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BerkeleyatYALE Spring 2016 • Vol. 7, No. 2

The Porter Jerusalem Fellowship


The Dean’s Letter

Rebuilding God’s Church Dear Alumni and Friends, Just before Easter, Berkeley seniors undertook a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, going one further step beyond our customary trip to Canterbury. We walked the street outside the monastery from which Augustine set out, at Gregory the Great’s instigation, to evangelize the English. Although our experience included many ancient places that helped the pilgrims consider our roots, we also faced contemporary realities, not least the fact of many unwilling travelers: the human faces of the refugee crisis in Europe.

If we dare follow Jesus as far as the cross we can expect him to speak to us, as to Mary and John, as to Francis. Our group spent a morning at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center and met asylum seekers from Pakistan, Mali, and many other places. At the Community of Sant’Egidio we heard founder Andrea Riccardi reflect on the weeping women whom Jesus encounters on the way to the Cross, comparing them to the weeping mothers across the Middle East. When we attended a General Audience in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis spoke on Jeremiah 31 and Israel’s experience of exile, and of “how many of our brothers and sisters at this time are living out an actual and dramatic situation of exile, far from their homeland, still shocked by the ruins of their homes, with fear in their heart and often, sadly, mourning the loss of loved ones!” Our last full day was at Assisi. In the Basilica of Saint Clare now hangs the famous Byzantinestyle painted crucifix which a young Francesco de Bernadone believed spoke to him in its former home of San Damiano. “Rebuild my Church,” Francis heard, and thought the Lord was calling for repair work on that very building. He later

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came to realize it was a call to build community. That ancient cross also depicts the Mother of Jesus and the disciple whom Jesus loved, and to whom he spoke saying “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.” In that story Jesus effectively founds the Church, a community of love based on love of him. Our need for renewed community is clear enough. Each generation seems to have its distinctive ways of being inhuman; take your pick today between racism and terrorism, various insurgencies far away and surging inequality close to home, or just consider our squabbles over which of our inhumanities is really worse, and which remedy for it the least vile. If we dare follow Jesus as far as the cross we can expect him to speak to us, as to Mary and John, as to Francis. We can expect him to make us mothers and sons to people we did not expect, and probably did not want. Jesus will not exempt the refugee and the migrant from his care and our responsibility in the name of our own security. He will also not forget those closest at hand with whom we have found ourselves unable to remain in relationship because we cannot understand or accept their opinions or values or identity. Back in New Haven, local programs with the homeless and the refugee continue to be an important part of Berkeley life. Our task close to home is still to rebuild God’s Church and world. As we go out into the streets of New Haven or Assisi or Rome, Jesus still says, again and again: Here is your father, here is your daughter, brother, sister, son, mother. Yours faithfully,


PHOTOS BY JOSHUA BRUNER

The Berkeley Senior Class at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. From left, front row: Leigh Kern, Taylor Ashlock, Alli Huggins, Kacei Conyers; middle: Dean Andrew McGowan, Brian Barry, Carlos Insignares, Mikayla Dunfee, Charlie Knuth, Jessie Gutgsell, Rachel Field, Joshua Bruner, Pam Hyde, Felicity Harley-McGowan; back: Robbie Pennoyer, Mark Anderson, Stephen Douglas, Zack Nyein

The Old Made New The Senior Pilgrimage to Rome In Rome this holy creature has arrived To find that all her friends are whole and sound. All her adventure Constance has survived; And when her father she at last has found, She falls down to her knees upon the ground And there she weeps, so tender in her ways, A hundred thousand times our Lord to praise. (Chaucer, The Lawyer’s Tale, Canterbury Tales)

