Garrett-Evangelical at Detroit Annual Conference

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Transgressive Theology Conference Panel Discussion

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   Transgressive Theology Panel TN 
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September 19, 2014 | 7:00 p.m.
Room 205

Since the election of President Barack Obama, socially sanctioned violence is on the rise in the United States. This panel discussion will explore theological and religious perspectives on violence in its various forms, such as:

  • The increased use of lethal force against African Americans and other persons of color
  • A surge in the numbers and types of permissive gun laws passed by state legislatures
  • Increased ideologically charged news and talk-show banter
  • The massive numbers of inter-group deaths of black males caused by guns
  • And a variety of other forms of physical and psychic violence

Sponsored by the Asian/Asian-American Center for Ministries at Garrett-Evangelical, this panel discussion will feature five renowned religious scholars.  There is no cost to attend and all are welcome.  



Rita Brock


Rita Brock
Theological Reflections on Socially Sanctioned Violence

Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, is the first Asian American woman ever to earn a doctorate in theology (Claremont Graduate University, 1988) and to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion. An internationally distinguished lecturer and award-winning author, her 2008 book with Rebecca Ann Parker, Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, was a finalist for the American Academy of Religion Award in constructive, reflective theological studies and a best book of the year in Publisher’s Weekly. Her most recent book is Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War, co-authored with Gabriella Lettini. 


Michel Andraos

Foreign Policy, Violence and Trauma among Middle Eastern Christian Communities in the North American Diaspora (US and Canada): A brief theological reflection

Michel Elias Andraos is the Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. The ongoing violence of foreign policy and the Western-led and supported wars in the Middle East have been the source of a profound experience of violence for a long time, not only in the region but also for Middle Eastern communities in the North American diaspora (US and Canada). The hope created during President Obama's first term for peace and a new era in foreign policy based on mutual respect and collaboration turned out to be a false hope. The focus of this presentation will be on the violence, trauma and resistance as experienced among some Middle Eastern Christian communities in diaspora, which include the personal experience of the presenter.

 Rufus Burnett


Rufus Burnett
When Hip-Hoppers Moan the Blues: Re-generating Blues Ritual as a De-colonial Act Against Sanctioned Violence

Rufus Burnett, Jr. is currently a PhD student in Systematic Theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Since 2011 Rufus has been an online adjunct instructor of World Religions at Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston, GA. His research interests include: constructive theology, decolonial theological method, womanist theological method, cultural theory, world religions and epistemology, the blues, the theology of revelation, and coloniality in the thought of Anibal Quijano and Walter Mignolo.



Randall Bailey
The Hebrew Bible and Socially Sanctioned Violence

Dr. Randall C. Bailey is the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible at Interdenominational Theological Center.  He is the author of one book and numerous articles on the Hebrew Bible and editor/coeditor of five books on biblical interpretation.  He concentrates on the relationship of Ancient Africa and the Hebrew Bible and specializes in ideological criticism, especially as regards the points of intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sex, sexual orientation and power in the biblical text.


thomas Linda E. Thomas
Professor of Theology and Anthropology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Dr. Linda E. Thomas has engaged students, scholars and communities as a scholar for almost twenty years. She studies, researches, writes, speaks and teaches about the intersection and mutual influence of culture and religion. Her work is rooted intransitively in a Womanist perspective.

Dr. Thomas has taught in the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, ethics and theology. She is particularly focused on the experience of African-American women, and is passionate about uncovering and exploring historical and contemporary experiences and ideologies that govern actions, policies and norms surrounding sex, race and class.

American Theological Society - Midwest

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American Theological Society

The One Hundred Seventy-Fourth Meeting
October 31, 2014
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, Illinois 60201
(847) 866-3900
2:45 p.m.
Registration, Main Building, Lobby
Afternoon Refreshments, Contiguous with Main #205
3:15 p.m.
Afternoon Session, Main #205
“Bonheoffer, the Black Christ & the Harlem Renaissance”
Dr. Reggie Williams, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary
Dr. Nancy Bedford, Georgia Harkness Professor of Applied Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Respondent
5:00 p.m.
Evening Reception, Main #208
5:30 p.m.
Dinner and Business Meeting, Main #208 & #211
7:00 p.m.
Evening Session, Main #205
“Re-Imagining Koinonia: Beyond Diversity, Toward Recognition”
Dr. John Nunes, Emil and Elfriede Jochum Professor and Chair, Valparaiso University
Dr. Lorraine Brugh, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Chapel Music, Valparaiso University
ATS-M Executive Committee
David McCurdy, President
Robert Saler, Vice President
Marti Steussy, Member At-Large
Paul Parker, Secretary/Treasurer


To Attend

Professors and other scholars in the field of religious studies are warmly invited to attend the ATS-M semi-annual meetings, and if otherwise qualified to become members of the Society. As a guest or long-time member of the Society, please join your colleagues for critical and cordial theological discussions.


To register for an ATS-M semi-annual meeting, please call, write or email Paul Parker and state your intentions by the medium most convenient to you: office phone (630) 617-3559; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or Department of Religious Studies–Box 26, Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60126.

Because the host institutions of the Society’s semi-annual meetings provide significant support, there is no registration fee. There is, however, a fee of $25 for dinner and refreshments.

