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An electronic periodical for the alumni community of the Yale Divinity School


FALL 2004





A special jazz vespers service at Yale University 's Battell Chapel, the announcement of five distinguished alumni awards, and a series of lectures by well-known figures in the religious community highlighted Yale Divinity School 's 2004 Convocation and Reunions, which was held Oct. 11-14. The Convocation also included celebration of the 150 th anniversary of Berkeley Divinity School, the Episcopal Church seminary that affiliated with Yale Divinity School in 1971.

Jazz VespersApproximately 300 alumni and guests attended the three-day celebration, which marked the 50th reunion of the Class of 1954 and the 25 th reunion of the Class of 1979. Cluster gatherings were held for the Classes of 1958-60, 1973-75, and 1993-95.

The jazz vespers service, celebrated at Battell Chapel on the first day of Convocation, was conducted by the Rev. Dwight Andrews, '77 M.Div. The service drew about 800 worshippers and included participation of the 30-voice Atlanta Community Jazz Chorus. The service was dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Ronald B. Packnett, M.Div. '79. A fund honoring Packnett and continuing the tradition of excellence and diversity at YDS has been established, The Ronald B. Packnett Scholarship Fund, which will target African-American students who feel called to ministerial service in the African-American church.

The Lyman Beecher Lectures were delivered by The Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH and a colleague of both Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. He spoke on the topic Preaching as Prophetic Ministry. He challenged ministers to be “the voice of peace,” to “proclaim the Good News to the poor,” to never be “reduced or intimidated” by power, and to recognize that prophets appear “sometimes in rags but seldom in royal robes.”

Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, delivered the Kent Shaffer Lectures on the subject Christ in the Early Christian Tradition: Texts Disputed and Apocryphal. Ehrman, a popular authority on orthodoxy and heresy in the first three centuries of Christianity, outlined the primary ways in which early Christian groups tried to restrict readings of the ancient Christian manuscripts to suit their own purposes.

Other lecturers included the Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman and the Rev. Mark Allen McIntosh. Hoffman, the Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy at the Jewish Institute of Religion at Hebrew Union College in New York, delivered the Aidan J. Kavanagh Lecture on Enculturation and Illness and Lex in Lexus. McIntosh, the Frances Cheney lecturer, is associate professor of theology at Loyola University in Chicago and canon theologian to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. He spoke on How God makes Theologians.

Preachers during convocation included the Rev. Stephen Bauman, senior minister at Christ Church United Methodist, New York City, M.Div., ‘79; the Rev. Barbara K. Lundblad, M.Div., 79, the Joe R. Engle Associate Professor of Preaching, Union Theological Seminary, New York City; the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard Divinity School and Pusey Minster in the Memorial Church of Harvard University; and the Rev. Javier Viera, S.T.M, '98, senior pastor at Mamaroneck United Methodist Church, Mamaroneck, New York.

The contributions of Harry Adams, the Horace Bushnell Professor Emeritus of Christian Nurture, and his wife, Manette, were celebrated during ceremonies outside Marquand Chapel on a bright, sunny, but windswept afternoon. A section of the Quadrangle on the north side of the Chapel near Beecher House was dedicated in their honor, and a special poem for the occasion from University President Richard Levin was read. Though he retired more than four years ago, Adams has continued to be a generous and active member of the YDS community even after his “retirement”—as demonstrated when he accepted President Richard Levin's call to be acting dean of the Divinity School when Richard Wood stepped down at the end of 2000. At that time, President Levin called him “one of the jewels of the University, always willing to assume major responsibility without hesitation.” Professor Adams remains active with the University's United Way campaign and the Connecticut Food Bank; serves on the boards of the Koerner Center for Emeritus Faculty and the Grove Street Cemetery; and is Chair of the Board of Incorporators of the Elizabethan Club. Manette Adams works with several students through Literacy Volunteers and serves on the board of the Yale University Women's Organization. Both are active in the United Church on the Green, where Harry is a member of the Board of Stewards.

Dean Harold Attridge presented his State of the School Address at the Annual General Meeting of Alumni and pronounced Yale Divinity School “in great shape.” He said there is very good morale on the faculty and student level and expressed hope that improvements will continue to be made with the help of alumni. Attridge cited student recruitment as one area where significant improvements have occurred and pointed to further diversification of the faculty and student body as a high priority for the future.

