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Hartford Seminary News
Willem A. Bijlefeld, 88, who retired from Hartford Seminary in 1990 after 25 years as a Professor of Islamic Studies, Academic Dean, Editor of The Muslim World, and founder and director of the Macdonald Center, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 15, after a long illness. "Wim loved Hartford Seminary, and he was a highly valued and much appreciated presence at the seminary for the decades he taught here," President Heidi Hadsell said. "He spent most of his working life here at Hartsem, providing leadership in the study of Islam and Christian Muslim relations, and he kept up with the comings and goings and work of the Macdonald Center since he retired perhaps 20 years ago. I continue to meet many people here and around the world who remember Wim and ask about him, always remarking on his scholarship and on his capacity for human compassion and warmth."
Hartford Seminary, through a training partnership with the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN), will host a one-day Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care Worker training course on the Hartford Seminary campus on Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Congregation leaders, first responders, chaplains, lay spiritual care providers, mental health professionals, and emergency managers are urged to enroll. Participants will earn a certificate in Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care Best Practices.
Stuffed animals, dolls, train sets and art supplies have taken over Hartford Seminary's lobby during the annual Christmas Gift-Giving Ministry organized by Prof. M.T. Winter. During the first week in December, Deputy DCF Commissions Michael Williams visited the Seminary to see the ministry in action as social workers "shopped" for gifts for their clients. "We have a lot of children who are placed in living environments that are new to them," said Williams, who is a former pastor and a 1987 graduate of the Black Ministries Program. The agency searches for ways to make that transition easier, especially around the holidays, he said.
Heather Holda is our new Director of Human Resources and Assistant to the President, replacing Mary Zeman. Heather has been an office manager, a preschool director, a Christian education director, and administrative assistant, a music director, a coach, a reporter and a private music teacher. Most recently, she created new programs and a new website for Northwest Gymnastics in Winsted. She also worked for the Center Congregational Church in Torrington to improve its family programming.
Prof. Feryal Salem has organized two weekly series for Muslim women. The first will be a series called Ink of Scholars, which will provide classes focusing on mastering the essential Islamic sciences known as fard 'ayn. The second series is Food for Reflection, which will focus on establishing regular gatherings for Muslim women intended to foster reflection, worship, and deepening of faith.
Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, has named Academic Dean Uriah Kim its "Alum of the Year." Dean Kim was the guest of honor during the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature in Baltimore on Nov. 23. He received his Ph.D. from GTU in 2004. Dean Kim started his college education at Cooper Union, studying engineering, but then transferred to New York University to graduate with a B.A. in Philosophy.
A longtime friend of Hartford Seminary, Dr. Ali Shakibai, recently donated a 40-volume collection of commentary on the Qur’an to the Seminary, giving the library the first such collection in Farsi. Called the “al-Mizan fi tafsir al-Qur’an” by Muhammad Husayn Tabataba’l, the collection is something Dr. Shakibai, a physician, brought with him from Iran and has used as a reference throughout the years. He now wants others to benefit from it.
On Monday, Nov. 18, Hartford Seminary alumnus Jim Fitzgerald gave a lunch lecture to a group of students, faculty and staff as part of the Seminary's Vital Topics series. Mr. Fitzgerald serves as the Executive Director of Call to Action, the country’s largest progressive Catholic organization working for equality and justice in the church.
Prof. Miriam Therese Winter's autobiography, "The Singer and the Song: An Autobiography of the Spirit," was re-released on Nov. 19 in a special audiobook version narrated by acclaimed singer-songwriter Janis Ian, who won a Grammy for her own audiobook "Society's Child." Janis Ian also sings a selection of Prof. Winter's songs on the audiobook recording.
At a gathering of 500 experts, policy makers and religious leaders from 90 countries in Vienna, Austria, this week, Seminary President Heidi Hadsell had the opportunity to speak about best practices in interfaith higher education. President Hadsell participated in the KAICIID Global Forum on “The Image of the Other: Interreligious and Intercultural Education" and spoke on a panel titled: “Understanding and Engaging ‘the Other’ in Interreligious Education and Seminary Training."