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arvelous ruins decorate and define Rome. In them, the old city shows its triumphs as well as its scars. The ruins testify to human glory from ages past. They also witness to the vigorous movements of the Spirit through the Church. The ruins tell a story. In many cases, Rome built new cities upon itself. Ancient buildings lie atop even more ancient buildings. St. Peter’s Basilica, for example, is built upon a Constantinian Christian altar, which itself is built on a pagan necropolis. The city travels through time on its own journey. Marble, stone, and soil testify to its intoxicating tales of imperial glory and sobering failures in its

despairing defeat. Its story continues. The city remains the same, and yet new. Rome is not merely the destination of a pilgrimage. This earthly city adorned with ruins of a lost empire appears, itself, to be on pilgrimage. Gathered within this complex, broken, and holy city, the Berkeley Class of 2016 began its pilgrimage. As we walked the city each day, we were repeatedly reminded of the reality that all that was old is being made new. The home base for our pilgrimage was the Anglican Centre in Rome, where jetlagged and disoriented we entered into a small chapel, no bigger than our own St. Luke’s. Archbishop David Moxon greeted

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us. He explained that the chapel is believed to be built on the place where Gregory the Great commissioned Augustine to convert the pagans in what we now call England. This diminutive room, full of history, provided a link to our heritage as Episcopalians, as global Anglicans. We returned to it throughout our pilgrimage, to the familiar words of our liturgy and the nourishing Sacrament of the Eucharist. The tone for our pilgrimage was set early. Upon arrival, Archbishop Moxon walked us through an ongoing excavation of a first century Roman apartment. Archaeologists now believe this may be the location of St. Paul’s house arrest. Archbishop Moxon helped us to appreciate the history and holiness of the site and led us in prayer and a period of reflective silence. It was a piercing reminder of the reality of our Christian story. What felt like such an ancient story only days before became real

Dean McGowan discusses ancient Christian worship with students near the Roman Forum.

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Papal audience outside St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

and surprisingly current. Each day we ventured forth to explore the layers of meaning and story within the city. Our interactions, however, were not simply with ancient crypts and frescos. We also met in dialogue with our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers, seeking to uncover layers of our shared histories,

seeking even there to “make old things new.” Almost exactly fifty years before our pilgrimage, in March 1966, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, made a historic visit to the Vatican. He was the first Archbishop of Canterbury to be received at the Vatican since 1398. The Anglican Centre in Rome resulted from


the dialogue between Archbishop Ramsey and Pope Paul VI on that visit. We met with Father Anthony Currer, a Vatican official in the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The group discussed the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, the strain of the relationship in recent years highlighted by differing views on human sexuality and gender. However, Father Currer emphasized the importance of the shared baptismal covenant, Trinitarian doctrine, and mission. Those gathered expressed a deep desire to continue to walk alongside one another in a common vocation as Christians. The final day of the pilgrimage, the group traveled to Assisi. Archbishop David

Berkeley seniors gather before the Basilica in Assisi.

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led the group through the holy sites from the lives of Clare and Francis. These two saints inherited a culture of complacency in a secularized version of Christianity that seemed to have lost its heart. The Church seemed most interested in maintaining its own earthly glory. There was a disconnection from nature, a disconnection from the lives of the poor, and stifling limitations to women’s leadership. We were reminded of the striking similarity of history and the

present day. Old things, in this way also, continue to become new. In Assisi, we knelt together. We prayed in front of the San Damiano cross, as Francis did eight centuries earlier. God told Francis, “Go repair my Church, which as you see is falling completely in ruin.” In many ways, God continues to speak to us with a similar message. As we journey home from our pilgrimage I am reminded that even I am being

made new in this process. The Class of 2016 is being made new. Berkeley Divinity School is being made new. Our beloved Church is being made new. We return home, a people changed and renewed. We return home, aware of the layers of history, relationships, and faith we stand upon. We return home, ready to emerge anew into the ancient story of our earthly pilgrimage. Not Julius Caesar’s triumph, I would say, Of which the author Lucan makes such boast, Had so much royalty or rich display As the assembly of this blissful host. —Joshua Bruner ’16

Clockwise from left: Seniors gather together in Assisi for their final day together on pilgrimage; breaking bread together in Rome with Archbishop David Moxon who is seated on the far right; seniors, accompanied by Archbishop David Moxon (center), meet with Father Anthony Currer, (far right) Vatican official in the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The group is gathered before the icon of Saints Peter and Andrew, signifying ecclesiastical unity.

