46 B.D., '55 Ph.D., received the Alumni Award for Distinction in Theological Education. Born in 1923 and the son of Lutheran missionaries in China, Lindbeck came to the U.S. when he was 17. He earned his undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College before earning his B.D. and Ph.D. from Yale. From 1951 until 1993, Lindbeck taught at the Divinity School and in the University's Department of Religious Studies.

He is a member of the AAAS, a recipient of the Wilbur Cross Medal from the Yale Graduate School Alumni Association, and holds seven honorary doctorates from the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of numerous books, including The Nature of Doctrine (1984) and, most recently, The Church in a Postliberal Age (2002).

Lindbeck has been extremely active on the ecumenical front, including service as a delegated observer of the Lutheran World Federation at the Second Vatican Council. He also served as a member of the national and international Lutheran/Roman Catholic dialogue groups from their beginnings until his retirement from the Lutheran co-chairmanship of the international group in 1987.

Robert E. Seymour, Jr., '48 B.D., Chapel Hill, NC

Robert E. Seymour, Jr., '48 B.D., pastor emeritus at Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, NC, received the Alumni Award for Distinction in Ordained Ministry. Binkley Memorial, which Seymour served for 30 years, is a congregation that has been on the front lines in the battle over integration and participation of women in Baptist churches in the South. One of the first African-American interns at Binkley Memorial was James Forbes, well known now as senior minister at Riverside Church in New York City. Seymour became Binkley Memorial's first pastor after serving churches in Warrenton and Mars Hill, NC.

Born in Greenwood, South Carolina, Seymour came to Yale Divinity School as a Navy chaplaincy candidate after completing an undergraduate degree at Duke. He received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Edinburgh.

After his retirement in 1988, Seymour founded the Chapel Hill Senior Center. He has written four books: Whites Only, Aging Without Apology, A Village Voice, and When Life Becomes Worthwhile. He is also a regular columnist for The Chapel Hill News.

 

Back to Top