Graduate Theological Union

Currents

Subscribe to RSS - Currents Subscribe to RSS - Currents

Integrating Practices: Christianity and Buddhism

Daeseop Yi is a Ph.D. candidate who hails from South Korea. He came to study at San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2004 in the Doctor of Ministry program. During his program, he discerned a desire to study more deeply about how transformation within the spiritual process occurs. With this focus he entered the Ph.D. program. “While I was doing coursework in the Christian Spirituality Area, we had to study a religion and a discipline in addition to Christianity.” He became fascinated with Buddhism, he focused on comparing Christian and Buddhist traditions. “I realized that I had been living, integrating, and adopting Buddhist and other Indigenous practices, but studying in an academic way made it really interesting for me.”

Beyond Berkeley: Religion and Cultural Exchange

Courtney Bruntz came to the GTU unsure of exactly what direction she would take. “At that point I was really interested in interreligious work, but thought at some point I would focus solely on Buddhism and the religions of Asia. GTU was a really good place to start that process because of all the different member schools and centers of distinction.” Bruntz’s journey beyond her Lutheran upbringing in Nebraska began at the age of 19 when her sister got married. Her brother-in-law is a third generation Japanese American. She recalls that her brother-in-law’s grandmother kept initiating conversations on the wedding being interreligious and intercultural. “I hadn’t thought about the intersection of two cultures and faith traditions until then. That experience shaped my initial years at college.”

News and New Books

 GTU Welcomes Eric Alexander as New Vice President for Advancement

Eric Alexander

E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Supports Two Outstanding Students

Sean Gross and Sheri Prud’homme are grateful recipients of the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation scholarship — a two-year full tuition scholarship supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons of faith, or those endeavoring to insure faith communities’ understanding, affirmation, and inclusion of LGBT individuals. Both are 2nd-year Ph.D. students.

Resolving Conflict, Creating Dialog through Song

Izak Lattu has been practicing interfaith relations his whole life — literally. In the Indonesian Moluccan Islands (also known as Moluccas, the Maluku Islands, or the Spice Islands), where he grew up, there is a tradition called Gandong, which means there is one womb and one family, even among villages of different religions. For example, although both of his parents’ villages are Christian, they have a gandong relationship of mutual support with other nearby Muslim villages. Lattu’s elementary school was a Christian school, but 80% of the children attending were Muslims; many became his close friends. As an ordained pastor in the Protestant Church of the Moluccas, Lattu brought young Muslims and Christians together to study, dialog, work, and play at a Pesantren or Islamic boarding school.

Bridging Religions and Cultures through Art

Montazeri, interested in art from a young age, and herself a calligrapher, came to the U.S. with her husband just over a year ago from Tehran, Iran. Both wanted to study art. When reviewing UC Berkeley’s catalog in art history, she came upon a link to the GTU. “Most interesting to me was the great range in class offerings, from opportunities to study different faith traditions, to religion and art. I thought the GTU was meant for me!

Journey and Transformation: An artist walks the Camino

In 1993 on a trip to the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery in Montserrat, Spain, Amanda Schaffer wandered into a roomful of body parts.

Not real body parts, but ex-votos — votive offerings to saints or deities. They have been found in ancient Egypt and Rome and also in the 21st century, given as fulfillment of a vow or in gratitude for a miracle or healing, and placed in churches, chapels, and destinations of pilgrimages. They can take a wide variety of forms, but often are symbols such as a modeled reproduction of a miraculously healed body part.

Subscribe to RSS - Currents Subscribe to RSS - Currents