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“We know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached here, powerfully, in word and deed.  As you deepen your relationship with Christ, serve the community and celebrate your heritage, we know that you, Rev. Moss, will continue that good work.”  YDS Dean Harold Attridge, May 31, 2009, at the installation of Otis Moss III ’95 M.Div. as pastor of 8,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, led previously by Jeremiah Wright, who locked horns with then-parishioner Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.

"He believed you could not hide behind the ivory tower of academia or the sanctity of the church.  You must be actively involved in all that you do." Marcia Littell, widow of Franklin H. Littell ’46 DIV, ’46 Ph.D., a pioneer in the fields of Holocaust and genocide studies, May 25, 2009, in an obituary published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Willis Jenkins, the Margaret A. Farley Assistant Professor of Social Ethics, is among 12 young scholars selected for The John Templeton Award for Theological Promise for his book Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology, NY: Oxford Univ. Press 2008, which explores the significance of the natural world for Christian understandings of relationship with God.  Awards were formally presented during May 22 ceremonies held at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.


"Gross immorality in the financial sector" and “questions about whether the fundamental moral fiber of the country is corroded" may be part of the reason for the spike in applications this year to Yale Divinity School and other schools of theological education.  Dean Harold Attridge, June 9, 2009, Fox News, in the story ”Harsh Job Market Has Students Flocking to Religious Education Programs.”


Leander Keck, Winkley Professor Emeritus of Biblical Theology, has an article in The Word Leaps the Gap: Essays on Scripture and Theology in Honor of Richard B. Hays. (Eerdmans, 2008)  Keck’s article is entitled “Is Matthew Arnold Also Among the Prophets? A Victorian Critic Interprets Paul.”

Barbara K. Lundblad ’79 M.Div., the Joe R. Engle professor of preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York, will preach July 12 on “Day 1,” a nationally broadcast radio/web program.   In addition to the sermon by Lundblad, the program will include interviews conducted by the program’s host and executive producer, Peter Wallace.  Lundblad’s sermon, based on the story of the beheading of John the Baptist (Mark 6), is entitled “Two Very Different Banquets.” In it she compares Herod’s ghastly banquet with Christ’s feeding of the 5,000, which follows in Mark’s gospel.

Tyler Wigg-Stevenson’04 M.Div, founding director of the Two Futures Project, a movement of American Christians for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, will speak on June 21 at National Cathedral in Washington, DC on the subject “Faith and the Future of Nuclear Weapons.”  An ordained minister, Wigg-Stevenson also serves as policy director for Faithful Security: the National Religious Partnership on Nuclear Weapons.  Wigg-Stevenson’s talk is part of National Cathedral’s series The Sunday Forum: Critical Issues in the Light of Faith.  The talk, which begins at 10:10 am, will be broadcast live on the Forum’s web site.

Three Yale Divinity School students are among the 2009 class of 20 Beatitudes Society Summer Fellows who are serving as summer interns in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Washington, DC. as advocates for peace, justice and compassion. Scott Claassen ’11 M.Div.  will intern at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco; Rachel Duncan ’11 M.Div.  will be at Interfaith Worker Justice in Chicago, IL; and Caleb Lines ’11 M.Div. has a fellowship with Bread for the World in Washington, DC.

Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, has been appointed to the Inter-religious Dialogue and Cooperation Taskforce of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  The first assignment for Volf and other members of the Taskforce was to discuss themes and ideas for Obama’s recent speech in Cairo, Egypt with Ben Rhoades, Obama's foreign policy speechwriter.

“I am tempted to say that in Cairo President Obama delivered an historic speech on relations between the United States and Muslims around the world. Speeches aren’t historic when they are delivered, however; they become historic after they’ve shaped history. What is certain even now, mere few hours after the speech, is that it was brilliant — visionary and practical, deeply human and political, moral and pragmatic, all at the same time. These wise words, beautifully crafted and compellingly delivered, have the potential of becoming seeds from which a new future will sprout and flourish.”  Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, June 4, 2009, in the Reuters blog, FaithWorld: Religion, Faith, and Ethics.


Phyllis Holmer, the wife of Professor Emeritus Paul L. Holmer, died on May 19 in Golden Valley, MN. She was born in 1924 and first came to Yale in 1944 as the bride of Paul Holmer, who had returned to finish a PhD interrupted by the war. From 1960 until 1986, the Holmers lived on Swarthmore Street.  There, generations of YDS students, staff and faculty enjoyed her hospitality and a long string of students and scholars found a room and meals.  She and Paul retired to Minnesota where, despite her own battle with cancer, she nursed Paul through his difficult end with Parkinson’s in 2004. A memorial service is scheduled at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota on Friday, July 10.  Memorials in lieu of flowers can be sent to: The Paul L. Holmer Scholarship Fund, Yale Divinity School, Office of Development, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511

“Too often it’s boiled down to God versus gays.  We’re living proof that that is a false dichotomy.” Obadiah Ballinger ’08 M.Div., April 23, 2009, Yale Daily News, in the article “Match made in heaven?” about the impending marriage of Ballinger and his partner, Javen Swanson ’09 M.Div. in Marquand Chapel.  Ballinger and Swanson were married in Marquand the day before commencement weekend, on May 22.


Rebekah Davis ’06 M.Div. is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District.  A graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, she also holds a certificate in political studies from the Institute of Political Studies in Aix-en-Provence, France and completed the American University of Cairo course in migration and refugee studies.  She has worked as an educator, embassy liaison, and chaplain and is currently employed with Alegent Healthcare.


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