News and Updates: October 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dr. Tom Beaudoin to speak on South by Southwest Panel on Rock and Religion

Dr. Tom Beaudoin of GSRRE is part of a panel on rock and roll and religion that has just been announced for the South By Southwest music festival, in Austin, Texas, for March 2013. The panel, "Into the Mystic: Secular Music as a Quest for More," will feature religion scholars discussing the religious significance of secular music from multiple perspectives. South By Southwest is a major annual music festival that features over 2000 bands and attracts tens of thousands of music fans. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ignatian Heritage Week at Fordham - Events and Links

Starting on Wednesday October 17th, Fordham celebrates Ignatian Heritage week.  The busy week of events recalls St. Ignatius of Loyola and the founding of the Jesuit Order while also celebrating the work of Jesuits worldwide today.  In honor of this week, here are some links to help you understand our Ignatian Heritage and to invite you to the Ignatian Week events.

A  brief introduction to the Jesuits and St. Ignatius of Loyola on the Fordham website:

The website which describes the work of Jesuits in the United States:

Here is a list of the many public events in the next week to celebrate Ignatian Heritage week:

Here are some wonderful videos with Jesuits who work at Fordham and around New York City:

New Spirituality Faculty at GSRRE and upcoming lecture at Westchester

GRE Spreads the Word about Spirituality

By Joanna Klimaski

Few would question the link between Spirituality and Christianity—but what about the spirituality of business?

The two might seem at odds, but faculty and administrators at the
Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE) believe
that spirituality can play an important role in many fields of study.

“Spirituality is about learning how faith can concretely help your
relationships become better and your life become better,” said C.
Colt Anderson, Ph.D., dean of GRE. “Our focus on spirituality
[at GRE] is to draw these horizons together so that people can
understand the truth of the teachings in themselves, and how these
principles are at play in the world.”

In its broadest sense, spirituality is the way in which one “lives out”
a faith, Christian or otherwise. Spiritual practices often include
religious activities such as praying and reading Scripture, but they
also have practical secular components. “Meditative practices, for
example, allow you to get outside of situations to rejuvenate
creativity and focus,” Dean Anderson said. “You can apply this to
business, politics, communications—taking the time out for quiet
contemplation, getting perspective on things.”

He cited, for example, corporate expert Jim Collins, author of
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
(HarperCollins, 2011), who wrote about the “paradoxical blend”
of humility (deferring personal needs for the greater good of the
company) and ambition (the drive to help the company succeed)
at work in the corporate world.

These traits, which Collins argues are requisite for corporate leaders,
are also considered Christian virtues.  “Christian spirituality is consonant
with leadership and management skills today,” Dean Anderson said.
“Christian leaders also encourage channeling egoistic needs away from
oneself to focus on the larger goal of building the Kingdom of Heaven
which is not a personal mission, it’s a larger mission… These leaders are
humble, but they’re very ambitious.”

The study of spirituality has always been central at GRE—several
master’s and doctoral programs, as well as a faith formation certificate
, include concentrations in spirituality. Recently, though, GRE has taken
steps to amplify the message.

This year, the school added two new professors of spirituality: Shannon
McAlister, Ph.D., an expert in the history of feminine language for God,
and Francis McAloon, S.J., former associate professor of Christian
Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University.

On Oct. 26, the pair will give a joint lecture, “New Directions in
Spirituality,” at Fordham Westchester.  McAlister’s talk offers an
innovative take on the Christian conception of God. “There’s this
concept of speaking about God as like a mother, and specifically
conceiving and giving birth,” she said. “You find this in Scripture,
and I argue that you find it in the theology behind the Nicene Creed.”
McAlister explained that the original rendition of the creed used the
Latin word natus, meaning “born,” to describe Jesus as “born of the
Father”—wording that evokes mother imagery. Incorporating such
language could promote a more holistic spirituality and help women
see themselves as “fully made in the image of God,” McAlister said.

Father McAloon will discuss discernment, a key element of Christian
spirituality and, at its core, a decision-making process, by tracing the
practice from the New Testament to Ignatian spirituality.  “Spiritual
discernment means taking seriously that God has an intention or desire
for each of us, and part of our spiritual journeys include discerning what
God’s will is for us,” Father McAloon said. “I think it’s helpful to go
back and look at the Pauline letters and other texts that support this idea
that spiritual discernment is key to Christian discipleship.”  McAlister
and Father McAloon said that spirituality is important for the religious
and non-religious alike.

“Having a spirituality is constitutive of being a human person,” Father
McAloon said. “It’s part of everybody, no matter whether you believe
in a God or are an atheist. It’s part of what orients us beyond ourselves
to some sense that there is more than just ‘me’ in this world.”  It’s a
message that the GRE plans to take beyond the classroom by hosting
public events such as the Westchester lectures, forging new connections,
and more. “My hope is that we’re going to take the discipline of spirituality
and really show people how to carry it out into the broader world,” Dean
Anderson said. “[To show] that spirituality is relevant to professional as
well as personal life, and that it needs to be carried out in the other schools
and in involved partnerships with secular institutions, such as businesses.
“Because spiritual traditions could contribute to a more equitable and, indeed,
even more profitable society.”

More Top Stories in this issue:
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Copyright © 2012, Fordham University.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"The Challenge of Retaining Active Catholics" - presentation by Dr. Tom Beaudoin at conference on Vatican II

GSRRE's Dr. Tom Beaudoin will be giving a presentation this Saturday 13 October at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey. His talk is entitled "The Challenge of Retaining Active Catholics: 'Deconversion' Among Younger and Older Adults Today". It is part of a conference on "Reclaiming and Celebrating Vatican II With a New Generation." More information is here.

Conference Information

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

spring 2013 course offerings

The Spring 2013 schedule of courses for the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education is now availabe.  Spring 2013 Schedule of courses   Courses are available at the Rose Hill and Westchester classes and on-line.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP to visit Fordham University

On 12-13 February 2013, Timothy Radcliffe, OP, will be visiting Fordham. Fr. Radcliffe is a major figure in global Christianity and the former Master of the entire Dominican order. (His wiki page is here.) He is a warm-hearted, creative thinker who has focused on reconciling divisions within Catholicism and on putting the Catholic tradition and the world into substantial dialogue. His bestselling and award-winning book, _What is the Point of Being a Christian?_, has been lauded as a thoughtful, learned, hopeful, and accessible case for the meaning and importance of Christian life in the contemporary world.

Fr. Radcliffe will be with us for three events(visit this blog or for full details in January 2013):
** Lecture: Tuesday 12 February 5:00pm, Tognino Hall, Rose Hill Campus(Bronx) of Fordham University: "How Can Christianity Touch the Imagination of Our Contemporaries?"

** Faculty/Grad Student Seminar: Graduate School of Religion / Theology Department / Curran Center faculty+graduate student seminar, Wednesday 13 February, 3:00-4:15, Keating 124: "Where Do Theologians Belong in the Church: The Center or the Edges?"

** Undergraduate Conversation: All undergraduates are welcome to a conversation with Fr. Radcliffe, Wednesday 13 February, 1:30-2:30, Keating 124

Fr. Radcliffe's visit is co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, the Department of Theology, and the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies.