Singer/songwriter and Harry Potter aficionado enliven Summer Study 2012 course offerings


A captivating array of teachers are offering courses during Summer Study 2012, including a professor who is also a singer/songwriter, has cut five albums of her own songs, and who organized and executed the well-known “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” on BBC Radio while at the University of Cambridge; and a recent Yale Divinity School graduate who taught a wildly popular course to Yale undergraduates on Christian themes in the Harry Potter books while a student at YDS and has since become a popular speaker and writer on the subject.

Maggie DawnSinger/songwriter Maggi Dawn, associate dean of Marquand Chapel and associate professor (adjunct) of theology and literature, will teach two courses: Reading the Bible through Literature, Music and Art, June 11-15, and Practical Liturgy, June 18-22.  And Danielle Tumminio '03 B.A., '06 M.Div., '08 S.T.M. will teach “What’s Christian about Harry Potter?”

Originally from England, Dawn came to Yale in 2011 after teaching and serving as chaplain at the University of Cambridge for a number of years. She is the author of four books: The Accidental Pilgrim: Modern Journeys on Ancient Pathways (Hodder and Stoughton, 2011), The Writing on the Wall: High Art, Popular Culture and the Bible (Hodder and Stoughton, 2010), Giving it Up: Daily Bible Readings from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day (Oxford: BRF, 2009), and Beginnings and Endings (and What Happens in Between): Daily Bible Readings from Advent to Epiphany (Oxford: BRF, 2007).

Dawn is the composer of contemporary songs and hymns, published variously by EMI (Kingsway) and Big Jungle Music, an ordained priest in the Church of England, an accredited pastoral supervisor with APSE (Association of Pastoral Supervisors & Educators), a writer member of PRS for Music, and a member of the Society for the Study of Theology (UK). She serves on the Advisory Board for the Royal School of Church Music and is a senior member of King’s College and Robinson College in the University of Cambridge, where she was formerly chaplain and fellow.  Dawn is the featured faculty member in this month’s Notes from the Quad ongoing series of faculty profiles.

TumminoTumminio is the author of God and Harry Potter at Yale: Faith and Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom.  When she first offered her Christian Theology and Harry Potter class to Yale undergraduates on a freezing January afternoon in 2009, more than six dozen students lined up to enroll, and it quickly became one of the most popular courses offered at the university. She has spoken about her work on the intersection of Christian faith and the series at the Portus Symposium, the Infinitus Symposium, and the American Academy of Religion, as well as to international news outlets including CNN and The Today Show, Australia.  She is a regular contributor to CNN's Belief Blog, The Huffington Post, and The Guardian on the intersection of religion and popular culture.

Yale Divinity School’s 2012 Summer Study program features a total of 21 courses taught over two five-day sessions, preceded by a conference on religion and the environment with leading eco-religionists from around the country.

Courses are consolidated under distinct weekly themes: “Bible Study and Interpretation Week,” June 11-15, and “Tools and Timely Topics Week,” June 18-22.  June 5-7 will feature “Summer Symposium: Religion and Environmental Stewardship.”

The registration deadline for Summer Study 2012 is May 24.  Registration is available online.


Date Posted: Sunday, May 6, 2012 - 2:15am