Prof. Shanell T. Smith was a featured guest on the Colin McEnroe radio program on Thursday, Nov. 14., on a show about babies and morality. Listen to the entire program via this link. The show's premise arose from a new book by Paul Bloom, the Brooks and Suzanne Regan Professor of Psychology at Yale University. Bloom's books is Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil.
At the invitation of host and media personality Diane Smith, Prof. Timur Yuskaev appeared as a panelist in a "Live at the Old State House" program on Nov. 12, 2013. View the entire program at this link. The topic was "Japanese Internment - National Safety vs. Civil Rights," and Prof. Yuskaev spoke about the parallels to how different religious groups, including Muslims, have been treated in the U.S.
Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt Jr. passed away on October 27, 2013, and his funeral was held at the Cramston Auditorium at Howard University in Washington, DC on November 6, 2013.
A service to remember the life and ministry of Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt is planned in Hartford.
In under a month, Hartford Seminary President Heidi Hadsell will have traveled to both Korea and Austria, spreading the word about the seminary’s unique approach to interfaith education. In early November, Prof. Hadsell attended the 10th Assembly of the World Conference of Churches in Busan, Korea, an event that attracts nearly 3,000 church leaders and participants from every Christian tradition and happens only once every seven years.
Yakubu Jakada of Nigeria and Pursenla Ozukum of India, students in Hartford Seminary's International Peacemaking Program (IPP), are both first-time visitors to the United States. Both are also intent upon building their skills in interfaith dialogue through the IPP program.
Lebanese scholar Seyed Sadeq Musavi consulted some 80,000 scholarly works and spent 25 years assembling "the ultimate edition" of the classic collection of the Imam 'Ali's sayings, sermons, orations and letters, known as "Nahj Al-Balagha" (The Course of Eloquence). On Thursday, he donated a copy of the elaborately designed and decorated book to Hartford Seminary's library.
The esteemed founder of Hartford Seminary's Black Ministries Program and a former Seminary professor, Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt Jr., has died. Services were held for Bishop Hoyt, a professor of New Testament at the seminary from 1980-1994, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Cramton Auditorium, Howard University, 2455 6th St., NW Washington, D.C.
This fall, Hartford Seminary has welcomed a new addition to the faculty associate ranks. Prof. Theodore A. Perry, or Tony as he's known to most, is a scholar of Jewish Scriptures with an extensive academic background. He is also the author of 12 books, most recently God's Twilight Zone: Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible (2008). His Joyous Vanity: Qohelet’s Guide to Living Well, is due to be published soon.
The seminary played host Tuesday night to presentations and a panel discussion on Sha'riah and Halakhah. The participants were Issam Michael Saliba, legal expert on Islamic law at the Law Library of Congress, and Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe, Dean of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law. Umar Moghul, attorney, Hartford Seminary Trustee and Lecturer in Law at the University of Connecticut Law School was the moderator.
Singer-songwriter Kate Callahan and her band Echo Joy performed at Hartford Seminary on Oct. 17 to an enthusiastic crowd.
Callahan, recently named Singer-Songwriter of the Year at the Connecticut Music Awards, played her best-known songs, a few covers and debuted several new pieces. She also talked about her spiritual journey as a songwriter and performer, and how her band came up with the name Echo Joy.
Hartford Seminary welcomed Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina of George Mason University on Thursday, Oct. 10, to hear his presentation on the "Political Theology of Pluralism in Islam: Religious Ethics of Co-Existence."
Dr. Sachedina began his presentation by saying he had long wanted to visit Hartford Seminary and was grateful to have the opportunity.
Prof. Feryal Salem will join Prof. Timur Yuskaev as the co-director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program, Hartford Seminary President Heidi Hadsell has announced.
The Seminary's Islamic Chaplaincy Program trains Muslim chaplains for work in institutions such as colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, and the military. The impetus for the program came in the 1990s after the U.S. government approached the Seminary asking for such a program to address the need for Muslim chaplains in the military. Hartford Seminary's Islamic Chaplaincy Program, officially launched in 2003, remains the only accredited such program in the United States,
Doaa Baumi of Egypt and Elena Dini of Italy may be from very different backgrounds, but sharing an apartment on Hartford Seminary’s campus has already broken down any walls that might have existed between them.
A lecture by acclaimed scholar C.L. Seow drew a large crowd to Hartford Seminary on Sept. 30 to hear about "Job's Wife in Jewish, Muslim and Christian Interpretations."
