Prof. Yehezkel Landau will lead a course on March 13 and 14 for the Capital Region Theological Center on “Finding Sacred Common Ground” at Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady, N.Y.. Prof. Landau also wrote an article that appeared in the Times Union in advance of his appearance. “The Power of Interfaith Alliance” describes the many reasons Americans should overcome fears of religions with which they are not familiar. “At a time when religion is too often hijacked by extremists or manipulated by politicians, we need to find ways of tapping the healing power latent in all our religious traditions,” he wrote.
Prof. Scott Thumma was quoted in an article in the Kansas City Star on a megachurch that is expanding: “You don’t see many of the megachurches putting up larger buildings,” said sociologist Scott Thumma of the Hartford Institute. “You see them spinning off to other, smaller locations.” As membership expands or contracts through the decades, large congregations can adjust by opening or closing satellite churches. Perhaps the greatest worry for any church erecting a sanctuary for the century, Thumma said, is the volatility that can occur with a change in leadership. “There are a number of empty megachurches around that were unable to replace a popular leader,” he said.
Prof. Lucinda Mosher is in Atlanta to take part in the annual meeting of the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes. She will be one of the authors featured at a booksigning event at the Cathedral of St Philip. On March 1, she will be one of the panelists discussing “Fresh Trends in Episcopal Theology for the 21st Century.”
Academic Dean Uriah Kim‘s essay “More to the Eye Than Meets the Eye,” was published in Biblical Interpretation. Students can read this article about the story of Samson via the Hartford Seminary library, which subscribes to this journal.
Two of Prof. Najib Awad‘s academic essays have recently been published in peer-reviewed journals: “Religio-phobia: Western Islam, Social Integration and the Resurgence of Religiosity in Europe,” in The Muslim World, 103(4), 2014, 433-447 and “At the Dawn of ‘Practice’, or Re-Thinking the Nature and Role of Theology and Doctrine in the Church,” in Journal of Reformed Theology, 8(1), 2014, 3-34.
On Feb. 9, Prof. Lucinda Mosher was the presenter for the Adult Forum at Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church (NYC). Her topic was “‘Torch-Woman’ and ‘She Who Asks “Where Is the Prince?’: A Fresh Look at Deborah and Jezebel.” Prof. Mosher also recently had an essay published in the Winter 2014 issue of the Anglican Theological Review. It can be viewed at this link by clicking on the blue and white snowflake icon, then the title: “The Episcopal Church and Religious Manyness: Steps Toward a Theology.”
Between February 20-22, Prof. Najib Awad will participate in a conference held in Erlangen-Nuremberg University, Germany. The title is “Exegetical Crossroads: Understanding Scripture in Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Medieval Orient.” He will read a paper titled ” ‘Min al-’Aql wa-laysa min al-kutub’: Scriptural Evidentiality, Rational Verification and Theodore Abu Qurrah’s Apologetic Epistemology.”
Over the Winter break, Prof. Feryal Salem conducted a Three-Day Women’s Fiqh (Islamic Law) Intensive in Chicago for the “Ink of Scholars Series” sponsored by the Nur Foundation for Sacred Sciences. Prof. Salem has been asked to continue the series quarterly.
During January, Prof. Yehezkel Landau lectured on religious peacebuilding in Israel/Palestine, and then facilitated conversations, at two churches: at Christ’s Church in Saxtons River, VT, on Jan. 22, and at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, CT, on Jan. 25. He also led an interfaith worship service for residents at the Duncaster Retirement Community in Bloomfield on Jan. 26.
Prof. Scott Thumma and research by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research has been quoted in several news articles in January:
- The Charlotte Observer did a piece on Elevation church in North Carolina and called on Prof. Thumma’s expertise on the topic of megachurches.
- Prof. Thumma was quote in a Daily Tribune piece about the rise of Kensington Church in Troy, MI. “In total, 12.2 million people or 4 percent of the U.S. population worships in an independent or nondenominational church, according to research [by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research]. ‘And the phenomenon is on the rise,’ wrote Scott Thumma with the institute. The rise of nondenominational Christianity is probably one of the strongest trends in the last two decades, the report stated.”
- A LifeWay Research article on racial diversity in churches, “Racial Diversity at Church More Dream Than Reality,” quotes a Faith Communities Today survey which found that about 12.5 percent of Protestant churches were multi-ethnic.
- Adair Lummis, faculty research associate at the institute, was interviewed by WCPO in Cincinatti about a church that meets in a high school cafeteria with the goal of creating a“multi-ethnic, inter-generational, multi-class community.”