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Hartford Seminary News
Supersized Believers: What the Dramatic Success of Megachurches Tells Us About the Spiritual State of Americans and Possible Ways for You to Reach Out to Them
With Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion and Director of the Doctor of Ministry and Distance Education Programs
While most of us aren't interested in imitating America's megachurches, there is no doubt that they attract countless participants. A close look at the commitment methods and cultural messages of these hugely successful churches can uncover strategies that any congregation should consider employing. Social dynamics and personal needs have changed, megachurch leaders learned this, and so should any religious leader interested in reaching a new generation of faithful persons. This free webinar will assist in just such a task.
This year the graduation speaker will be Dr. Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City, where he has been a member of the faculty since his ordination as rabbi in 1977. He is also director of the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue at JTS. Prof. Visotzky’s address is entitled “The Miracle of Multifaith Education.”
Religious leaders throughout the world in every faith tradition are challenged today to be active agents of peace. The four-day conference will bring together theological educators and others to work together to teach and learn about peacemaking both globally and locally. The event is being held May 22-25, 2013 at the Interfaith Center, New York City. Hartford Seminary has joined other theological schools, universities and faith-based grass roots organizations in sponsoring the conference
The Marks of Empire: A Message from the Woman “Babylon” in the Book of Revelation to the City of Hartford
The Rev. Dr. Shanell T. Smith, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, presented a lecture on April 24th entitled “The Marks of Empire: A Message from the Woman ‘Babylon’ in the Book of Revelation to the City of Hartford.” By reading the woman Babylon’s text from a postcolonial womanist perspective, Dr. Smith highlighted the woman Babylon’s simultaneous ambivalent identification as a “brothel slavewoman” and as an “empress/imperial city.” This conflicting reality was also discussed from a personal perspective and in the broader context of life in Hartford.
May 31st, 2013 – 77 Sherman Street, 5:00 PM
Congratulations on completing (or getting close to completing) your program! Graduates choosing to participate in the graduation ceremony must arrive no later than 4:30 on Friday, May 31at, 2013 to check-in and receive final instructions for line-up in their designated robing room. Your room number will be posted on the display board in the lobby.
Please note that due to work day traffic you may need to plan for a longer travel time to campus than normal.
Prof. Yahya Michot participated in the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Islamic Jurisprudence held in Muscat from the 6th to the 9th of April. The general theme of the Conference was the jurisprudence of living together (fiqh al-ta‘âyush). Prof. Michot delivered a paper titled al-Muslim al-muwâṭin fî l-duwal ghayr al-islâmiyya (The Muslim Citizen in Non-Islamic States).
Adeel Zeb, a student in the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary, is one of the 14 seminarians and divinity students chosen by FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) to participate in a two-week program in New York, Germany, and Poland in June 2013
Hartford Seminary alumna Amy Chan Wolsdorf, M.A. ‘69 has established an endowed scholarship fund at Hartford Seminary to benefit female students coming to the Seminary to prepare for careers as Christian educators or ministers.
Hartford Seminary alumnus the Rev. Dr. Jay Ebersole ’53, in memory of his wife, the Rev. Dr. Eleanor Ebersole, ’51, ’53, along with their son Mark and Judy Ebersole have made a gift to the Seminary to support participation in the Building Abrahamic Partnerships Program (BAP).
This week’s Melissa Harris-Perry Foot Soldier is Asma Hanif, an advanced practice nurse who has devoted her life to operating Al-Nissa Holistic Health Center, a free clinic for women who are homeless, uninsured, or victims of domestic abuse, and Muslimat Al-Nisaa, a shelter for Muslim women.
On Sunday evening, March 17, 2013, the Hartford Seminary community and guests from across Connecticut and the nation celebrated the successful completion of funding for an endowed faculty chair in Islamic Chaplaincy. The chair is currently occupied by Dr. Timur Yuskaev, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Islam and Director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at the Seminary.
