About People - April 2012

“Anne Stanback stands out as one of Connecticut’s finest and bravest advocates. Her extraordinary leadership guided Connecticut to a new era in civil rights and equality, and made our state one of a handful in the country that would be a bright light of justice despite a national culture of intolerance. Anne stood, undaunted, in her efforts on behalf of the GLBT community and has left a lasting legacy of integrity and perseverance,” Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Thursday, March 29, 2012, New Haven (CT) Register, in reference to Anne Stanback ’85 M.A.R., in the article “Yale alum works to end discrimination against gays in Connecticut.”


“Severely negative, heated comments amount to the sort of rhetoric that can possibly lead to physical violence. It is difficult not to agree with those who argue that the tragedy in the shopping mall last January in Tucson - the killing of 6 people, including the chief federal judge in Arizona and a 9-year-old girl, and the wounding of 13 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in critical condition for an agonizingly long time - was the aftermath of very heated rhetoric about many of the problems in America that beset us....Hopefully our social compact is not over. But we in Rhode Island need to keep working on it, to make it successful, and honor the tradition of Roger Williams. All the controversy arising from the school banner in Cranston is a perfect challenge to do just that.”  Ralph Barlow '59 B.D. '64 S.T.M., Jan. 19, 2012, Providence Journal, writing in a column entitled “Roger Williams and the social compact” regarding a federal judge’s ruling that the Cranston school’s prayer mural is unconstitutional and must be removed.


 “Three years ago, Emily Scott had an idea. What if twentysomethings in Manhattan's East Village got together every Sunday for an agape feast, just as the early Christians did? Scott knew that Gen Xers and millennial peers crave egalitarian participation in a close-knit community and tend to avoid anything that looks like an institution. What if a group of friends cooked and ate a meal together, read scripture and sang some hymns? St. Lydia's, named for the hospitable woman mentioned in Acts 16, was born.”  Christian Century, March 26, 2012, in the article “New clergy, new churches,” about Emily Scott ’06 M.Div. and other contemporary church planters.


 “Jason Brown [’11 M.A.R.] was a Brigham Young University anthropology student working on a Guatemalan field study when he sensed that his spirituality and the natural world were tightly bound.  The villagers he was living among had a vastly different view of a forest than most Americans. Thinking the trees around them were neither a dollar-valued commodity nor a nature preserve to be admired but kept separate, they cherished them for the firewood, shelter, animals and comfort they provided.  Their ways led Brown to a new path with dual theology and forestry master’s degrees from Yale University and helped inform the environmental conscience that he discusses in religion and ethics and values classes he leads at Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College.”  The Salt Lake Tribune, March 23, 2012, in the article “Sacred groves: Theologians contemplate God in special places.”


“Jerry’s influence on students, body of written work, speeches through Tom Morris’s Institute for Human Values, and contributions at the highest levels to numerous areas of academic inquiry qualify him, in my estimation, as one of the most important living Christian philosophers today.  When you combine that sort of intellectual rigor with warmth of heart and passionate conviction, you get quite a result. Houston Baptist is lucky to have him.” David Baggett, professor of philosophy at Liberty University in Virginia, March 8, 2012, The Collegian (Houston Baptist University), speaking about the appointment of Jerry Walls ’81 S.T.M. as visiting professor of philosophy at Houston Baptist.


“My denomination, the United Church of Christ, believes that ‘God is still speaking.’ We measure the economy against one fundamental truth: the Earth and all that is in it belong to God. Moreover, God intends that we fully share God's gifts.  But we know this radical equality is not reflected in the economic realities of our world. Some of us have very little, while others have very much.  We imagine and work for a world where no one is poor, homeless, living in substandard housing, or lacking the nutritious food needed for a healthy life. This vision drives us to work for such a world.”   Kent Siladi ’81 M.Div., conference minister of the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ, March 13, 2012, in an Orlando (FL) Sentinel guest column titled “Publix should join others and pay extra penny for tomatoes.”


"I'm just tremendously going to miss her sermons, and her energy, and her ability to listen to people," Cook said. "She really motivates people. She's always looking to engage everyone and get everyone involved as best she can. She encourages people to help out and to tap into their resources that maybe they don't even know they had."  Judy Cook, former senior warden of St. John Episcopal Church in Niantic, CT, March 31, 2012, The Day (New London, CT), commenting on the retirement of Page Rogers ’80 M.Div. after 12 years at the church.


“For all the advances on some Catholic campuses, a culture of fear still looms heavily. Though nearly twenty scholars and program directors were contacted for comment on this article, only three were willing to speak on the record.  This silence, whether self-imposed or ecclesiastically ordered, raises important questions about the future of younger theologians and scholars at Catholic universities. What is the impact on academic integrity when new faculty members fear that they might be denied tenure, or get their university in trouble with a bishop, if they publish ideas or speak to the media about controversial topics?”  Jamie Manson ’02 M.Div., March 30, 2012, writing in Religion Dispatches magazine, in the column “As Culture War Rages, What's the Status of LGBT Rights on Catholic Campuses?"


Kerry Robinson, ’94 M.A.R., executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, will be the guest speaker when Misericordia University holds its 86th annual Commencement ceremony on May 19.  During the Commencement ceremony, Misericordia will present Robinson and her husband, Michael Cappello, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the World Fellows Program at Yale, with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees.


“In his book Chinese Theories of Literature, James J. Liu divides writing into six categories: The first and second are metaphysical and deterministic, which represent the interactions between writer and universe; the third is expressive, the interaction between writer and work; the fourth and fifth are technical and aesthetic, which look at the work as an object; and the sixth is pragmatic, the interaction between work and audience.  I suggest a seventh theory and apply it specifically to poetry—the “meta-metaphysical,” the interaction between audience and universe or God. The meta-metaphysical means that the potential exists for associations between the reader or hearer of a poem to something beyond the self. Some poems can allow God to flow through the author; later, the poem reaches out to remind others of their own connection to God.” Diane Bilyak ’06 M.A.R., April 2, 2012, America magazine, writing in the column “Exploring poetry and faith.”


All three of the finalists to succeed Gene Robinson as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire are graduates of Yale Divinity School and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, YDS’s Episcopal Church affiliate.  Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion, will retire early next year.  In the running to succeed him are Penelope "Penny" Bridges ‘97 M.Div. of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls, Va.; Robert "Rob" Hirschfeld ’91 M.Div. of Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst, MA; and William "Bill" Warwick Rich ’80 M.Div., senior associate rector of Trinity Church in Boston.  In May lay and clergy representatives of the Diocese of New Hampshire will vote for a successor. Final consent will be put forward at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in July.  Concord (NH) Monitor, Marcy 18, 2012.


“Evangelicals historically have tended to see conspiratorial forces at work.  It comes in part from this sense that there’s a constant struggle between the forces of light and darkness, that something is either an agent of God or the devil. It contributes to a sense of religion being under attack.”  March 15, 2012, Washington Post, Ken Minkema, director, Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale, in the article “Catholics don’t see contraception mandate as threat to religious freedom.”


Harvard Divinity School’s Ultimate Frisbee team, VeriToss, challenges YDS’s Ultimate Divinity Frisbee players to rematch in wake of last year’s YDS victory over their Cantab counterparts.


Date Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 1:39pm