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Middler Retreat The Berkeley middler class on retreat (in a light moment). 3rd row (back): Cheryl McFadden, Susan Fowler (spiritual director), three Sisters from Mercy by the Sea (spiritual directors), Brandon Ashcraft, Catherine Amy Kropp, Andy McQuery, Gregory Stark, Luke Challis, Nathaniel Bourne; 2nd row: Marco Serrano, Mark Schultz, Maribeth Payne, Pauline Samuel, Stacey Kohl, Dante Tavolaro; 1st row: Lisa Erdeljon, Erin Flinn, Marcella Gillis; Pamela Stevens.

Junior Retreat The Berkeley junior class (M.A.R. 2017 and M.Div. 2018) attended a retreat at the Holy Cross Monastery, the Benedictine monastery in the Episcopal tradition in West Park, New York, during the YDS February reading week. 5th row (back): Johnson Ramsaur, John Hunt, Greg Johnston. 4th row: Marilyn Jenkins, Robbie Laughton, Megan McDermott, Ben Wyatt, Victor Gan, Della Wells, Marta Illueca, Nathan Empsall. 3rd row: Jazzy Bostock, Ann Scannell, Jill Morrison, Pete FeltmanMahan. 2nd row: Margaret McGhee, Michael Kurth, Kate Ross, Armando Ghinaglia, Holly Tornrose. 1st row (front): Christopher Phillips, Sherri Reed, Andrew Kryzak, Caitlyn Darnell, Kate Mckey-Dunar, Roger Bullard.

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Development Director Pam Wesley Gomez, Dean Andrew McGowan, and Canon Nicholas Porter

Porter Foundation Creates Jerusalem Fellowship Opportunity

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n extraordinary and amazing opportunity.” That is how one student describes the Porter Jerusalem Fellowship that will enable a recent Berkeley graduate to live and study for nine months at St. George’s College in Jerusalem. The H. Boone and Violet M. Porter Charitable Foundation has— with astounding generosity—created and funded this Fellowship each year for ten years beginning in 2016-17. Canon Nicholas T. Porter, Berkeley ’94 and current trustee, the Foundation’s president, explains that “The Foundation is committed to preparing global peacebuilders and leaders for the Episcopal Church. The Porter Fellowship will enable a recent Berkeley graduate to spend most of a year at St. George’s College in Jerusalem: to learn from the College’s witness in the Holy Land, to participate in peace building, to develop new relationships,

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and to learn and strengthen skills for ministry in the years to come.” Canon Porter has long been a generous supporter of both Berkeley and St. George’s. A Yale College graduate, he has several advanced degrees, including MAs in Middle-East Studies from the American University in Cairo and in War Studies from the University of London. Ordained ministry first led Porter and his family to the Middle East, as International Chaplain to the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem. While he would eventually accept leadership positions at the American Cathedral in Paris, Emmanuel Church in Geneva, and Trinity Church in Southport, CT, Nicholas never lost sight of the Middle East. After revitalizing the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, he and his wife Dorothy started Anastasia Pilgrimages in order to return with friends each year. Eventually a twenty-year-old dream to


create a peace program for Israelis and Palestinians became a reality. In 2011, he founded Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB), an interfaith non-profit organization whose mission is to create “a better future for humanity across religions, cultures, and nationalities.” It began with only eleven teenagers. Two years later, Canon Porter risked his career to become full-time executive director of JPB. Today JPB’s programs in Brattleboro, Houston, New Haven, and Jerusalem “focus on uniting Israeli, Palestinian, and American youth and providing them with the opportunities and skills they need to become future leaders for peace in the global community.” (See www.jerusalempeacebuilders.org) It should come as no surprise that peace building features in the new Porter Fellowship. The Fellowship’s many opportunities include working with JPB during the summer preceding the residency at St. George’s College as well as volunteering weekly with