Coming soon: complete, printable Convocation coverage at www.yale.edu/divinity, including photos and complete texts of sermons

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Alumni awards were presented at Convocation's Alumni Awards Banquet to George A. Lindbeck, '46 B.D., '55 Ph.D., Pitkin Professor of Historical Theology at Yale (Emeritus), Distinction in Theological Education; Christopher R. Glaser, '77 M.Div., gay and lesbian rights activist and spiritual leader of the Midtown Spiritual Community in Atlanta, Distinction in Lay Ministry; Robert A. Evans, '63 M.Div., expert in conflict resolution and executive director of the Plowshares Institute, William Sloane Coffin Award for Peace and Justice; Lois Capps, '64 M.A.R., congresswoman from California's 23rd District, Distinction in Community Service; and Robert E. Seymour, Jr., '48 B.D., Distinction in Ordained Ministry, who served as the first pastor at Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, NC, a congregation at the forefront of the battle over integration and participation of women in Baptist churches in the South.

More on this story on our Convocation Alumni Awards site.

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Gustav D. Spohn, who earned the Master of Arts in Religion degree from Yale Divinity School in 1973, was appointed Director of Communications at YDS, effective October 11. In this capacity, he has responsibility for media relations and development of the Divinity School web site as a vehicle for Gus Spohncommunicating with YDS constituencies—including alumni, current and prospective students, faculty and administration, donors and friends. A considerable part of that process will be incorporating YDS's alumni magazine, Spectrum, into the web site as an electronic publication.

Spohn was an editor at Religion News Service during the 1980s and 1990s and served as U.S. correspondent for the Church Times of London. His freelance articles have appeared in National Catholic Reporter, the American News Service, and the Colliers Encyclopedia annual supplements. He began his career as a journalist at weekly and daily newspapers in Connecticut. Most recently, he was a writer in Yale University 's Office of Development, where he worked on a number of YDS grant proposals to foundations.

Prior to earning his M.A.R. at Yale, he received a B.A. in Religion from Wesleyan University. He is a member of Spring Glen Church (United Church of Christ) in Hamden, CT.

“I am very pleased at this opportunity to return to Yale Divinity School,” said Spohn. “YDS is one of the leading theological schools in the world – and unique in very significant ways. It is my aim to establish a structure that will serve to fulfill, and to communicate, the school's mission of educating through critical engagement with church traditions in the context of the contemporary world.”

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On April 15-16, 2005, Yale Divinity School will host a conference and celebration in honor of Margaret A. Farley, the Gilbert L. Stark Professor of Christian Ethics— Just Love: Feminism, Ethics, and Theology in a Global Context. Professor Farley has been on the faculty of YDS since 1971. Details of the event will be posted after December 1 on the Yale Divinity web site at www.yale.edu/divinity.

The Rectors of Large Episcopal Parishes Conference, “Speaking from Faith,” will be held June 5-7, 2005 in Alexandria, VA. For more information, contact Pamela Wesley, pamela.wesley@yale.edu, Director of Development for Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

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Persons planning on attending the Yale Reception at the Annual Meeting of the AAR/SBL in San Antonio, TX Nov. 20-23 should note that the time and place of the reception (AM 21-120) has been changed from what is listed on p. 213 of the program. The new time and place is Sunday 9:00-11:00, Marriott Rivercenter (MRC) Salon H. The change will be noted in the supplemental program that will be distributed at registration.

A number of Yale-affiliated scholars will be participating in panels and making presentations at the AAR/SBL meeting. Among those with Yale Divinity affiliations, including visiting scholars, are Harry Attridge, Randall Balmer, David Kelsey, Carolyn Sharp, Dale Martin, Christl Maier, Shane Berg, Matthew Neujahr, David Bartlett, Leander Keck, Jeremy Hultin, Stephen Marini, Yolanda Smith, and John Fitzgerald.

Following is a schedule of Yale University panelists and presenters:

AAR/SBL 2004 Annual Meetings
Yale University Participants

Saturday, November 20
Special Topics Forum
MRC-Salon G
Martha L. Moore-Keish, Yale University, Panelist
Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics Group
John Ahn, Yale University
A Light to the Nations: The Sociological Approach in Korean American Hermeneutics (30min)
North American Religions Section
Stephen A. Marini (YDS visiting), Wellesley College, Responding
History of Christianity Section
Randal Balmer (YDS visiting), Barnard College, Columbia University, Panelist
Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Group
Yolanda Yvette Smith, Yale University, Presiding
Theme: A Dialogue among Womanist, Mujerista, Asian, and Native American Women on the Impact of HIV/AIDS Both Nationally and Internationally
Philosophy of Religion Section
Andrew C. Dole, Yale University
The Changing Fortune of Kant's Copernican Revolution
*New Program Unit
Christian Late Antiquity and its Reception Consultation
Alexander Treiger, Yale University
Arabic Translations of Greek Patristics: The Case of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (30min)
Reformed Theology and History Group
David H. Kelsey, Yale University
The Ecological Niche of a Doctrine of Scripture in the “Body of Divinity”
*New Program Unit
Warfare in Ancient Israel Consultation
T. M. Lemos, Yale University
Shame and the Mutilation of Enemies in the Hebrew Bible (25min)
Biblical Criticism and Literary Criticism Section
Carolyn J. Sharp, Yale Divinity School
Foreign Rulers and the Ironizing of Power in the Hebrew Bible (30min)

