Graduate Theological Union

2006-2007 Newhall Awards

The 2006-2007 Newhall Awards illustrate the groundbreaking research and curriculum that the Graduate Theological Union regularly fosters among its students and faculty. The Book of Revelation, Islam, Christianity, science, and Buddhist modernism are among the topics to be developed in classrooms and research projects this year.

Students have the unique opportunity to do collaborative research, co-teach with faculty, or teach under the supervision of the faculty member, working closely with professors whose interests and approaches parallel their own. The fellowships are made possible by Jane Newhall, a Trustee Emerita and longtime friend of the GTU.

Jewish Magic in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Julia Watts Belser and Deena Aranoff (GTU)

Co-teaching a January intercession course that will explore the rich diversity of magical forms and practices in late antique and medieval Judaism. Through close readings of original texts, students will examine the ways Jewish practitioners used magic and consider their relationship with Greco-Roman and European traditions.

Apocalypse Now-A-Days: Reading Revelation
Sharon Betsworth, Katy Valentine, and Judy Siker (ABSW)

Co-teaching a spring course that will focus on the social-historical and literary contexts of the Book of Revelation, including Jewish understandings of apocalypse. Students will analyze Revelation’s current cultural representations in different media and will pay attention to literary and feminist interpretations.

Worship in the 21st Century
Jennifer Willkins Davidson, Sharon Fennema, and Andrea Bieler (PSR/GTU)

Co-teaching a fall course on contemporary liturgical practices, theory, and theology. Topics will include inclusive language, social justice, the emerging church, the “spiritual but not religious” perspective, post-colonial theology, aesthetics, identity, and the differently-abled.

Psychology of Religion
Patricia Davis and Lewis Rambo (SFTS/GTU)

Co-teaching a fall course on psychological theories and research on the nature of religion, including both classical and contemporary studies. The course will address both the traditional psychological studies of Christianity and Judaism as well as those of other religions.

Islam, Christianity, and Science
R. Daren Erisman and Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)

Co-teaching a spring course covering Islam, Christianity, and science through historical, philosophical, and theological development. Students will look at evolutionary biology and genetics in light of themes such as agency, causality, free will, transcendence, and the unity of God.

Engaging Religious Difference
Matthew S. Haar Farris and Judith Berling (GTU)

Co-teaching a fall course on the theories and methods of engaging religious difference. The class will learn to honor the unique traits of religions while appropriating this new knowledge into a worldview.

Buddhist Modernism
Natalie Fisk and Richard Payne (GTU)

Co-teaching a fall course on Buddhist Modernism, also known as Protestant
Buddhism, a global movement arising out of the pressures of modernity, Western imperialism, colonialism, and missionary Christianity. Class will also explore Buddhism in the West and its rising popularity.

Liturgy and Architecture
David Friend and Lizette Larson-Miller (CDSP/GTU)

Co-teaching a spring course using architecture as a “text” for understanding the ritual, history, and theology of liturgy. The class will study the history of Eastern and Western Christian traditions before looking at the relationship of culture to churches today.

The History of Anti-Semitism
Robert Galoob and Naomi Seidman (GTU)

Under the supervision of Naomi Seidman, Robert Galoob will teach this fall class on anti-Semitism with an emphasis on Jewish/Christian interactions within a European context, modern Islamic appropriation of traditional Christian and anti-Semitic imagery, and Holocaust denial.

American and Asian Women and Christianity
Hee-Jung Ha and Randi Walker (PSR/GTU)

Co-teaching a spring course on the history of women and Christianity in the context of North America and Asia. Using a special emphasis on “doing history from the margin,” students will examine Christian women through the lenses of national identities, literature, Christian rhetoric, and socialist revolutionary ideas.

A Comparative Study on the Wisdom Tradition in the Hebrew Bible and in Daoist Classics
SungAe Ha and John Endres (JSTB/GTU)

Will do research investigating tensions between conventional and subversive wisdom in the two wisdom traditions, the Hebrew Bible and Daoist classics. The comparative study will bring interreligious dialogue to the understanding of biblical wisdom literature.

The Traditioning of Benedictine Spirituality
Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley and Arthur Holder (GTU)

Under the supervision of Dean Holder, Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley will teach a spring course on the ancient and growing traditions, prayer practices, and communities that have developed out of the early monastic rule of St. Benedict. Entails close reading of the Rule itself and an engagement with major figures whose imaginations have been shaped by its spirituality.

Korean Spirituality
KangHack Lee and Judith Berling (GTU)

Co-teaching spring seminar on history of religions and spiritual practices in Korea─Buddhism, Confucianism, and shamanism─and their influences on Christianity in Korea.

Protestant Christianity in the Region of Yunnan and Guizhou
Manhong Lin and Philip Wickeri (SFTS/GTU)

Will be conducting collaborative research on the study of the growth of Christianity in the Chinese regions of Yunnan and Guizhou. While interacting with numerous ethnic groups of different religious traditions, Christianity in this area has retained its vitality and cohesiveness.

Passover and Eucharist: Common Roots, Diverging Traditions
Dale Loepp and Deena Aranoff (GTU)

Co-teaching a spring course on the development of the Christian ritual meal, the Eucharist, and that of the Seder, the Jewish ritual meal of Passover. Using interreligious dialogue, students will encounter Christian and Jewish texts and examine the competition between Easter and Passover.

Asian American Christianity
Hyung Shin Park and Timothy Tseng (former professor, ABSW)

Will conduct research with former ABSW professor Timothy Tseng on the history of Asian American Christianity in the modern period. The project will focus on the social, political, and spiritual dimensions of Asian American Christianity from its origins to the present.

Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell
Jenny Lydia Patten-Gargiulo and Michael Morris (DSPT/GTU)

Co-teaching a spring course providing an art-historical study of “The Four Last Things.” The class charts the human body in the rituals of death and the journey of the soul into the netherworld.

Liturgies in Reformed Churches
Heather Reichgott and Christopher Ocker (SFTS/GTU)

Co-teaching a spring course on liturgy’s historical development in Reformed Churches and how it has been shaped by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and evangelical traditions. By engaging the theological interpretations since the Reformation, students will gain insight into the sacraments and plan their own worship services.

History of Old Testament Interpretation: The Samson Narrative
Chesung Justin Ryu and Gina Hens-Piazza (JSTB/GTU)

Co-teaching a spring course tracing the history of Old Testament interpretation from Post-Enlightenment Period to the Post Modern Era, specifically through the historical developments of the Samson Narrative.

From Senderl the Woman to Yentl the Yeshiva Boy: The Sexual Transformation of Modern Jewish Culture
Zehavit Stern and Naomi Seidman (GTU)

Year-long collaborative research project for a book in progress. Yiddish culture, film studies, and gender theory will serve as theoretical foundations for the interdisciplinary study.

Body, Mind, and Soul: Theological Anthropology in Reformation Thought
Jason van Boom and Christopher Ocker (SFTS/GTU)

Co-teaching a spring seminar on theological anthropology in Reformation thought. The course examines the writings of Luther, Calvin, and others on connections between mind, soul, and body, and how their views on human psychology relate to their doctrines on creation, sin, and grace.