GTU Insight: February 2017
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February 2017 

In this Issue...

CTNS Announces $2 Million Gift
Francisco AyalaThe Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at the GTU is pleased to announce a gift of $2 million from Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, University Professor in the Sciences and Humanities at the University of California Irvine. In recognition of Dr. Ayala’s gift, CTNS will be renamed The Francisco J. Ayala Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. CTNS Director Dr. Robert Russell declared, “As an internationally recognized scientist, Dr. Ayala will provide CTNS an extraordinary degree of credibility among the often hesitant scientific community, and will open doors for us in the secular world that might otherwise have remained locked.” Dr. Ayala’s gift will support interaction between the scientific and religious communities, and will ensure that CTNS will be a permanent leader in the international field of science and religion. The GTU will host a naming event and reception for The Francisco J. Ayala Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 4pm, in the Dinner Board Room, Graduate Theological Union Library, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, California. Read more>> 

Spring Exhibitions Open at the GTU 
Two fascinating exhibitions this spring highlight the diversity of religious expression and experience that makes study at the GTU truly unique. In our Doug Adams Gallery, the Center for the Arts & Religion hosts Reverberating Echoes: Contemporary Art Inspired by Traditional Islamic Art, an exhibition curated by Carol Bier, Visiting Scholar at the GTU Center for Islamic Studies. This timely exhibition showcases the work of seven American artists of diverse backgrounds who draw inspiration from Islamic visual heritage. At the same time, over in our Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, a collection of historical works by Martin Luther and his contemporaries are on display in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Featured items include a 1535 Luther Bible (with hand-colored prints) as well as early editions of works by Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Jean Calvin, Johann Eck, and others. Reverberating Echoes opened this week and is on display now in the Doug Adams Gallery (with a community forum where you can meet the artists on February 1 at 3:00 pm), while the Reformation exhibition opens on February 13, with a reception on Wednesday, February 15, at 6 pm. Both exhibitions will be on display throughout the spring semester.

DSPT Student Assists at Papal Mass

Papal MassDSPT MA student and Dominican brother Gregory Liu, OP, assisted Pope Francis at a Papal Mass on January 21 that concluded the 800th Jubilee of the papal confirmation of the founding of the Dominican order. The Mass was celebrated at the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral church of Rome and the ecclesiastical seat of the Pope. Brother Gregory (pictured holding the book, and below on left) describes his opportunity to serve for Pope Francis while attending the Dominican International Mission Congress as “entirely providential.” Brother Gregory is currently working on his master's thesis at DSPT, which seeks to bring the voice and thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican brother, to the debate about human nature within Confucianism. The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, consecrated in 324, is the oldest and most significant of the five papal cathedrals.

GTU Leaders Speak Out on Immigration

GTU Dean Uriah Kim and PSR president David Vásquez-Levy are among the many religious leaders at the GTU and across the nation who are speaking out against restrictive immigration policies. Uriah Kim is part of American Values, Religious Voices, a 100-day campaign in which religious scholars from diverse traditions are sharing wisdom through letters to President Trump and other political leaders during the first 100 days of the new administration. Kim's open letter, which was published and delivered to the president and other members of the current administration on January 25, reflects on his experience as the son of an immigrant mother, and urges the new president to “continue to leave America’s door open and to care for the people already living in the United States.” On January 28, PSR President David Vásquez-Levy wrote an editorial responding directly to the executive order restricting entry into the United States by refugees and other immigrants. He urged educational institutions and communities of faith to "show our creative strength, intellectual capacity, deep faith, and courage, as we join angels and protesters proclaiming, 'No hate, no fear! Refugees are welcome here!' " PSR's Ignite Institute is sponsoring a webinar for faith leaders seeking to respond to the recent executive orders on Wednesday, February 1, at 11am PST and 2pm EST. (RSVP here.) As a multi-religious and multicultural scholarly community rooted in academic freedom and respect, the GTU and its faculty, staff, and administration will continue to pursue opportunities to stand together against intolerance.     

Upcoming Events

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Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Its Discontents
A CJS event featuring Karma Ben Johanan
Thursday, February 2, 12:45 pm
GTU Dinner Boardroom, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley
CARe Brown Bag Lunch
Featuring Dr. Christopher Renz, OP
Friday, February 3, 12:00 pm
Doug Adams Gallery, 2465 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley

WSR Reception Honoring New Female Faculty
WSR kicks off the semester and celebrates new women faculty at the GTU 
Wednesday, February 8, 5:00 pm
GTU Dinner Boardroom, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley

JST Dean's Lecture
Dr. Vincent Lloyd speaks on "Abolitionism Today"
Wednesday, February 15, 7:00 pm
JST Chapel, 1735 LeRoy Ave., Berkeley

CTNS Reception 
Honoring Dr. Francisco Ayala (see article above)
Thursday, February 16, 4:00 pm
GTU Dinner Boardroom, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley

Womanist Biblical Interpretation as a Tool for a Liberative Ethic
A WSR Brown Bag Lunch with Professor Yolanda Norton
Friday, February 17, 1:00 pm
GTU Student Lounge, 2465 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley
2017 Surjit Singh Lecture on Comparative Religious Thought and Culture
"A Jain-Inspired Approach to the Diversity of Worldviews," featuring Dr. Jeffery Long, professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College
Wednesday, February 22
6:00 pm reception, GTU Dinner Boardroom, 2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley
7:00 pm lecture, Zaytuna College, 2401 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley.

Policing, Violence, and Activism
An online collaborative seminar at SFTS
Begins Wednesday, March 2  

More Events

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