Graduate Theological Union

Human Development

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Jewish Studies Students to Visit Poland

For more than 40 years, GTU’s Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) has offered outstanding academic programs committed to interreligious conversation, and has served as a vital center for Jewish life in the Bay Area, hosting scholarly lectures, films, conferences, and Jewish holiday celebrations that are open to the public.

Thanks to a three-year $900,000 grant made in 2008, by both the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture and the Koret Foundation, CJS continues to offer robust academic and community programs.

Intercultural Ministry

A-twitter with American Buddhist Monk Heng Sure

You might need a list to describe Heng Sure. He’s a Buddhist monk, director of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, scholar, member of several interfaith organizations, GTU alumnus, teacher at Pacific School of Religion (PSR), musician, singer-songwriter of Buddhist folksongs, story teller, youth leader, and most recently, a tweeter on Twitter. Or you could drop the list and just say he is real. His name — given to him by his teacher Master Hsuan Hua when he became a monk — translated from Mandarin, means “constantly real.”

Carmen Lansdowne: A Prophetic Voice on Social Justice

The Rev. Carmen Lansdowne is also called Kwisa’lakw by one of the aboriginal peoples of Canada’s central northwest coast. The name, given her by tribal elders at a ceremonial potlatch, means “woman who travels far,” and acknowledges the globetrotting work of this 34-year-old doctoral student in Interdisciplinary Studies. Lansdowne serves on the World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee, representing 560 million Christians in 110 countries and territories.

The Moan and the Shout: James Noel on African American Religious Experience

Take a black sermon, print it in a book, then read it, and you have no idea what it means because it has been abstracted from the living worship of the black church, says the Rev. Dr. James Noel, (Ph.D. ’99), Farlough Professor of African American Christianity at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The sermon’s meaning, he says, is determined by the hymns sung, the testimonials, the prayers said before and after the sermon’s delivery, as well as what went on that week for parishioners. “My fascination is with religious experience and its various modes of expression,” he says, “especially African American religious experience, which is different than that of Europeans or white Americans. The disciplines generated by both the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment aren’t adequate for elucidating black religion, and this has implications for theological education.”

I am not for sale

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