This Session

This fall’s meeting of the ATS-M promises to be extraordinary! First, Professor Reggie Williams (MTS) will bring gleanings from his Christological hermeneutics with specific references to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Harlem Renaissance (1930-31) to interpret, analyze and evaluate the West’s racialization of culture and Christianity. From her rich and diverse work, Professor Nancy Bedford (GETS) will respond formally to Reggie’s paper before the conversation is opened to the entire Society.

For the evening paper, Professor John Nunes (VU) will develop his contention that Christian communities have not done enough work to grapple with the implications of their enlarged and pluralist commons. He will argue further that humankind’s future may benefit greatly by using the United States’ traumatic race relations as a laboratory for re-imagining community. Professor Lorraine Brugh (VU) will be the first to respond to John’s paper before the Society engages him and each other in critical, constructive and fraternal conversation.

Statement of Purpose

The American Theological Society gathers as an intentionally collegial community of scholars who are engaged in the critical and creative examination of the depth and breadth of religion as it influences and is influenced by culture.


The American Theological Society (Midwest) has convened semi-annually since the early 1920’s to present and receive scholarly papers on crucial issues of religion and culture. The Society meets twice a year–on the last Friday of April and the last Friday of October–in greater Chicago at colleges, seminaries and universities. The Society has often reached beyond its local members to invite international scholars and others from across the United States to present papers and to participate in its semi-annual meetings. At the same time, the Society calls attention to the work of local scholars whose theological thinking about religious phenomena has shaped their lives and their scholarship. The Society is a community of scholars who speak and listen to one another.


Annual membership dues are $20 for members and $10 for associate members to be paid to the Treasurer, Paul Parker, each year at the fall meeting—this meeting. And if you have not paid dues for the previous year, you may attend to the oversight at any meeting or at any time through the mail. Your attention to this is appreciated.

Educating for Redemptive Community

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A celebration of the graduates of the Ph.D. Program in Christian Education and Congregational Studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in the last 25 years on the occasion of the retirement of Dr. Jack Seymour.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
November 10, 2014 | 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Since 1988, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has awarded over 30 students the Ph.D. in Christian education and congregational studies. These outstanding graduates have been employed by institutions of higher education, served in leadership roles at the highest level of their denomination, and provided guidance, education, and pastoral leadership to countless congregations. As scholars, they have published over 28 books along with numerous articles and educational resources.

Educating for Redemptive Community is an opportunity to honor our graduates' service to the church and the academy by celebrating the legacy of Christian education at Garrett-Evangelical while also looking at the future of Christian education at Garrett-Evangelical and the wider church. The focus of our conversation is how we in faith communities glimpse and work toward redemptive community.  The ministry of Christian religious education is at the heart of this work:

  1. teaching the faith tradition and its vision of redemptive community,
  2. participating in the education of the wider public about the healing of community, and
  3. engaging in partnerships and coalitions with others in mutual understanding, education and action.

Continuing education credit is available for those who attend. There is a processing fee of $50 for those who would like to earn 0.5 CEUs. Please contact Shay Craig for more information. 

This one-day event is free to all but registration by Wednesday, November 5 is required. To secure your spot please click on the "Register" button at the bottom of this webpage.


Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events

9:00 a.m. Welcome: Dr. Margaret Ann Crain, professor emeritus of Christian education, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

9:15 a.m. Defining the theme: Dr. Jack Seymour, professor of religious education, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

10:00 - 10:45 a.m. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran, associate professor of Christian education, Eden Theological Seminary; president-elect, Religious Education Association

10:45 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Dr. Dori Baker, chaplain and director of spiritual life at Sweet Briar College; scholar-in-residence, Forum for Theological Exploration

12:30 p.m. Lunch on own

2:00 p.m. Panel - Looking into the future for Christian Education at Garrett-Evangelical: Sunday Schools and Freedom Schools

Convenor: Dr. Denise Janssen, assistant professor of Christian Education, School of Theology, Virginia Union University
Panelist: Dr. Reginald Blount, assistant professor of formation, youth, and culture, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; pastor
Panelist: Dr. Virginia Lee, associate professor of Christian education and director of deacon studies, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Dr. Jack Seymour

 Dr. Jack Seymour

Jack Seymour H

Rev. Dr. Jack L. Seymour is Professor of Religious Education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Seymour is also an ordained elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church.

A renown Christian educator, Seymour has published numerous articles and is the author and co-author of a number of books, including Teaching the Way of Jesus: Educating Christians for Faithful Living (Abingdon, 2014), Yearning for God: Reflections of Faithful Lives (Upper Room Press, 2003), Mapping Christian Education: Approaches to Congregational Learning (Abingdon, 1997), and Educating Christians: The Intersection of Meaning, Learning, and Vocation (Abingdon, 1993).

Seymour is the editor of Religious Education, the journal of the Religious Education Association: An Association of Professors, Practitioners, and Researchers in Religious Education, which offers a forum for exploring religious identity, formation, and education in faith communities, academic disciplines and institutions, and public life and the global community.

Seymour joined the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical in 1988. He would later serve as Academic Dean and Vice-President for Academic affairs from 1996-2006, Director of the Joint Garrett-Evangelical/Northwestern University Ph.D. Program from 1992-1996, and Director of the Garrett-Evangelical Ph.D. Program from 2009-2012. He earned his M.Div, D.Min, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.

30th Annual PANAAWTM Conference

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UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.