BU Graduate Conference on Religion and Health

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Posted in Conference, Educational resource, Upcoming Event

Welcome, Dr. Abdur-Rashid

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Equality: The Road Less Traveled (Paul Hunt)

learn more from human rights lawyer, Paul Hunt

Posted in Educational resource, Overheard, Web resource

Bread and Pigs: What it (really) meant to feed ancient Rome

Delighted to see a wonderful article on the Roman annona by the inestimable Professor Michele Saltzman, “From a Classical to a Christian City: Civic Euergetism and Charity in Late Antique Rome,” published in February in the new journal, Studies in Late Antiquity. Published by the University of California Press, all SLA articles will be available free throughout 2017. pdf.

Posted in Educational resource, Web resource

Read Patristics This Summer

The Pappas Patristic Institute
Annual Summer Patristic Studies Program
July 30 – August 4, 2017
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology,
Brookline, Massachusetts

This summer’s faculty (tragically mono-gendered, but good men, for all that…) and their course offerings include:

1. Wealth and Poverty in the Patristic Tradition, taught by Brian Matz, Fontbonne University
2. The Ascending Pilgrimage: The Spiritual Life according to Irenaeus of Lyons, taught by Don Springer, McMasters Divinity School
3. Reading Scripture with the Fathers, taught by Bruce Beck, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
4. Economia and Ecology: The Church Fathers on the Creation, taught by David Goodin, McGill University
5. Virtues and Vices in the Eastern and Western Fathers, taught by Kevin Clarke, Ave Maria University

This is a unique opportunity to study and discuss classic Patristic texts through small group-study brief faculty lectures.  The intended audience for the program includes theology and religious studies students at the masters and undergraduate levels, clergy, interested lay people, and undergraduates with an interest in learning more about the Church Fathers.  Doctoral-level students are also encouraged to participate, or to apply for teaching fellowships.

“If you are interested in attending, please fill out the web registration form here. Please send any questions about the program to Dr. Bruce Beck at bbeck@hchc.edu. Registration fees are not due until the beginning of the program, July 30. Please register online even if you have already indicated that you plan to come.”


Posted in Conference, Educational resource, Upcoming Event

“I’d really just like a book on social justice”

From Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard Commencement speech last week:

Remember when I told you about that class I taught at the Boys and Girls Club? One day after class I was talking to them about college, and one of my top students raised his hand and said he wasn’t sure he could go because he’s undocumented. He didn’t know if they’d let him in.

Last year I took him out to breakfast for his birthday. I wanted to get him a present, so I asked him and he started talking about students he saw struggling and said “You know, I’d really just like a book on social justice.”

I was blown away. Here’s a young guy who has every reason to be cynical. He didn’t know if the country he calls home — the only one he’s known — would deny him his dream of going to college. But he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself. He wasn’t even thinking of himself. He has a greater sense of purpose, and he’s going to bring people along with him.

It says something about our current situation that I can’t even say his name because I don’t want to put him at risk. But if a high school senior who doesn’t know what the future holds can do his part to move the world forward, then we owe it to the world to do our part too.

Before you walk out those gates one last time, as we sit in front of Memorial Church, I am reminded of a prayer, Mi Shebeirach, that I say whenever I face a challenge, that I sing to my daughter thinking about her future when I tuck her into bed. It goes:

“May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us *find the courage* to make our lives a blessing.”

I hope you find the courage to make your life a blessing.

Read the full-length speech.
Watch on YouTube.

Posted in Educational resource, Online Lecture, Overheard, Reflection, Web resource

You rush to go to a meeting, and…

Prayer: View on Black, by Luca Rossata; posted here under the FlickR Creative Commons license“In Nairobi in the late nineties, I met the then Director of WHO [World Health Organization] for East Africa. ‘Churches,’ he said, ‘are a complete nightmare to work with, because they have so many priorities that have nothing to do with health. For example, you rush to get to a meeting, and you sit down, and silence falls, and then instead of getting on with the agenda somebody says, ‘Let’s pray.’

“‘I mean…!’, he said.”

-Gillian Paterson, “Discovering Fire: Changes in International Thinking on Health Care–The Challenge for Religion,” in James R. Cochrane, Barbara Schmidt, and Teresa Cutts, eds., When Religion and Health Align: Mobilising Religious Health Assets for Transformation. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications, 2011, pp. 17-18.
Posted in Booknote, Overheard