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VOL. 10, NO. 4 ■ JULY 2013 HERALDING NEWS FROM NORTHEASTERN SEMINARY Faculty research offers a faithful response VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN HAS LONG BEEN VIEWED AS A MORAL ISSUE with scores of research that take a sociological approach. However, no resources address Dr. Elizabeth Gerhardt professor of theology & social ethics Dr. Nelson Grimm director of field education & professor of applied theology the issue from a theological perspective and most are limited to the North American context—until now. Growing out of 25 years of study, teaching, and practical experience, Dr. Elizabeth Gerhardt, professor of theology and social ethics, applies a theology of the cross to shine light on the misuse of Christian tradition as it relates to violence against women and to propose a cohesive church response to the problem. In her book The Cross and Gendercide: A Theological Response to Global Violence Against Women and Girls (working title), to be released spring 2014, she investigates the underlying causes of gendercide as a common thread that has ties to global issues such as poverty, education, and disease. This book, written for pastors, ministry leaders, and seminary students, goes beyond exploring the issue as a criminal act to proposing that violence against women is, in fact, a confessional issue for the church. She notes, “It is important for the church to examine its thinking about issues regarding violence against women. We collude with evil, on the scale of the holocaust, by being passive on this issue.” Thus, Gerhardt provides instruction in how to think theologically in concrete ways about the church’s response. Next on the docket for Gerhardt is writing a chapter for a tribute to Dr. Paul Livermore on orthodoxy and orthopraxis—See How They Love One Another: A Short History of Medieval and Reformation Poor Relief and Its Significance for the Church Today. Faculty Research Classes in Albany A LIFE-LONG COMMITMENT TO HELP PARISHONERS BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE is the impetus for Dr. Nelson Grimm’s current research on the role of spirituality and prayer in personal resilience. This focus is part of a broader project to develop an online data collection system to help pastors and church leaders assess the spiritual health and vitality of the people in their faith communities. One of several areas of study such as motivations for volunteering, variables in influencing forgiveness, and church selection criteria, his current focus looks at personal resilience when people face traumatic life events. By better understanding the variables that contribute to one’s ability to recover from life’s challenges pastors can help people deal with issues that are outside of their control. Grimm, director of field education and professor of applied theology, is developing a survey instrument that goes well beyond current measures of spirituality such as church attendance to gather data on the personal practices of parishoners around the nature of prayer in which they engage, their concept of God (cognitive function) and their God image (experience of God), their learned response of resilience, and their motivation for worship. With a greater understanding of the role of such variables pastoral care can be enhanced— ministry to the bereaved, the unemployed, those going through family crisis, and those suffering from illness has an expanded resource. Equally important for Grimm is the way these findings can demonstrate to a non-Christian population that the Christian faith is important to their resilience. Upcoming Events Community News

Northeastern Seminary ResOund, July 2013

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