Sunday, November 21
Reformed Theology and History Group
Martha L. Moore-Keish, Yale University, Presiding
Theme: The Role of Discipline in the Reformed Tradition
Beyond Belief: A Conversation with Elaine Pagels
CC-Ballroom C-3
Dale Martin, Yale University, Respondent (15min)

Hellenistic Judaism Section/International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies
MRC-Salon C
Joshua Ezra Burns, Yale University
The ‘Special Prim' and Interpretation of the Book of Esther in the Hellenistic Era (20min)
Book of Psalms Section
Christl M. Maier, Yale Divinity School
Zion Will Be Called Our Mother”: Psalm 87 as a Reappraisal of the Zion Tradition (30min)
Hellenistic Moral Philosophy and Early Christian Section
MRC-Salon D
John T. Fitzgerald (YDS visiting), University of Miami, Presiding
Christian Theology and the Bible Section
Jaroslav Pelikan, Yale University (emeritus) (20min)
Pauline Epistles Section
Timothy Marquis, Yale University
It's Like He's Right Here with Us: Ancient Theories of Media and the “Letter of Christ” Metaphor in 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 (25min)
Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section
Mathew Neujahr, Yale University
The Hunt for Ancient Near Eastern Apocalypses (30min)
Hellenistic Moral Philosophy and Early Christianity Section
MRC-Salon D
Brent Nongbri, Yale University
Super Argentun et Aurum Gratia Bona: The Charizomai Word Group in the Documentary Papyri (30min)
Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds Group
Shane A. Berg, Yale University
An Unpublished Hebrew Papyrus in the Beinecke Library of Yale University (25min)
Religion in the Public Arena
Dale Martin, Yale University
Writings from the Greco-Roman World Editorial Board Meeting
MRC-Conference 1
John T. Fitzgerald (YDS visiting), University of Miami, Presiding
Women in the Biblical World Section
Christl M. Maier, Yale Divinity School
“Your Love is Better than Wine” (Canticles 1:2): Eating and Drinking as Symbols of Sexual Intercourse (25min)

Monday, November 22
Philo of Alexandria Group
Harold W. Attridge, Yale University
Philo and John: Two Riffs on One Logos? (40min)
“Publish and Parish”- Writing from/for Church and Synagogue
MRC – Salon C
David Bartlett, Yale University, Panelist
Aramaic Studies Section
Siam Bhayro, Yale University
A Fragment pf a Suriac Homily for Palm Sunday from the Cairo Geniza (30min)
Paul and Politics Group
MRC-Conference 3/4
Dale B. Martin, Yale University
Paul, Sexuality, and the Politics of Interpretation: A Critical Survey of Recent Scholarship (30min)
Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section
MRC-Conference 14
Harold W. Attridge, Yale University, Respondent (15min)
Pauline Soteriology Group
MRC-Salon H
Leander Keck, Yale University
Issues in Paul's Soteriology (40min)

Tuesday, November 23
Pauline Epistles Section
Jeremy Foreman Hultin, Yale University
Watch Your Mouth: Colossians and Ephesians on Obscene Speech (25min)

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The Alumni Relations Office is seeking nominations for the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Awards and for the 21-member Divinity School Alumnal Board, which will add three new members in 2005. The deadline for nominations in each case is January 10, 2005. Details on the nomination processes will be available by the end of November on the YDS web site at www.yale.edu/divinity.

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Spectrum, the twice-yearly report to graduates and friends of Yale Divinity School, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and the Institute of Sacred Music, will be available more frequently in a new format beginning in 2005. A year-in-review issue will continue to be published and mailed every fall. But at other times Spectrum will be distributed electronically, via the YDS web site at www.yale.edu/divinity. The electronic format will make it possible to deliver news in a more timely fashion and will allow for more interactive communications with readers. The electronic version will be posted in a print-friendly format for readers who prefer to read a printed version of Spectrum.

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Again this summer, YDS will offer a summer term in cooperation with Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Summer Term at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle offers clergy and practitioners, as well as church musicians and those with an interest in worship and the arts, a month-long series of short courses, in subject areas ranging from history and biblical scholarship to literature and the arts. The Summer Term 2005 course line-up follows. Detailed information about registration, including deadlines and course fees, will be posted on the YDS web site at www.yale.edu/divinity.


