About People - March 2013
“I suppose it is rather unpopular to claim to be a religious poet,” admitted poet Spencer Reece ’11 M.Div. in an interview with Diane Bilyak ’06 M.A.R. for the Poetry Society of America, “Main-line traditions dwindle. From my church windows, I have a democratic view of literature and love the religious and the non-religious with equal fervor. Fortunately, the Episcopal Church loves the word: recently it brought a smile to my current Spanish bishop's face, as we drove to Huelva in Southern Spain to clean out a Protestant graveyard, observing me in his rearview mirror slowly reading Antonio Machado.” Reece is currently teaching a poetry course at Our Little Roses, a home for orphaned teenage girls in Honduras, the subject of an upcoming documentary.
Christine Housel ‘01 M.Div. and other members of the World Christian Student Federation Leadership team recently visited the Student Christian Movements in Cairo, Egypt. The team met with Egyptian students who “expressed their fears, hopes, and dreams for their communities during this time of deep economic and political instability,” and also shared their “newfound understanding of what it means to be both Christians and citizens in their country.”
The World is Not Ours to Save: Finding the Freedom to Do Good (IVP Books, 2013), a recent book by Tyler Wigg-Stevenson ’04 M.Div. has been featured on Patheos.com as a selection for their online book club. His book “identifies the practical and spiritual pitfalls that threaten much of today's cause-driven Christianity. He casts an alternate vision for doing good based on the liberating truth that only God can save the world.”
On February 16, Jamie Manson ’02 M.Div. appeared on Up w/ Chris Hayes as a columnist from the Catholic Reporter to discuss the Pope’s historic retirement.
R. Drew Smith ’83 M.Div. ’88 M.Phil. ’88 M.A. ’90 Ph.D. has been named professor of urban ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. The search committee is excited for Smith to “move our work in urban ministry both locally and globally to new levels of excellence.”
“Researchers say the consistent finding that 6-in-10 worshipers are women remains one of their most asked-about results,” writes David Briggs ’85 M.A.R. in his recent article “Five Hopeful Signs for U.S. Congregations,” “What is growing, however, is the diversity of leadership in mainline Protestant churches, where 28 percent of pastors are women, up from 20 percent in 2001.” Feb. 22, 2013. Online on The Huffington Post.
Janet Ruffing, professor in the practice of spirituality and ministerial leadership, was recently interviewed on RNN-TV about Pope Benedict XVI's legacy and the future of the Catholic church.
Debra W. Haffner ’97-‘98 Yale Divinity Research Fellow has recently published a book about rediscovering the value of the Bible: “You don’t need to believe in a creed, or indeed believe in organized religion at all to apply these lessons in your own daily life,” says Haffner, “It doesn’t matter if you read the Bible literally or as metaphor, because both types of readers can be inspired by its passages. You can be ‘spiritual, not religious’ or ‘religious and spiritual’ and still find or make meaning.”