GTU Insight: September 2016
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September 2016 

In this Issue...

Experience Shanti on Saturday, October 1

Join the GTU at the Oakland premier of Shanti: A Journey of Peace, a spectacular multicultural musical performance at the Oakland Mormon Temple Auditorium on Saturday, October 1, at 3:00 pm. Shanti is a groundbreaking world-music event that features a 130-voice East-West choir, a classical orchestra, Indian musicians, and seven different dance groups--from ballet to classical Indian dance to East-West fusion. The Bay area debut of Shanti took place before an enthusiastic audience of 1,800 in Cupertino in April; now the GTU has helped bring the performance to Oakland, and proceeds will support programming at the Center for Dharma Studies! Tickets for Shanti can be purchased online at Friends of the GTU can get a 40% discount by entering the coupon code “GTU” at checkout. Find out more by clicking on the video link below, visiting the GTU events page, or reading the recent article from India Currents highlighting both Shanti and the GTU. Then order your tickets and join us at the Oakland Mormon Tabernacle Auditorium on October 1.

Welcome to Our New Students
Last week, the GTU welcomed more than 50 students beginning our newly redesigned MA and doctoral programs. The 27 new students entering the doctoral program this fall (pictured to the right, at their first orientation session) and 24 incoming MA students (pictured below) are the first classes to begin their degree programs under the GTU's revised MA and doctoral curriculum, which invites students to choose from among more than 30 different academic concentrations grouped into four interdisciplinary departments. The Graduate Theological Union is also pleased to welcome more than 200 additional students beginning degree programs at member schools across the GTU consortium. Welcome to GTU Berkeley, friends! We are delighted you are here, and excited to be a part of your journey!  

Celebrating the New Doug Adams Gallery

On Tuesday, September 6, the GTU's Center for the Arts & Religion (CARe) celebrated the opening of the new Doug Adams Gallery at 2465 LeConte Avenue with a reception highlighting its fall exhibition "The Hermitage of Landscape: Works by Nicolas Coley." Coley's luminous paintings showcase familiar Bay Area sites like Mt. Tamalpais, Baker Beach, and the Berkeley Hills, experimenting with light and shape and producing images that range from realism to abstraction. This fall exhibition marks not only the relocation and reopening of the Doug Adams Gallery, but the inauguration of the Center for the Arts & Religion as an academic unit of the GTU, further enhancing the role for the arts both within the institution and across the wider community. "The Hermitage of Landscape" will be on display at the Doug Adams Gallery through December 9. Find out more about this exhibition and additional events accompanying it here.

GTU Students Awarded FTE Fellowships
Congratulations to GTU doctoral students Elekosi Lafitanga (right) and Jennifer Owens (below) who were selected to receive 2016 fellowships from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) for work in religion, theology, or biblical studies. Jennifer and Elekosi were among the six scholars awarded FTE Fellowships for Latino/a, Asian, and First Nations doctoral students. These awards will support them through the next academic year as they work on the dissertation stage of their programs. Elekosi is from the South Pacific Islands of Tutuila, Samoa, and is exploring the cultural and rhetorical implications of "apocalyptic" imagery and metaphorical language in the Gospel of Matthew. He hopes to expand the project to pursue further studies of the value and various forms of intangible cultural heritage in diasporic settings, subjects with which he can relate living in a world beyond the beaches of his island. Jennifer, whose family has roots in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, completed her comprehensive exams last month and is aiming to propose her dissertation this fall. She intends to analyze the devotional practices that a group of Latina Catholic women in Los Angeles use to honor la Virgen de Guadalupe and explore the wider implications of those practices for Catholic theology. Congratulations, Elekosi and Jennifer! Read FTE’s press release here, and find out more at

Upcoming Events

Click on event title for more info or to download event flyer. See more events

CARe Brown Bag Lunch 
PhD candidate Meredith Massar presents on "Babylon, Babylon, New Jersusalem, and the Brooklyn Bridge: Modern Vastations in American Art"
Friday, September 9, 12:00 pm
Doug Adams Gallery, 2465 LeConte Ave., Berkeley

WSR Fall Reception
Fellowship with students and faculty from the GTU's Women's Studies in Religion Certificate program.
Wednesday, September 14, 5:30 pm
Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley

CTNS Student Showcase
Hear presentations of the research being done by 3 GTU doctoral students affiliated with the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.
Thursday, September 15, 7:00 pm
Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley

GTU Welcome Reception 
The Dean's office invites the GTU consortial community to a reception where new faculty and visiting scholars will be introduced.
Wednesday, September 21, 3:30 pm
GTU Student Lounge and Adams Gallery, 2465 LeConte Ave., Berkeley

Memorial Service and Exhibit Honoring Fr. Michael Morris, OP
The GTU community remembers a beloved professor
Friday, September 23, 2:00 pm
GTU Library 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley

And Then I Killed Him: Soviet Jewish Veterans of World War II Speak of Encountering Perpetrators of the Holocaust
A CJS event featuring Anna Shternshis of the University of Toronto
Thursday, September 29, 12:45 pm
Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley

The James A Noel Symposium: Black Religion, Materiality, and the Atlantic World
A two-day conference exploring themes critical to Dr. James Noel's work.
Friday, September 30, 9:00 am - Saturday, October 1, 1:00 pm
SFTS, 101 Seminary Rd., San Anselmo 

More Events

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