Graduate Theological Union

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Commencement 2011

The May 12 Commencement ceremonies marked the beginning of a new journey for 62 graduates who completed their degrees in Fall 2010 or Spring 2011. Thirty-three students graduated with a Master of Arts degree, four received a Master of Arts with a concentration in Biblical Languages, and 25 received the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Alumnus Ferguson New Dean of Bexley Hall

Thomas FergusonThe Rev. Thomas J. Ferguson will become the dean of Bexley Hall, an Episcopal Church-affiliated seminary. Since 2010, he has served as the Episcopal Church's ecumenical and interreligious relations officer working to foster ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and cooperation with other Christian communions and world religions. He is also the part-time chaplain of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Buddhist Studies: New Avenues

by Tori Pinto, M.A. '11

Growing up Buddhist, I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to better understand my own religious heritage, as well as contribute academically to the growing body of research on contemporary Japanese religion. We are moving into an exciting time for Buddhist Studies as more attention is being given to ritual, popular religion, folk and oral tradition, as well as visual and material culture. Ultimately I would like to bring a deeper awareness and understanding of Buddhism to American universities, moving beyond the sweeping generalizations and surface readings that we sometimes encounter with imported religions.

WATCH: Brownbag Lunch with Indonesian Scholar Rev. Nancy Souisa

Wednesday, March 30 at 12:30pm

Pacific School of Religion, Mudd 101, 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley

Reverend Souisa teaches at Indonesia Christian University in Maluku and has previously served as Co-Moderator of Congress of Asian Theologians and Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools in Indonesia. She holds Masters degrees from Indonesia Christian University in Maluku and Satya Wacana Christian University. She is completing her Certificate of Advanced Professional Studies at Pacific School of Religion this semester.

Wabash Graduate Programs Teaching Initiative

by Arthur Holder, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs (taken from April 2011 Dean's Newsletter)

How well does the GTU prepare doctoral students to teach? And how can we do a better job? Those were the questions that we asked ten alums from five years ago who recently came back to Berkeley for a consultation sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion as part of their Graduate Programs Teaching Initiative.

Alumna Receives Lilly Research Grant to Study Interfaith Theology

Kristin Johnson LargenMarch 30, 2011 - Kristin Johnston Largen (Ph.D. ’02), Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (PA), has received a prestigious 2011-2012 Lilly Theological Research Grant for Seeking God among our Neighbors: Toward an Interfaith Systematic Theology.

Biblical Studies Alumnus Uriah Kim Receives Lilly Research Grant

Uriah KimMarch 30, 2011 - Uriah Y. Kim (Ph.D. ’04), Professor of Hebrew Bible at Hartford Seminary, has received a prestigious 2011-2012 Lilly Theological Research Grant for his new book, The Politics of Othering in the Book of Judges.

Who among us is good? … and who is “us”?

Nargis Virani, Naomi Seidman, Arthur Holder, Munir Jiwa at the Western Wall in JerusalemLiterary critics and theologians often talk about "interpretive communities" and "capable readers." Who has the ability--and even the right--to interpret a text, especially a sacred text that bears authority in a particular religious tradition?

Last month I participated in a weeklong interreligious Theology Conference at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem along with Naomi Seidman (Director, Center for Jewish Studies), Munir Jiwa (Director, Center for Islamic Studies), and Nargis Virani (visiting faculty, Center for Islamic Studies). The theme of the conference was “What makes a good person?” Small groups involving participants from all three traditions studied key sacred texts together, working both in the original languages and in English translation.

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