JPB once there. Porter believes reality is the ultimate test of both theology and prayer. Involving the recipient with Israeli and Palestinian families will bring a human and spiritual urgency to the fellowship. Berkeley Dean Andrew B. McGowan describes what this transformative gift means to the seminary: “The Porter Foundation’s initiative, in partnership with St. George’s College, promises a new and remarkable opportunity for a recent Berkeley graduate each year for the next ten years. The historical and contemporary realities of Jerusalem invite a deepening understanding of where the Church came from and where it might be heading. The Fellowship strengthens Berkeley’s capacity to form and support future Church leaders who are capable of meeting the challenges facing the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. We are profoundly grateful to these partners for this extraordinary opportunity.” St. George’s College is a center for pil-

grimage, reconciliation, and learning for Anglicans from the diverse churches of the Communion. Canon Gregory Jenks, Dean of St. George’s College, says, “The Porter Fellowship will help forge a strategic partnership between one of the premier universities of the world and St. George’s… Berkeley Divinity School will gain a unique opportunity to advance its global leadership program. SGC will benefit from the contributions of bright, theologically trained staff…. The Fellowship recipients will benefit through opportunities to live, work, and grow in Jerusalem—the cradle of the Christian faith and a bellwether of our multicultural world.” At press time, the national church— thanks to Canon Robert D. Edmunds, M.Div. ’84, and David Copley—generously agreed to partner with the Porter Foundation in support of this global ministry.

The Rev. Canon Nicholas T. Porter, President of the H. Boone and Violet M. Porter Charitable Foundation, The Most Rev. Suheil Dawani, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, The Very Rev. Dr. Greg Jenks, Dean of St. Georges’s College, Jerusalem.

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Preparing Future Church Leaders The Wesley-Royce Spring Colloquium

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erkeley’s trailblazing Spring Leadership Colloquium—now in its twelfth year—was made possible by the generous gifts of Former Trustee David Carson starting in 2005. In 2011, Trustee Chuck Royce endowed the program as the Wesley-Royce Leadership Colloquium. The extraordinary generosity of these two benefactors has enabled the seminary to invite practitioners from the real world of church and school to share their experiences with our students. The Colloquium’s goal has always been to prepare future leaders for the church. Voices from the field, men and women with seasoned experience, speak to their experience of ministry in local contexts.

The narrative style of the Colloquium has proved to be popular with students: “I’d much rather hear a personal narrative about people’s success and failure than hearing a carefully packaged message,” says Stephen Douglas ’16. Fellow senior Robbie Pennoyer adds, “I’m constitutionally allergic to books and articles about leadership, which seldom offer more than common sense dressed up with anecdotes. We’ve had a steady stream of presenters whose stories and advice have challenged my preconceptions on what good leadership looks like. Every Monday I walk out of colloquium with several gems of hard won wisdom that I’ll carry with me through graduation and use thereafter.” The speakers’ personal narratives

and case studies speak to the realities of vocational ministry: speakers share their important moments of growth, vicariously allowing Berkeley students to experience the joys and challenges that arise in real ministry. Matters such as stewardship campaigns and vestry meetings are analyzed. Social issues, including sexism and racism, are addressed. And change management, partnership-building, and other leadership issues are considered. Happily, ample time is reserved for the many questions students raise at each presentation. Associate Dean Cathy George arranged this year’s very successful Colloquium. Speakers have included Dean George who herself spoke about trying to hold a subur-

Above: Associate Dean Cathy George; Marek Zabriski; Matt Heyd. Left: Jamie Hamilton; Bishop Andy Doyle.

