Graduate Theological Union

News and New Books

 GTU Welcomes Eric Alexander as New Vice President for Advancement

Eric Alexander

Eric Alexander is GTU’s new Vice President for Advancement. Alexander came to the GTU from a post as senior director of Development for Washington State University. Previously he was associate director, Major Gifts, for Mills College and he worked in Advancement at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. Alexander earned his B.A. from Clark University and his M.A. from Holy Names University. “I am delighted to join this exciting and dynamic institution, he says. “My primary passions have always been higher education and interreligious understanding, so I feel as if I’ve found a new home.”

GTU President James Donahue says, “I am delighted to welcome Eric to the GTU. His range of experience in Advancement, understanding of our mission and context, and his energy will be an enormous addition to the leadership of the GTU.”

Taube and Koret Foundations Support Center for Jewish Studies

The Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture have together awarded $600,000 to be used over three years to support the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) at the Graduate Theological Union. The Koret Foundation awarded $450,000 for general operations and student scholarships. The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture awarded $150,000 for the Center’s programs and specific research in Polish Jewish Studies. Both foundations have partnered with GTU for several years, supporting through generous gifts the GTU’s operations, student fellowships, visiting scholars, and community conferences. CJS’s recent Jewish Peoplehood conversation on September 20 is the most recent example at the GTU of the joint Taube-Koret Jewish Peoplehood initiative.

Mormon Studies Classes a “Significant Step” Toward Expanded Program

Last year the GTU offered two classes for credit in Mormon studies. The classes — Introduction to Mormon Studies and Latter Day Saint (LDS) Scriptures —attracted Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ members, adherents from three Catholic traditions (Jesuit, Franciscan and Dominican), and LDS students from the University of California at Berkeley. Robert Rees, a Latter-Day Saint and a scholar of Mormon Studies who taught both classes, says, “My students gave me articles and books to read that helped me understand the broader dimensions of their faith. It was one of the most hopeful experiences of my academic and spiritual life.”

Financial support for the first year of the program came from more than a dozen individual donors from the Bay Area community of Latter Day Saints. GTU’s Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Arthur Holder says the classes are “a significant step toward what we hope will eventually be an expanded program in Mormon Studies.”

New Books

Memory and ImaginationMemory and Imagination: Essays and Explorations in Buddhist Thought and Culture,

Festschrift* Celebrating the Sixtieth Birthday of Ronald Y. Nakasone (GTU faculty), edited by Dr. Ronald Y. Nakasone Festschrift Committee (Nagata Bunshodo, 2010).

Contributors: Rev. Janet Bregar (GTU Ph.D. ’04), Collett Cox, Donald C. Drummond (GTU Ph.D. ’07), Geoff E. Foy (GTU Ph.D. ’03), Rev. Heng Sure (GTU Ph.D. ’03), Ikuo Higashibaba (GTU Ph.D. ’97), Shisei Honda, Richard S. Hunt (former GTU Ph.D. student), Douglas Kerr (GTU M.A. ’97), Kuroki Masako (PSR M.A. ’94), Naoki Nabeshima, Eisho Nasu (GTU Ph.D. ’96), Nubuo Nomura, Rev. Sam-muk (Yun-Sup Kim) (GTU M.A. ’94), Stephen M. Myers (PSR M.A. ’01), Hiromichi Takeda, John M. Thompson (GTU Ph.D. ’02), Sharon Waller (SKSM M.Div. ’04), Takao Watanabe, Rev. Chao-Ti Wu.


Reading Ideologies

Reading Ideologies: Essays in Honor of Mary Ann Tolbert (former PSR dean),

a festschrift* edited by Tat-siong Benny Liew (PSR dean) (Sheffield Phoenix Press, Sept 2011).

Contributors: Yong-Sung Ahn (GTU Ph.D. ’05), Janice Capel Anderson, Ellen T. Armour, Andrea Bieler (PSR faculty), Sean D. Burke (GTU Ph.D. ’09), Michelle A. Connolly (GTU Ph.D. ’08), L. William Countryman (former CDSP faculty), John A. Darr, Musa W. Dube, J. Cheryl Exum, Shawn Kelley David Landry, Tat-siong Benny Liew (PSR dean), Margaret R. Miles (GTU faculty emerita, GTU Ph.D. ’77), Luise Schottroff (former PSR faculty), Fernando F. Segovia, Abraham Smith, Ken Stone, Dan O. Via

“Mary Ann Tolbert has been a pioneering voice in what we have now come to call ‘interdisciplinary reading’ of the Bible. …This collection of essays engages the very issues that have driven and defined Tolbert’s scholarship: reading between the historical and the literary; reading between biblical authority and social location; and reading between gender and sexuality.” – publisher

*A Festschrift is a book composed of essays by academic colleagues or former doctoral students honoring the contribution of a teacher.


Other recent publications by faculty and alumni

Marion Grau (CDSP faculty), Rethinking Mission in the Postcolony: Salvation, Society, and Subversion (T&T Clark, Sept 2011)

Margaret R. Miles (GTU faculty emerita), Augustine and the Fundamentalist’s Daughter (Cascade, Aug 2011)

Whitney Bauman (GTU Ph.D. ’07), Richard R. Bohannon II, and Kevin J. O’Brien, eds., Inherited Land: The Changing Grounds of Religion and Ecology (Pickwick Publications, Aug 2011)

Joseph Cheah (GTU Ph.D. ’04), Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation (Oxford University Press, Sept 2011)

Lynne Gerber (GTU Ph.D. ’09), Seeking the Straight and Narrow: Weight Loss and Sexual Reorientation in Evangelical America (University of Chicago, Nov 2011)

Nancy Pineda-Madrid (GTU Ph.D. ’05), Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juarez (Fortress, May 2011)

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