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Making Memories, Taking Responsibility

Through her work at the GTU’s Center for Jewish Studies—and a surprising friendship--Lea Heitfeld is keeping cultural memory alive and helping shape a more hopeful future.

Lea Heitfeld has been in the news a lot recently. The granddaughter of Nazis, the 31-year-old MA student at the GTU’s Center for Jewish Studies is the unlikely housemate of Ben Stern, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor. Their unusual friendship has led to interviews with national and international media including the Washington PostAl Jazeera, CBS Evening News, and Public Radio International. While the story of her living with Stern is indeed compelling, Heitfeld’s decision to pursue a degree in Jewish studies, her work at the GTU, and her plans for life after she graduates in May provide a context for understanding how this extraordinary partnership came to be an ordinary part of her life.

The View from the Dean's Office

Our new Dean reflects on the exceptional students, innovative scholarship, and bright future of the GTU.

On my first day of work at the GTU in January, I lifted all the window shades in the Dean’s office to let the light in and saw the panoramic view of Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay unfold before my eyes. I couldn’t believe anyone would lower the shades, ever, when there was such gorgeous scenery to enjoy. About an hour later I realized why previous GTU Deans had to lower at least some of the shades. The sunlight in the office is blinding, and the corner where my desk is located got very warm very quickly. I guess it is possible to have too much of a good thing! 

From the President

Robert A. Rees Named Director of Mormon Studies

Robert ReesRobert A. Rees has been appointed director of Mormon studies at the Graduate Theological Union. Dr. Rees has taught at UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley, and was a Fulbright Professor of American Studies at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.

Announcing Our 2017-2018 Newhall Recipients

The Graduate Theological Union congratulates eighteen doctoral students who are recipients of Newhall Awards for the 2017-2018 academic year.

GTU Solidarity Statement

At the heart of its mission, the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) stands for respectful dialogue and ecumenical and interfaith engagement among Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and other local and global traditions. Studies at the GTU take place in the intercultural context of its many seminaries, centers, and religious communities; this rich diversity is essential to the insights and clarity that are hallmarks of GTU scholarship. The Graduate Theological Union stands with those who are threatened by the actions of the current U.S. administration, and we commit ourselves to resist and decry the violence being fomented in various sectors of our society. (Read more)

CIS News for March 2017

News and events from the Center for Islamic Studies at the GTU

Haas Fund Supports Student Interreligious Research on Islam and Judaism

The Walter & Elise Haas Fund has provided the GTU a grant to support the Center for Islamic Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies in their joint programming for this academic year. We are pleased to announce grants for students working on an interreligious research project related to Judaism and Islam.

Purushottama Bilimoria Delivers Dharma Endowment Lectures in Bengaluru, India

Purushottama BilimoriaProfessor Purushottama Bilimoria of the Center for Dharma Studies at the Graduate Theological Union delivered the Dharma Endowment Lectures on January 17-18, 2017, at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, the Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law in Bengaluru, India. His topic was “The Ethics of Personal Law in India: Religion, Minority Rights, Legal Pluralism, and Uniform Civil Code.”

GTU Community Celebrates Immigrant Contributions

More than 50 students, faculty, staff, and members of the GTU extended community gathered in front of the Le Conte building at the Graduate Theological Union for a public witness on Thursday, February 16, in support of “A Day without Immigrants,” a boycott campaign designed to highlight the contributions of immigrants in the United States. “We gathered out of a need to witness to the powerful place immigrants, past and present, have in our GTU communities, families, neighborhoods, and lives,” said organizer Corinna Guerrero, a GTU doctoral candidate and MTS online coordinator at Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University.

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