President Heidi Hadsell delivered a lecture on Protestant ethics and met with students at a research institute during a recent visit to Iran. She participated in the Esra International Foundation for Revealed Science’s International Conference on Ethics and Religions in Qom, Iran.
President Heidi Hadsell appeared on the radio program “Rich Answers,” sponsored by the Conference of Churches (Hartford, CT) and Lite 100.5 WRCH, on Sunday, March 3. Hadsell discussed Hartford Seminary – its history, its programs, its multifaith community and its commitment to interfaith dialogue and understanding and to peace building.
Hartford Seminary will host Disaster Spiritual Care training on June 4 & 5. This two-day training, conducted by National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) will take place on the Hartford Seminary campus on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 4 & 5, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hartford Seminary is offering a special one-week course on Global Ethics in April in Houston, TX. President Heidi Hadsell, Professor of Social Ethics, will teach the course, which will be held from Monday, April 8 through Friday, April 12. The course is open to the public.
Former Hartford Seminary President Barbara Brown Zikmund visited the Seminary on Monday, February 25 to donate a framed set of photographs of the Qur'an.
On Monday, February 11 and Tuesday, February 12, Intersections International hosted two students from Hartford Seminary’s International Peacemakers Program for training and a series of presentations. The current year’s IPP students are Zulu Lemtur from India and Morteza Rezazadeh from Iran.
The Rev. Dr. Francis Acquah, a 2012 graduate of the International Ph.D. program at Hartford Seminary, has been appointed a full-time lecturer in Christian Ethics and Comparative Religion at the Methodist University College in Accra, Ghana. Dr. Acquah, a Methodist minister, came to Hartford Seminary from Ghana originally to study Christian-Muslim Relations in the International Peacemaking Program.
National Public Radio's All Things Considered program recently reported that as Islam grows in the United States, imams are in short supply. Hartford Seminary is cited as one the very few schools to train imams in America.
Hartford Seminary is partnering with the Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative on two projects to improve the Seminary property along the Park River. In one project, the Seminary, the Park Watershed and the Knox Parks organization are seeking a grant for removal of invasive species along the North Branch of the Park River. The second project will reduce polluted water runoff by repairing an erosion channel.
The opportunity to study Islam in a different country than his native Egypt “among different people and cultures, from different perspectives, and based on different research methodologies” has brought Mohamed Abdelfattah to Hartford Seminary as a Fulbright Scholar. A graduate of the prestigious Al-Azhar University, Mohamed is studying for a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. He will be in Hartford for two years.
Professor Najib Awad, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, recently published "And Freedom Became a Public-Square: Political, Sociological and Religious Overviews on the Arab Christians and the Arabic Spring." The book introduces readers to some of the substantial components and pivotal ramifications of the latest revolutions in the Arab World, known as "the Arabic Spring."
Hartford Seminary holds a community chapel service on Monday mornings at 9 a.m. The first service of the winter/spring semester was held on Monday, January 28. A detailed schedule is now available.
Six Hartford Seminary students traveled to Oman for two weeks for a special January intersession course -- Christian-Muslim Relations in Arabia: Ibadi Islam and Interfaith Theology in the Sultanate of Oman. One student wrote, "I have discovered a gem of hope in the Middle East that emits an irresistible glow of religious pluralism that cannot be ignored and must be studied."
In preparation for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Duncan Black Macdonald by the Seminary on June 2, Prof. Yahya Michot spent the 2012 winter break in Cairo in the footsteps of his famous predecessor. During his 1908 sabbatical in Egypt, Macdonald walked around Cairo and took many photographs. One century later, Michot was able to take new shots of more than half of the same locations. The comparison between these views of Cairo, old and new, offers amazing contrasts.
Three students from Indonesia with experience in interfaith dialogue and a commitment to religious harmony have arrived at Hartford Seminary to begin their studies toward a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. They will start courses when the winter/spring 2013 semester starts on January 22.
David Roozen, Professor of Religion and Society, has published an essay in Theological Education titled "Educating Religious Leaders for a Multireligious World: Outcomes and Learning." Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion, is quoted in a recent New York Times article titled "Building Congregations Around Art Galleries and Cafes as Spirituality Wanes."