C.L. Seow is Henry Snyder Gehman Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary. A recognized expert in Old Testament studies and the general editor of the Illuminations series, he is also the author of the Anchor Bible commentary on Ecclesiastes.
Through a training partnership with the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN), Hartford Seminary will host a Disaster Chaplain training course on the Hartford Seminary campus on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 5 and 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Congregation leaders, chaplains, spiritual care providers, mental health professionals, and emergency managers are urged to enroll.
East Windsor Hill Theological Seminary, the founding institution that is now Hartford Seminary, was located in South Windsor from 1834 to 1865. The Wood Memorial Library in South Windsor is conducting a series of three lectures, a walking tour and a gallery exhibit to explore the insitution's controversial beginnings and its influence on the town. Three Hartford seminary professors will participate in the series.
Hartford Seminary President Heidi Hadsell was a featured speaker in a Sept. 18 webinar about the Aspen Institute's Principled Pluralism report and the Inclusive America project. Religions for Peace USA hosted the webinar with the Aspen Institute. It also featured Joseph DeMott (Aspen Institute) and Paul Raushenbush (Huffington Post). Download the report and watch the webinar.
Hartford Seminary was well represented at the 50th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America in Washington, DC, over Labor Day weekend. Sohaib Sultan, ’10, now Muslim Chaplain at Princeton University, was Program Committee co-chair for the convention, which drew thousands to the annual offering of lectures on religious, social and spiritual topics, opportunities for networking, and the extensive bazaar of booths populated by educational institutions, social organizations, and merchants. Many visited the Seminary’s booth, including prospective students.
Hartford Seminary kicked off the 2013-14 academic year with a Convocation centering on the theme "We Have a Dream." In addition to a welcome from Academic Dean Uriah Kim and an opening prayer from Prof. Shanell Smith, Prof. Miriam Therese Winter asked those gathered to write down a dream on a piece of paper. The dreams were collected in a basket and shared. Click on the "read more" link for more photos.
Hartford Seminary will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit from Oct. 27-30, 2013, by a team representing the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
By Josiah Idowu-Featon and Tom Furrer
The last ten years have been difficult for the Churches of the Anglican Communion. As we all know too well, the fabric of our international family has been torn by controversial decisions and remains fragile today. Yet despite our many challenges and problems, we Anglicans share a common theological and historical tradition and a bond of mutual affection. Most importantly, we have a Gospel to share and a God to serve who is stronger than the very real challenges we face. This is the story of one partnership that has not only survived, but thrived, over the past two decades.
When recent Hartford Seminary graduate Adeel Zeb walked into Auschwitz this summer, he was not prepared for the powerful emotional impact it would have on him. “I don’t think one can really be prepared for it,” he said. “It’s very intense and traumatic.” Zeb (pictured with a Holocausat survivor) visited the infamous concentration camp as part of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics program. The two-week intensive program trains journalism, law, medical and seminary students to address contemporary ethical issues using the unique historical framework of how people in their own professions behaved during the Holocaust.
For the first time, Hartford Seminary has a Jewish core faculty member. Yehezkel Landau, who has been a full-time faculty associate since 2002, was added to core faculty in July as an Associate Professor of Interfaith Relations and now occupies the new Abrahamic Partnerships Chair. Several donors, especially Neil and Trudie Prior, funded the endowed chair. "For me, this is a tremendous honor and opportunity," Prof. Landau said. "In personal terms it affirms the institution's confidence in my abilities as a scholar, teacher and interreligious peacebuilder. The creation of an endowed chair in Abrahamic Partnerships transcends the appointment of any individual to the core faculty."
Susan Schoenberger, an editor and writer from West Hartford, has been named Director of Communications at Hartford Seminary. Prior to starting at the seminary in mid-July, Susan was an associate regional editor for Patch.com, where she supervised 12 hyperlocal websites in the AOL-owned Patch network. The sites included West Hartford Patch and sites across the Farmington Valley, among others.
