Glossolalia: A New Peer-Review Journal at YDS

By Rebecca Lenn ’10 M.A.R.

At Yale Divinity School, students are always transforming the way scholarship is done inside and outside the classroom.  A student publication that responds, honors and celebrates student scholarship in all fields of study here at YDS is long overdue.  Malik Muhammed ’09 M.A.R. and I are now proud to introduce the inaugural edition of Glossolalia, the new student, peer-review journal at YDS.

After months of conversation about the many ways we could create a public forum for student scholarship on campus, the idea of launching an interdisciplinary scholarly journal published semi-annually arose.  A team of twelve student reviewers convened in March last spring, then solicited and reviewed 20 submissions representing a variety of academic disciplines at YDS.

Because of the dialectical nature of the peer review process and the interdisciplinary orientation of the scholarly work submitted, we believe the ideas and observations in all of the journal entries have made a significant contribution to the scholarly discourse (and will continue to do so) among students at YDS—covering such topics as religion and literature; religion, science and technology; bioethics; Old and New Testament interpretation; gender justice; homiletics; pastoral care; theology; and theological ethics.

The diversity of interests and scholarly expressions presented in this journal is a testament to what I would call the “multi-vocality” of scholarship at YDS—scholarship that starts with each and every YDS student.  The spring 2009 edition of the publication can viewed here.  We pray that the YDS community is inspired from these pages to answer the call to thinking, speaking, writing, and interpreting as a way of partaking in the life of God in the world.

In an editor’s letter included in the spring edition, Malik Muhammed explained the connection to the term “Glossolalia” in naming the publication:

Glossolalia, the gift of tongues, is precisely that—a gift.  The imparting of this gift set in motion the ministry of the Christian Church.  This ministry, beginning in a room with people hidden away from the world, unveiled a reality, community, and a power that has lasted two millennia...In crisis we are called to speak of the mystery of God’s life in the world through Christ, but to do so recognizing our surroundings and the array of languages and interpretations within our context.  Here at YDS, we understand this call and the challenges it poses in speaking, preaching, teaching, and writing.  Yet rather than hiding away from the world, we have chosen to speak as our Christian ancestors have illustrated for us and are compelled by the same faith, love, and Holy Spirit to stand before others to speak.  Glossolalia as a spiritual gift cannot be taken lightly.  It is a call to serve the world in a unique way through the gift of communication and interpretation.  As a spiritual gift, God endows us in various ways to communicate the manifold ways that the mystery influences and transforms us.”

The next edition—under the leadership of this year’s co-coordinators and co-editors, Willa Lengyel, M.A.R. ’10 and Ryan McAnnally-Linz, M.A.R. ’10—will be published online and in print (by request) at the end of the fall semester.  Like last spring, students will submit their work to a board of student reviewers and will undergo a two-tier process of anonymous peer review and editing before publication.  The submission deadline this semester is Oct. 30.  Submissions should be five to seventeen pages in length and can cover all disciplines under the umbrella of religious studies.  For more information, contact the Glossolalia team at Glossolaliayds@gmail.com.