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ban parish together during the building of a new church and parish house, as well as bringing an inner city parish back to life. Marek Zabriskie, rector of St. Thomas Whitemarsh in Philadelphia, talked about the Bible Challenge he has created: how it has led Anglicans worldwide to actually read the Bible. Nicholas Porter, founder of Jerusalem Peacebuilders, shared his insights on the middle-east and described the programs he has originated that bring young Christians, Muslims, and Jews together. Matt Heyd, rector of Heavenly Rest in New York City, and our own Pam Wesley Gomez shared their experiences in parish stewardship and development. Jamie Hamilton

spoke of her efforts to create ChristianMuslim dialogue as teacher and chaplain at Phillips Exeter Academy. Phil Peck, head of Holderness School in New Hampshire, spoke of “crucible moments” in his ministry in education, of times of trial, and of the importance of remaining grounded in God. In keeping with the donors’ wishes, every year one of the speakers is invited to address a gathering of clergy and laypeople from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. Andy Doyle, Bishop of Texas, will fill that role this spring. He will be discussing the future of the church. As the Newsletter goes to press, we anticipate welcoming Tim Crellin, vicar of St.

Stephen’s in Boston, who will describe the B-Safe Youth Enrichment Program; Broderick Greer, of Grace-St. Luke’s Church in Memphis, who will speak on Avoiding Cheap Reconciliation: No Reconciliation without Reparations; and Christopher A. Pappas from Alberta, Canada, on congregational growth and development. Every Berkeley student is invited to a small dinner at the Berkeley Center with one of the speakers in the series. Our hope is that each of our students will discover his or her own distinctive style of leadership through encountering a variety of practitioners who reveal their own distinctive leadership styles.

Berkeley Is Well Represented at Compass Rose

Berkeley was well represented at Lambeth Palace in London at the October annual meeting of the Anglican Communion Compass Rose Society. Left to right: Bishop Andy Doyle, Sarah Buxton Smith and Stephen Smith, Rick Lord, Pam Wesley Gomez, Nicholas Porter, Andrew McGowan, Tony Furnivall, Anne Mallonee, Geoffrey Hoare, Della Wells, Mrs. William Lupfer, Bill Lupfer, Jose Munoz.

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ALUMNA SPOTLIGHT

Sandra H. Stayner ’90

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n a career full of unexpected turns, Sandy Stayner has had multiple occasions to call Berkeley Divinity School her home. Born and raised in England, she encountered an intentional Christian community—the Community of Celebration— soon after college. She joined some of these Fisherfolk (as they were known) bound for Scotland’s Isle of Cumbrae. There, singing folk music and tending to the poor, she and her fellow Fisherfolk gained a reputation for their unique blend of contemporary and traditional church music. Their reputation crossed the Atlantic and caught the attention of the Bishop of Pittsburgh, who invited the community to move to Aliquippa, a dying steel town in that diocese. Sandy was among those who moved to the U.S. David, an American citizen who would later become Sandy’s husband, came with the group. The Bishop wanted the Fisherfolk to be a sign of hope for Aliquippa, and Sandy describes how the community embraced that mission: “Solidarity with the poor had always been a huge part of our calling. When the steel mills closed, there was total devastation. So we got right to work.” Along with community members she led protest marches, held worship services in the street, and welcomed out-of-work steelworkers in keeping vigil beside the mill’s closed gates. Having discerned a call to the priesthood, Sandy had a fitful start at a nearby seminary that hadn’t yet embraced the notion of women serving at the altar. With David’s encouragement, Sandy transferred to Berkeley. She thrived here as a student, and she and David lived as house residents at the Berkeley Center, becoming friends with Dean Annand. When the Dean encouraged her to consider a job at Christ Church, Greenwich, Sandy agreed to visit the parish. After much encouragement from the rector and much prayer, she overcame her reflexive judg-

