SANTA CLARA, Calif.--()--At a time when a hateful video can spark mass violence in the Middle East and interreligious respect and understanding often seems unattainable, Santa Clara University is holding a series of a dozen lectures exploring the public significance of sacred texts from diverse contexts and faith traditions.
“In the textured religious and secular landscape of our globalizing world, this series offers an opportunity to go beyond the surface of popular and sometime polarizing rhetoric, so that we might collectively engage issues of public import through the resources of diverse sacred texts and traditions.”
Several of the speakers from the series, presented by the University’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, regularly represent their faiths in public interfaith events. Hindu Ravi Gupta met Pope Benedict XVI upon his first visit to the U.S. Muslim Ingrid Mattson spoke at President Obama’s first inaugural interfaith prayer service.
Titled Sacred Dialogue: Interpreting and Embodying Sacred Texts Across Traditions, speakers in this series will discuss pertinent aspects of their respective faiths’ sacred texts, such as the interplay of creation and chaos in Hindu sacred texts; charity and hospitality in Hebrew Scriptures; and the role of the Qur’an in the life of Muslims.
As part of the series, the Ignatian Center will also host an exhibit Feb. 15 to June 30, featuring art celebrating and created from sacred texts, as an examination of their power and timelessness. More on the exhibit can be found at www.scu.edu/ic/institute/exhibit.
“This winter lecture series seeks to promote an ethic of dialogue across religious traditions,” said Michael C. McCarthy, S.J., director of the Ignatian Center, which advances the University’s commitment to integrate faith, justice, and the intellectual life. “In the textured religious and secular landscape of our globalizing world, this series offers an opportunity to go beyond the surface of popular and sometime polarizing rhetoric, so that we might collectively engage issues of public import through the resources of diverse sacred texts and traditions.”
The lecture series begins on Jan. 22 and continues through March 14. The lectures are offered through the Center’s Bannan Institute, which hosts yearlong thematic programs to engage Santa Clara University and the larger community around issues of contemporary religious, cultural and theological debate.
A full list of events and speakers is available at www.scu.edu/ignatiancenter.
The speakers include: Michael Fishbane, University of Chicago, on Hebrew Scripture and Jewish Tradition on Charity and Hospitality; Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M, and Lisa Webster, Religion Dispatches, on Engaging Digital Spirituality; Rachel Wagner, Ithaca College and Sean O’Callaghan, Salve Regina University, on Sacred Games; Ravi Gupta, College of William and Mary, on Creation and Chaos in Hindu Sacred Texts; Eric Hollas, O.S.B., Saint John’s University, on The Legacy of Biblical Art and The Saint John's Bible; Alex Pang, Stanford University, Kimberly Knight, Koinonia Congregational Church, Second Life, and Douglas Rushkoff, author, on The Digital Canon and Distributed Faith; Ingrid Mattson, Huron University College, University of Western Ontario, on Dialogues Across the Qur'an; David Gray, Santa Clara University, on the Hindu Hymn of the Person, The Origin of the Caste System, and The Buddhist Responses; Amy-Jill Levine, Vanderbilt University, on Jesus' Parables as Jewish Stories; Michael Perry, Emory University, on the Universal Declaration as Sacred Text.
Other public events:
Opening Reception, Dialoguing with Sacred Texts: An Exhibit of Sacred
Texts Past, Present, and Future.
February 21, 2013 | 5:00-7:00 PM, Archives and Special Collections, Library and Learning Commons
Curator Michelle Townsend will offer an overview of the exhibit and many of the exhibited artists will be on hand for conversation and comment.
About the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
The Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education promotes and enhances the distinctively Jesuit, Catholic tradition of education at Santa Clara University, with a view to serving students, faculty, staff, and through them the larger community, both local and global. The vision of the Ignatian Center is to be recognized throughout Silicon Valley as providing leadership for the integration of faith, justice, and the intellectual life. The Center supports four signature programs: Bannan Institutes, which are yearlong thematic programs engaging contemporary religious, cultural, and theological issues; community-based learning programs connecting students, the classroom, and the local community; immersion programs engaging students, faculty, and staff with the realities of communities locally, nationally and globally; and sharing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius with the broader Santa Clara Community. More information is available at www.scu.edu/ignatiancenter/.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.