The Shinnyo-en Foundation, which has supported Hartford Seminary’s Religious Diversity Leadership Workshop for the past two years, hosted faith leaders from across the country at the 15th Annual Shinnyo-en Lantern Floating Ceremony on May 27th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The gathering's purpose was to deepen connections between the organizations that Shinnyo-en supports by experiencing the Lantern Floating and reflecting together as an interfaith community. Each year on Memorial Day, crowds gather at the Ala Moana Beach Park near Waikiki beach at sundown to watch a service and lantern floating ceremony presided over by the head of the Shinnyo-en order, Her Holiness Shinso Ito. The Lantern Floating is a traditional Buddhist ceremony in which participants float lanterns down a river or in the ocean. This symbolic ceremony honors those who have lost their lives in war or by other unfortunate events or disasters as well as loved ones who have passed away.
Central to Hartford Seminary’s work in interfaith dialogue and understanding is its Building Abrahamic Partnerships (BAP) program. Based on its strengths as an interfaith, dialogical school of practical theology, Hartford Seminary designed this program, directed by Professor Yehezkel Landau, Associate Professor of Interfaith Relations and holder of the Abrahamic Partnerships Chair, to be a resource for Jews, Christians and Muslims, who seek a solid foundation in interfaith ministry. Other Hartford Seminary faculty, along with adjunct facilitators, make up the rest of the interfaith and gender-balanced teaching team for BAP. It is an eight-day intensive immersion course in interfaith dialogue and understanding, which is offered once a year, usually in June. This year’s session was completed June 30, 2013.
Engaging the Qur’an Through the Arabic Language is a new course for Hartford Seminary, offered for the first time this summer. This unique, three-week long intensive Arabic language course provides students with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the Qur’an through intensive Arabic language study. Reading and understanding the Qur’an in Arabic is essential for Muslims wishing to gain a deeper understanding of their faith; it is also an important skill for students of all faiths who wish to study Islam. The course is designed for anyone already able to read and write in Arabic script and who is interested in approaching and engaging the Qur’an in its native Arabic language.
The 2013 International Gathering of the Ecclesiological Investigations Network was held in the city of Belgrade, Serbia from June 19-22. At this conference entitled "Religion, Authority and the State: From Constantine to the Secular and Beyond,” Hartford Seminary Professor Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub gave a keynote lecture, "The Christian Church and the Muslim Ummah: From Religious Persecution to Religious Authority." (see photo above). Also presenting was HartfordSeminary Ph.D. student, Nicholas Memejian. For more information on the conference, visit http://belgrade2013.ei-research.net
Hartford Seminary President Dr. Heidi Hadsell delivered a keynote address on “Christian Teachings of Contempt” and participated in the meeting of the International Abrahamic Forum of the International Conference of Christians and Jews.
James N. Gettemy, Hartford Seminary President from 1958 through 1976, passed away in Bloomfield, CT on June 27, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and daughters, Jessica G. Porter and Sara G. Worcester.
At Hartford Seminary, Dr. Gettemy was both administrator and scholar. In addition to his position as president, Dr. Gettemy was also professor of pastoral theology, a position which combined his expertise as a scholar with his extensive practical experience in leading congregations. In his acceptance speech, he said of the Seminary, “Its unique character as a non-denominational graduate ‘university of religion,’ training students of many denominations and from many countries, races and cultures for vital fields of religion and social service, offers an opportunity worldwide in its influence.”
The Hartford Seminary community mourns the passing of Rabbi Leonard Alfred Helman, 86, a respected Reform rabbi, lawyer and Gold Point Master bridge player, who died on June 6, 2013 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Memorial services were held at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe.
Know in Santa Fe as “Rabbi Different,” Rabbi Helman was recognized for his sense of humor, his ability to connect with a wide variety of community members and his interests in fields ranging from law and championship bridge to medical ethics and the spiritual life of his congregation. He culminated his career as spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Tikva, returning to Santa Fe at their request in 1995 where he remained founding rabbi for life.
Hartford Seminary, in cooperation with the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, VA, and its Fairfax Institute, offers a Graduate Certificate in Imam and Muslim Community Leadership. The aim of this certificate program is to offer structured education in the American context for Muslim leaders, Imams and counselors. Hartford Seminary and The Fairfax Institute will be hosting an Open House for prospective students on Sunday, June 30, 2013 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at The Fairfax Institute in Herndon, VA.
The Macdonald Exhibition at Hartford Seminary's library has been extended through Aug. 20. Visit between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday until Aug. 4 and Monday through Friday from Aug. 5 through Aug. 20.