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ment about ministering to the wealthy. “In my nine wonderful years in Greenwich, I found out that people are people. Scratch the surface of a wealthy community, and you’ll see there’s as much suffering among the affluent as among the poor.” Sandy was coaxed out of the parish when a new Berkeley Dean, Bill Franklin,

asked her to serve as Berkeley’s rector (the position now called associate dean). So Sandy returned here for four years, guiding students in their formation and helping shape the seminary’s worship life. In some ways, Sandy has never left. Yes, she moved on to become the successful rector of St. Peter’s Church in Cheshire, where she’s revived a congregation, created a thriving chorister program from scratch, and helped the parish flourish in every measurable way. A psychologist and priest, her husband David is the parish’s associate priest, and their 18-year-old son, Matt, is a stalwart of the choir. But Sandy is still a familiar face in the halls of the divinity school, where she returns regularly to meet with her devoted seminarian interns (she often hires two each year) and to speak with students about her passion for ministry— and to encourage theirs. –Robbie Pennoyer ’16

STUDENT PROFILE

Jessie Gutgsell ’16

The most exuberant joy.” These are the words Jessie Gutgsell uses to describe her first memory of receiving Holy Communion at the age of five in her childhood parish. This church, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky, is where Jessie’s love for the sacraments and passion for Christian community took root, and where her path to ordained ministry began. Meanwhile, her natural curiosity and deep love of learning and music were cultivated on her family’s horse farm outside Lexington, where Jessie homeschooled. Jessie went on to attend Indiana University in Bloomington, where she majored in harp performance and minored in religious studies. She cultivated her pas-

sion for ministry as a member of Trinity Church in Bloomington and as a leader of a vibrant campus ministry catering to


IU’s 40,000-member student body. It was here that she met her husband, Joe Dodson, and began formally discerning a call to the priesthood in the Diocese of Indianapolis. Following graduation, Jessie worked for a year as a youth director at Trinity in Bloomington before moving to Cleveland to play the harp professionally and complete an extended unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at The Cleveland Clinic. On their honeymoon in 2012, Jessie and Joe visited Berkeley and shortly thereafter began planning their move to New Haven. “I knew immediately that this was the best choice for me,” she says. “No other seminary could offer me an immersion in the Episcopal tradition in an ecumenical context, the academic opportunities of a large university, and the support to continue my musical pursuits. It has been the best of all possible worlds.” Jessie’s diverse talents have been put to good use during her time at Yale. She has served as a member of the Berkeley chapel ministry team during her senior year and sits as one of two students on the Berkeley Board of Trustees. She developed a mentorship program to help promising New Haven public school students transition to college. As the winner of the Charles Hefling essay competition, her article “Gift of Tears” was published in the Spring 2015 edition of the Anglican Theological Review. She has interned for the last two years at St. John’s Church in North Guilford, working closely with the rector, BDS alumna Maureen Peitler Lederman (MDiv ’02). In her spare time, Jessie cocoordinates activities at the divinity school garden. She also teaches harp and spends many of her weekends playing for weddings and other events. Jessie was ordained to the transitional diaconate in December at Trinity in Bloomington and plans to pursue parish ministry following graduation. —Brandon Ashcraft ’17

Seated: Associate Professor Frederick J. Streets, The Rev. Timothy Jones, Visiting Associate Professor Keri Day, and student Qadry Harris. Standing: Associate Dean Cathy George, YDS Dean Gregory Sterling, and student Jason Land.

