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Seminary news

October 25, 2011

LOUISVILLE ― Faith, politics, and social justice will converge on the issue of cooperation for environmental integrity when Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the national Festival of Faiths host Professor Martin E. Marty and Senator John Marty ― father and son ― who will integrate their individual perspectives for a dynamic conversation focused on the future well-being of the planet.

The two will speak at a luncheon at the seminary’s Gardencourt on Friday, November 4, at noon. The luncheon and conversation is being held in conjunction with the 2011 Festival of Faiths, focused on “Sacred Air: Breath of Life,” and will provide an opportunity for ecumenical and interfaith partners to find common ground on caring for our world.

In a joint presentation entitled, “Religion and Public Life: Creating Hope for the Planet,” Marty and Marty will explore ways in which various religions are concerned about the environment and address what this means spiritually, politically, and theologically. Together they will examine why and how religions can make a difference in today’s policies regarding stewardship of our earth’s resources.

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. ― San Francisco Theological Seminary Professors Christopher Ocker, Annette Schellenberg and Annette Weissenrieder have been named as affiliated faculty for the Program in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California, Berkeley. The joint doctoral program is among the premier Jewish studies programs in the world.

The three San Francisco Theological Seminary professors will help expand Jewish studies resources, including serving on committees, advising doctoral candidates and teaching courses. Ocker, for example, is presently co-teaching a course on historical methodology with Professor Deena Aranoff of the GTU Center for Jewish Studies.

“It’s an honor for three people from the same school to be invited as affiliated faculty members in this program,” said Schellenberg, SFTS associate professor of Old Testament. All three, who are Christian, have special interests in Jewish studies despite pursuing academic research in other areas.

Ocker, professor of church history, is primarily interested in the history of religion in late medieval and early modern Europe, particularly Christianity in the German-speaking lands including interactions and conflicts of Jews and Christians.

Schellenberg has a special interest in the diversity of theological views in the Old Testament.

Weissenrieder, associate professor of New Testament, has focused much of her research on cultural contexts (including Jewish ones) for treatment of disease and art and architecture.

PRINCETON, N.J. ― Princeton Theological Seminary’s Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, professor of Old Testament literature and exegesis, and Freda Ann Gardner, professor of Christian Education emerita and director of the School of Christian Education emerita, will give the 2011–2012 Frederick Neumann Memorial Lecture at the seminary on Oct. 27 at 1:30 p.m.

In the lecture, titled “In the Beginning Male and Female: Then She Came to Seminary,” Sakenfeld and Gardner will share stories of early experiences at Princeton Seminary. The lecture will be scripted in storytelling style, with a few facts and figures to set the stage.  

Alongside her current position, Sakenfeld served for twenty-five years (1984–2009) as director of the seminary’s Ph.D. studies program. Her research focuses on biblical narratives concerning the premonarchical period and on feminist biblical hermeneutics. She has a special interest in the way Asian Christian women interpret Old Testament stories about women.

Gardner, a former moderator of the General Assembly and recipient of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators “Educator of the Year Award” in 1995, joined the faculty of Princeton Seminary in the fall of 1961, where she was the only woman on the faculty for nine years until Sakenfeld joined in 1970. In 1979 she became the director of the School of Christian Education and served until her retirement in 1992 as the Thomas W. Synott Professor of Christian Education, the first tenured woman faculty member at the Seminary.

Established in 1983 by Edith Neumann in memory of her husband, the annual lecture discusses topics appropriate to the broad theological interests of Frederick Neumann (1899–1967) —philosopher, biblical scholar, missionary, and pastor.

DECATUR, Ga. ― How to face evil and be delivered from  it is the subject of a Nov. 17-19 seminar at Columbia Theological Seminary sponsored by the seminary’s Center for Preaching.

The event will be led by renowned teacher and preacher Charles G. Adams, professor of the practice of ethics and ministry at Harvard Divinity School and pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit.

Adams will lecture Friday morning (Nov. 18) and lead worship Friday afternoon. Other presenters include seminary faculty members Mark Douglas, associate professor of Christian ethics; George Stroup, professor of theology; and Joseph L. Roberts, professor of preaching and director of the Center for Preaching.

Dubuque, Iowa ― The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary has received a portion of a $6 million gift from Joseph and Linda Chlapaty. Joseph Chlapaty is chair of the board of trustees of the university and seminary.

The gift will be used to support the establishment of endowed academic chairs for the undergraduate college in chemistry, mathematics, economics, and for the seminary in church renewal.  A summer research fellowship in science and mathematics has also been created in the undergraduate college.

The Joseph and Linda Chlapaty Research Chair in Church Renewal affirms the importance of scholarly research in the theological disciplines and values the leadership of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in teaching and publication that contributes to the renewal of the church in the United States and abroad.

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