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.
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!
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.
Sasha Goldberg (M.A. Judaism '09) heads the new Bay Area office of Keshet, a Jewish LGBT group. Prior to her new position, she was associate director at Nehirim which runs retreats for LGBT Jews. Goldberg is also a consultant on LGBT issues.
Submitted by communications on Thu, 06/02/2011 - 12:00am