TH5/717 – On Soil and Salvation: Reconciliation and the Land with Dr. Norman Wirzba
9:00am – 12:00pm
This course will examine the cosmic scope of Christ’s work in the world, showing that this work includes the redemption and reconciliation of all God’s creatures. We will explore, in particular, how eating can be a primary means for understanding and implementing this reconciliation. Through a careful reading of scripture, an examination of various theological writings, and an examination of today’s food and energy systems we will come to an appreciation for the work that lies ahead. The last class will be held together with Dr. Ellen Davis at 9am on Friday.
Norman Wirzba pursues research and teaching interests at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. In particular, he focuses on understanding and promoting practices that will equip both rural and urban church communities to be more faithful and responsible members of creation. Current projects focus on eating as a spiritual discipline, theological reflection as informed by place, and agrarianism as a viable and comprehensive cultural force. Dr. Wirzba has published The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age and Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight. His most recent book is Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating.
IPS5/710 – The Prophet of Love with Dr. Hossein Houshmand
9:00am – 12:00pm
This course is an introduction to the mystical theology of Rumi, the 13th century Muslim mystic whose poetry continues to inspire our contemporary culture. He actually has become the best-selling poet in the English-speaking world. Rumi has been considered as the greatest Sufi of all times. He described himself as the Prophet of love. So we will attempt to explore the fundamental components of his theology and ethics of love. The topics will be discussed include: God as love, the secret of love, human finitude, the moral gap, and God’s assistance.
Hossein Houshmand has studied Islamic theology and philosophy of religion at Tehran and Concordia Universities. He completed his PhD in comparative religion and ethics (Islam and Human Rights: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus). His research interests include Islamic thought, philosophy of religion, and contemporary political philosophy. He is currently working on a book, entitled Rumi: Thinking Islam in an Existential Mode.
HOM5/713 – Preaching in the Age of the Spirit with Jana L. Childers
9:00am – 12:00pm
This seminar offers a supportive setting for practice preaching and an exploration of several performance (or delivery-related) issues. Creative process, the preacher’s spirituality and the problems of ego will be examined. Attention will focus on practices and disciplines which support imaginative, embodied preaching.
Jana L. Childers is Professor of Homiletics and Speech-Communication at San Francisco Theological Seminary and is known for her work in sermon performance. She is the author of several books including Performing the Word: Preaching as Theatre (Abingdon) and Birthing the Sermon (Chalice) and producer of a number of plays. Jana is a popular conference speaker and has appeared regularly on the television program Thirty Good Minutes and was featured on the Hallmark Channel’s Great Preachers series.
PT/BIBL5/710 – Biblical Prophecy and Perspectives for Contemporary Ministry with Dr. Ellen F. Davis
2:00pm – 5:00pm
The prophetic word and the figure of the prophet are pervasive throughout the Bible, yet in contemporary “mainstream” Christian traditions, there is little consideration of how the notion of “the prophetic” can or should inform ministry. In this seminar we will look at biblical representations of prophecy from both Testaments, in social, historical, and canonical contexts. On that basis, we will consider what genuine meanings the well-worn phrase “prophetic ministry” might have in our various ecclesial and social contexts. A wide range of topics related to ministry, lay and ordained, will be treated: intercessory prayer, critiques of dominant economic systems and promotion of viable economic alternatives, living faithfully within the created order, embracing hope in desperate situations, peacemaking, artistic modes of prophetic expression, vocation and discipline for God’s service. The last class will be held together with Dr. Norman Wirzba at 9am on Friday.
Ellen F. Davis is Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke University Divinity School. The author of eight books and many articles, her research interests focus on how biblical interpretation bears on the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the environmental crisis and interfaith relations. A lay member of the Episcopal Church, she is active as a theological consultant within the Anglican Communion and since 2004 has worked with the Episcopal Church of Sudan to develop theological education, community health, and sustainable agriculture. She is currently working on biblical prophecy as it bears on contemporary society.
Week One Summer School Public Lectures:
Tuesday, July 2nd 7:00pm: Humble Truths: Creative Process and the Preacher’s Ego – Jana L. Childers
Thursday, July 4th, 7:00pm – Rumi and the Hiddenness of God – Dr. Hossein Houshmond
The idea of divine hiddenness is recognized by many influential advocates of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic monotheism. Discussing the moral and the epistemic aspects of the hiddenness of God, we will examine Rumi’s essential idea that God conceals himself from those who merely desire a propositional knowledge of his existence, whereas he does reveal himself to those who recognize and desire an intimate friendship (walāya) or life-changing knowledge of him.