Hartford Seminary invites applications for a position as Assistant Professor of Islamic Scriptures and Fiqh. The appointment begins in fall 2013.
Former Hartford Seminary staff member Nelba Marquez-Greene, and her husband, noted jazz artist Jimmy Greene, lost a child, Ana Grace, in the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Nelba was a staff assistant in Educational Programs and worked with the Black Ministries and Hispanic Ministries Programs. We mourn her loss and that of all the children and staff who lost their lives this past Friday.
In the Biennial Willem Bijlefeld Lecture, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr explored the history of the relationship between Sunnism and Shi’ism, which goes back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Dr. Nasr discussed the manipulation for political interests of Sunni-Shi’ite differences by forces both internal and external to the Islamic world and reflected on the future of the relationship between Sunnism and Shi'ism and the impact it is likely to have within the Islamic world itself and in its relation to the West.
Imam Yahya Hendi, M.A. ’93, was named this week as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims for his work as an interfaith activist. Imam Hendi serves as chaplain at Georgetown University and is the founder of the nonprofit organization Clergy Beyond Borders.
In this lecture, delivered on November 27, 2012, Dr. Najib Awad shows that the Christians in Syria are neither silent nor indifferent to the Syrian Spring, and sheds light on the real essence of the Christians’ stance on the Syrian revolution.
President Heidi Hadsell spoke at the 4th annual World Peace Forum November 23 -25 in West Java, Indonesia and will participate in the Inclusive America Project of the Aspen Institute’s Justice and Society Program in December.
Hartford Seminary hosted four scholars from the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies this week.
Bishop Kenneth Cragg, Professor of Arabic and Islamics at Hartford Seminary from 1951-1958 and co-editor of The Muslim World journal, has passed away. Cragg had a special commitment to Christian-Muslim dialogue that influenced generations of religious leaders and academic scholars.
Hartford Seminary has established an endowed faculty chair in Abrahamic Partnerships that will further enhance the Seminary’s national prominence in multifaith education.
The focus of the chair will be on the history and the practice of Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations.
The lead gift for the chair, of $500,000, was made by the Prior Family Foundation.
Due to last night's snow storm, Hartford Seminary will delay opening today until 10 a.m.
On Saturday, October 27, Hartford Seminary presented a special interfaith afternoon of exploration and discovery to confirmation classes from 10 United Church of Christ and Episcopal churches.
Hartford Seminary is pleased to announce the completion of two major projects to enhance library services to students and the public and to honor alumni and friends of the Seminary in a commemorative courtyard.
Sunday, June 9 - Friday, June 14, 2013
-- A gathering of interfaith advocates, clergy, youth leaders, program administrators, educators and other professionals from diverse religious backgrounds and practices to explore the challenges of leadership in multifaith contexts.
This week in Washington, D.C., President Heidi Hadsell and Professors Yehezkel Landau and Yahya Michot participated in “Judaism and Islam in America,” a national conference sponsored by Hartford Seminary, the Islamic Society of North America and the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Tabernacle Baptist Church of Utica, NY, has received a grant of $47,425. to enable its Pastor, The Rev. Dr. Mark S. Caruana, D.Min. '03, to participate in the 2012 National Clergy Renewal Program.
The Rev. Jacky Manuputty, a Master of Arts and International Peacemaking Program graduate, has been awarded the Peacemakers in Action award by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. He has helped form Peace Provocateurs to use social media to combat religious conflict between Christians and Muslims in Indonesia.
On Thursday, October 4, Dr. Michael Rion, former president of Hartford Seminary and noted business ethicist, delivered a timely lecture, "Money in Politics: The High Cost of 'Free' Speech."
Hartford Seminary President Heidi Hadsell announced Wednesday that The Rev. Dr. Uriah Kim, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, has been appointed to a three-year term as Academic Dean of Hartford Seminary.