Yale Divinity School Courses

I. Continuing education courses for clergy and laity. These courses do not carry academic credit, but are available for denominational continuing education credit.

June 6-10

9:00-11:30 Spanish for Ministry - MaryAnn Knag

For students with any level of Spanish who want to improve their ability to use the language in ministerial settings. The course will use prayers, hymns and scripture as the primary teaching devices.

9:00-11:30 Pauline Ethics - Diana Swancutt

This course will examine some of the major Pauline epistles with a view to their ethical teaching and their use in contemporary moral debates.

1:30-4:00 New Testament Apocrypha - Harold Attridge

The course will explore some of the early Christian texts that have caught the popular imagination through works of popular fictions such as the Da Vinci Code. These early Christian texts include the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Truth and the Acts of John.

June 13-17

9:00-11:30 Preaching from the Lectionary - David Bartlett and Robert Wilson

The course will examine texts from both the Old and New Testaments that will appear in the lectionary cycles for the coming liturgical year and how they might best be appropriated for homiletic purposes.

1:30-4:00 Vital Clergy Leadership for Healthy Parishes - Alan Blanchard

Based on research on individual and institutional wellness done by The Episcopal Church's Church Pension Group, Church Foundation and CREDO Institute, this seminar will explore factors necessary for ordained parish leaders to build vital congregations, and to empower lay people to become more deeply involved in personal spiritual growth, institutional development and community life. The course will define and stress the importance of clergy respecting their own spiritual needs and organizational abilities, obtaining institutional support, and building management systems. Case studies of successes and problems will be presented as a means of exploring these issues. The course will be led by Alan Blanchard, president emeritus of the Church Pension Group, and other theological leaders. The course may lead to ongoing parish leadership assistance to the congregations of some or all participants. Participation limited to 20 students

June 20-24

9:00-11:30 Judaism in the Time of Jesus - Jeremy Hultin

Who were the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Herodians? What was it like to be a follower of the traditions of Israel in the context of Roman imperial power? This course will explore these and similar questions with careful attention to primary sources.

1:30-4:00 Pastoral Care with Young Adults - Kristen Leslie

Young Adults, the twenty-something age group, populate our churches, campus ministries, militaries and prisons. Young adults in faith have the capacity to think critically, to search energetically for the ideal, to be appropriately reliant upon a self-chosen authority outside the self, to passionately affirm what they ambivalently believe, and to fleetingly commit to a community that will hold and confirm them and their dreams for the world. In the midst of identity and faith developments, pastoral care with young adults requires a lively capacity to help them make meaning of their lived experiences. In this course we will explore the developmental tasks and religious characteristics of American young adults for the purposes of providing effective and transformative pastoral care.

II. Courses for academic credit (6 credits)

May 24-July 6 (dates tentative)

Elementary Biblical Hebrew (time TBA)
Elementary Biblical Greek (time TBA)

July 11-August 19 (dates tentative)

Elementary Biblical Hebrew (time TBA)
Elementary Biblical Greek (time TBA)

Institute of Sacred Music Courses

The Institute will be offering a series of courses in liturgical study, church music, and religion and the arts. The schedule of those courses will be available in December.

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A limited number of “Pastors of Excellence” scholarships will be available to pastors wishing to participate in the YDS Summer Term program. Candidates must be nominated by members of their congregations, who are asked to explain why their pastor should be considered for an award and how the pastor has made an influence on the congregation and community. Details on the nomination process and the deadline for nominations will be posted on the YDS web site at www.yale.edu/divinity. Last summer, ten “Pastors of Excellence” were selected, each of whom received a $1,000 scholarship.

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Yale Divinity alums who are pursuing career options should not neglect to check out the Association of Yale Alumni's Yale Career Network site that can be accessed on the web through http://www.aya.yale.edu/. A user ID and password are required. The Yale Career Network is a medium for interacting with other alumni and students to enable use of Yale connections in career pursuits. It is a database of alumni who have signed on to talk with Yale students and other alumni about career interests and objectives.

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Photos of the Convocation are available by contacting photographer Jim Anderson directly. Prints can be ordered by calling 203-281-0717 or via e-mail at Anderson@photog.com.

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Annual gifts to the Yale Divinity School Alumni Fund are directed to the School's most valuable asset-the students. Divinity School alumni provide essential funds for financial aid, helping to offset the financial burden of professional study at Yale. This year YDS was able to provide partial scholarships to 60 students, and the goal for 2005-06 is 65 students.  Gifts for financial aid can be made on line at http://www.yale.edu/development/how/online.html.


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