Graduate Theological Union

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Explaining Economics from a Values Perspective

Growing up near Harlem, Laura Stivers (Ph.D. ’00) frequently saw homeless people. There was much diversity in her grade school and many children from poor homes. When she was eight, her family moved to the state of Washington where she lived in a predominately white suburban neighborhood. The social and economic inequalities she observed as a child and her father’s influence as a Christian ethicist, contributed, she says, to ethics and social justice becoming a focus of her teaching.

Jewish Studies Students Back from Poland

“I WENT TO POLAND to research the reputation of Yiddish writer Sholem Asch (1880-1957). Conversations with scholars in Warsaw and Krakow led me to Kutno, Asch’s birthplace, where I discovered that a biennial festival is held to honor him. I was surprised to discover the extent of Asch’s literary reputation in Poland outside the Jewish community. His works were extensively translated into Polish and are still in print. He was the first Jew to receive the Order of Polonia Restituta (Order of Rebirth of Poland). “It was remarkable to discover that right now, in Poland, a new narrative of Jewish experience is being constructed — about the rich texture and communal life of the Jewish community 800 years before the horrific events of the 20th century. While we should not forget the events of World War II, the Holocaust is no longer the only lens for viewing the Jewish story in Poland.” — Alan Shore, Ph.D. student in Jewish History and Culture

Janet Ruffing’s Very Full and Satisfying Career

“…it’s important for me to give back…”

Janet Ruffing

 Ruffing (center) in Thailand, where she helped initiate a
spiritual direction program

(photo altered with Photoshop filter)

Who Should Organize the Economy?

“What would it be like if the purpose of the economy were to make provisions instead of to accumulate property?”

Teaching “Lower Ed”: Junior High, High School, and Community College

lower ed

Ask a GTU student what they hope to do when they graduate. Or ask some alums how they’re spending their days. If your guess is that their work, or their dream, is teaching in higher education, you may be surprised. Some have found their true calling — and true success — in helping to shape young minds in junior high through community college.

Freedom to Be Outrageous

An Interview with Heup Young Kim, 2009 Alum of the Year I’m trying to construct a theology of the Tao or “Theo-Tao”. The current dualistic way of thinking of the West consists of theo-logos or theology, which is primarily doctrinal, and its counterpart theo-praxis, or action. I try and bring in the Tao, the embodiment of the cosmic way in our historical existence. If you know Tao, you cannot divide knowing and acting. Theo-Tao provides a new paradigm for this millennium characterized by dialogue.

Social Media and the Seminary

social media

“Social media is changing our culture in profound and dynamic ways.”

— ELIZABETH DRESCHER, Ph.D. ’08
assistant professor of Christian Spiritualities
and director of the Center for Anglican Learning & Leadership
at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP)

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.

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