Dr. Issam Saliba, a specialist in Islamic law and the law of Middle Eastern and North African Countries at the Library of Congress, visited the Macdonald Exhibition at Hartford Seminary on Friday, June 14th. Dr. Saliba met with Prof. Yahya Michot, the creator of the Macdonald Exhibition and the recent Macdonald Conference. (l-r: Prof. Michot and Dr. Saliba)
Duncan Black Macdonald, a pioneering member of the Hartford Seminary faculty, was honored June 2nd in a day-long event at the Seminary to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth. Macdonald was a world-class scholar, who taught at Hartford Seminary from 1892 until 1932. At a time when the Seminary’s mission was to train Christian ministers and missionaries, Macdonald’s unique perspective on the importance of Christian-Muslim relations and his prodigious scholarship helped the institution to embrace this progressive vision for interfaith dialogue and understanding.
The Macdonald Conference & Exhibition celebrated this local, world-class scholar, who is relevant to a broad, contemporary audience. The project took the form of a day-long event featuring lecture, conversation, exhibition, historic tour and film screening. The event was sponsored by Connecticut Humanities, the International Institute of l and Hartford Seminary. The Macdonald Exhibition continues at Hartford Seminary through June 29.
Hartford Seminary hosted a two-day Disaster Spiritual Care Training on June 4-5.
The Celie J. Terry Prize, established by Sanford Cloud Jr., Former Chair of Hartford Seminary’s Board of Trustees, is now in its ninth year. This prize is awarded to a student who demonstrates a commitment to academic achievement and excellence in interfaith community work in greater Hartford. This year the prize is awarded to Hans Abdiel Harmakaputra.
Hans Harmakaputra is a Presbyterian Christian from Indonesia, who first came to Hartford Seminary to participate in the International Peacemaking Program. He has also earned a master of arts degree with a focus area of study in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary.
Hartford Seminary graduate Josiah Idowu-Fearon, D.Min. ’93 and current Bishop of the Diocese of Kaduna, Nigeria will be presented with the Cross of St. Augustine by the Most Reverend and Rt. Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. The award ceremony will take place at Lambeth Palace in London on June 20, 2013.
Hartford Seminary announces the appointment of Ms. Feryal Salem as the new Assistant Professor of Islamic Scriptures and Law, starting in August 2013. Ms. Salem has extensive experience in both Islamic Scriptures and Islamic law acquired through her studies and research at the University of Chicago, as well as from her study of Islam traditionally. In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities at Hartford Seminary, Ms. Salem will be assisting with the Seminary’s Islamic Chaplaincy Program as well as the Imam Training Program, which is being co-sponsored by the International Institute of Islamic Thought.
Dr. Lucinda Mosher, Faculty Associate for Interfaith Studies, was a participant in the Twelfth Building Bridges Seminar, convening in Doha, Qatar, May 27–29. These annual seminars bring together a select group of internationally recognized Christian and Muslim scholars for intensive study of texts from the Christian and Islamic traditions.
Thirty religious leaders, spiritual care providers, mental health professionals, and emergency managers will gather on the Hartford Seminary campus on June 4 & 5 for intensive training in Disaster Spiritual Care. This two-day offering, conducted by National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN), is sponsored by Hartford Seminary's Multifaith Chaplaincy Program.
Hartford Seminary will welcome a diverse circle of participants to its SECOND ANNUAL Religious Diversity Leadership Workshop, to be held Sunday evening, June 9 through Friday noon, June 14, on the Hartford Seminary campus. Made possible by generous assistance from the Shinnyo-en Foundation, this workshop will combine aspects of "training the trainers" with instruction about religious diversity itself, leadership strategies, and conflict transformation methods.
HARTFORD SEMINARY FACULTY PRESENTED AT THE ICNA-MAS 38th ANNUAL CONVENTION
The 38th Annual ICNA-MAS Convention was held in Hartford, CT on Memorial Day weekend, May 25 to 27, at the Hartford convention Center. This year’s theme is Islam: The Pursuit of Happiness.
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.”
May 16th, 2014
Planning to graduate in 2014? Below is a list of important deadlines to ensure that all of your requirements are met in time for the May ceremony.
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 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.
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.