“Tools and Timely Topics” the focus of second week of Summer Study 2012


The second week of Summer Study at YDS 2012, “Tools and Timely Topics Week,” brings together 11 courses that enhance skills for ministry or present topics that may be of interest for adult study in parishes.

Headliners for the “Tools and Timely Topics Week,” June 18-22, feature courses taught by a number of Summer Program veterans.  But several intriguing courses will be taught by newcomers to the program—though not newcomers to YDS.

 TumminioDanielle Tumminio '03 B.A. '06 M.Div. '08 S.T.M., author of the book God and Harry Potter at Yale: Faith and Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom, will teach “What’s Christian about Harry Potter?”  Tumminio first offered her Christian Theology and Harry Potter class to Yale undergraduates in 2008, and it maintains a reputation as one of the most popular courses on campus.

“Our class is going to look at a whole range of ideas from Christian theology that together create the underpinnings of what Christians think about God, and we will then look at them alongside the Harry Potter books,” says Tumminio.  “The central goal of this course is to ask whether the Harry Potter books espouse a Christian theological worldview, and if so, to what extent.”

Tumminio has been featured on international news outlets including CNN and The Today Show, Australia, and she is a regular contributor to CNN's Belief Blog, The Huffington Post, and The Guardian on the intersection of religion and popular culture.

Associate Dean for Chapel Maggi Dawn, who held chaplain posts at Cambridge University before joining YDS in the fall, will teach the course “Practical Liturgy.”

Says Dawn, “The purpose of this week’s sessions will be to learn how to make liturgy and worship work in practice.  The week will begin with some analysis of the shape, structure and content of services of the Word and Communion and Eucharistic services from various denominational traditions. We will examine how, by understanding themes and transitions, a service can be transformed from a series of disjointed items to a coherent piece.”

Dawn, who is also associate professor of theology and literature, served at Cambridge as chaplain of King’s College and, later, as chaplain and fellow of Robinson College. She has published a series of books and articles, the most recent of which are The Writing on the Wall: High Art, Popular Culture and the Bible [Hodder and Stoughton, 2010] and The Accidental Pilgrim: Modern Journeys on Ancient Pathways [Hodder and Stoughton, 2011].

Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies Salama Shaker, the first woman appointed assistant minister of foreign affairs for the Americas in the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will offer “Religion and the Arab Revolutions.”

Shaker was appointed deputy minister of foreign affairs for cultural, educational relations, technical cooperation, and dialogue for Egypt in September 2004. For four years prior to that, she was Egypt’s ambassador to Canada. From 1985-1990, Shaker served as consul general at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C.  She has published many articles on the issues of peace and development in the Middle East and has published a book entitled State Society and Privatization in Turkey. Throughout her career she has been active on women’s rights in the Islamic world.

“The Courage to Be: An Introduction to the Theology of Howard Thurman and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” will be taught by Jerry Streets, adjunct associate professor of pastoral counseling and former chaplain of Yale University and senior pastor of the University Church.

“In today's culturally and religiously diverse societies, the lives and theologies of Howard Thurman and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. offer much for us to reflect upon regarding our own spiritual journeys and life's work in a complex global world,” Streets says, “This course will introduce the thinking of Thurman and King and will allow us to reflect upon their work and our own spiritual paths, sense of self, and citizenship.” 

Streets was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2008 in the Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa and a Fulbright Specialist in 2010 at the University of the Free State, Blomfontein, South Africa. He is acting pastor of historic Dixwell Avenue United Church of Christ Congregational in New Haven.


Senior Research Scholar Theodore Malloch will teach “The Virtues of a Marketplace Theology” during Tools and Topics week.  “The purpose of this short course is to explore the nature and the effect of virtues in business from a theological perspective,” says Malloch.  “Using the lens of spiritual and social capital it will explore the hard and soft virtues and provide case examples, using both a lecture and case study method. The course will commence with an introduction of both the concept of spiritual capital and democratic capitalism and will consider theories and practices of virtue and conclude with their relevance for business organizations in a skeptical age.”

Malloch is the author of Issues in International Trade and Development Policy; Beyond Reductionism; Unleashing the Power of Perpetual Learning; The Global Century, written with Scott Massey; Renewing American Culture: The Pursuit of Happiness; Being Generous; Thrift: Rebirth of a Forgotten Virtue; and the best-selling Spiritual Enterprise: Doing Virtuous Business.

Summer Program veterans teaching this summer include:

Associate Professor of Anglican Studies and Patristics Christopher Beeley, “Augustine’s Confessions”

Kenneth Minkema and Adrian Neele, executive editor and associate editor, respectively, of The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale, “The Great Awakening: Context and Text”

Assistant Professor of Ethics Fred Simmons, “The Economy and Christian Ethics”

Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling Jan Holton, “Complicated Issues in Death, Dying, and Grief”

Ray Waddle, editor of Reflections magazine, “Writing Workshop”

Vladislav Andrejev, Prosopon School of Iconology, “Icon Writing Workshop”

For the first time, summer courses are being consolidated under distinct weekly themes: “Bible Study and Interpretation Week,” June 11-15, and “Tools and Timely Topics Week,” June 18-22.  Summer Study will begin with the Religion and Environmental Stewardship symposium, June 5-7.  A full description of Summer Study 2012, including registration information, is available at http://summerstudy.yale.edu/.


Date Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 8:56pm