Thurman Conversation Enriches Racial Dialogue

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ome 95 students, faculty, and parishioners from local congregations filled the YDS common room on Monday, February 22, for Love.Hate.Fear.Jesus.—an evening of conversation about the living legacy of Howard Thurman—theologian, mystic, pastor, and chapel dean at Howard and Boston University. The event, co-hosted by Yale Black Seminarians and Berkeley, assembled a panel to discuss Jesus and the Disinherited. This book, authored by Thurman in 1949, became Thurman’s most influential work, inspiring generations of civil rights leaders, activists, clergy, and laity. After opening words by Berkeley’s Associate Dean Cathy George, whose vision it was to host the event at YDS to further and enrich YDS’s conversation about race and injustice, Jason Land (M.Div. ’17), president of Yale Black Seminarians, sketched a biography of Thurman (1899–1981), from Daytona Beach to Boston to San Francisco. The panel discussion of Jesus and the Disinherited comprised the core of the event. Qadry Harris (M.A.R. ’17) introduced the book’s first chapter, “Jesus: An Interpretation,” highlighting Thurman’s concern that we remember Jesus’ identity as a poor Jew, a member of an oppressed minority, and what that means for Christianity as a religion of survival and liberation. Visiting Associate

Professor Keri Day (M.A.R. ’04), from Brite Divinity School, spoke about fear and fear’s roles both in the continuation of racist narratives about Black bodies and as a safety device of oppressed peoples that eventually becomes the death of the self. Thurman’s chapter on hate was discussed by Timothy Jones, pastor of Community Baptist Church and Lecturer on Homiletics and Baptist polity. Jones delineated Thurman’s concept of hate, beginning with a moment of contact that leads to “unsympathetic understanding,” which in turn becomes ill will. Jesus’ alternative to hatred—love—was the subject of the final panelist, Frederick J. Streets (M.Div. ’75), pastor of Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church and Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Pastoral Theology. In addition to his discussion of love as a relationship that breaks down one’s perception of another as enemy, Dr. Streets shared his own personal recollections of Thurman, showing how he embodied what he preached. Thurman’s listeners would hush as he slipped into meditation during a lecture or sermon. In similar fashion, the common room grew still as Streets spoke of the man whose legacy the gathered had come to celebrate, be challenged by, and continue. —Samuel Ernest ’17

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The Third Life: The Life that is Between Us In Christ’s death for us we die, and in his life we live Professor John E. Hare Dr. John E. Hare is the Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, one of Yale’s most illustrious faculty members and a beloved mentor to many at the Divinity School. He is a life-long Anglican, a lay leader active here in New Haven at St. John’s Church and a trustee of the Berkeley Divinity School. A member of Balliol College, Oxford, he received a first in Honors Literae Humaniores, before journeying to Princeton on a Watkins Fellowship to earn his Ph.D. in Classical Philosophy. He has given lectures in an array of universities, including the prestigious Gifford Lectures and most recently the Wilde Lectures at Oxford. He is the author of seven books on theology and ethics, including God’s Command, published in 2015 by Oxford University Press. His published articles number a staggering 83. He has also composed and published church music. What follows is a talk given this academic year by Professor Hare as part of a Marquand Chapel service. “For the Love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.” (2 Cor. 5: 14)

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his is a difficult text for many reasons. I was taught as a child that Jesus took our sins and died instead of us, taking the punishment that our sins deserved. I never really understood it. I also never understood the practice described in the Hebrew Scriptures, where a goat was chosen and the priest put both hands on it, and sent it out to die in the desert. How can a goat take a people’s sins? I know that there are all sorts of theories of the atonement and theories about what the different rituals with animals mean in the Hebrew Scriptures. For me, as a philosopher, one central difficulty was stated in the late eighteenth century by Immanuel Kant. He said that our original debt, the debt of sin, “is not a transmissible liability which can be made over to somebody else, in the manner of a financial debt (where it is all the same to the creditor whether the debtor himself pays up or somebody else for him), but the most personal of all liabilities, namely a debt of sins which only the culprit, not the innocent, can bear.” What I want to do this morning is to share something I have found helpful in thinking about this challenge. I do not offer it as a solution to all the difficulties here, but just to the difficulty Kant raises. The idea I have found helpful came to me in reading feminist ethical theory, especially so-called “second-wave” feminist ethical theory, people like Carol Gilligan who wrote In a Different Voice. She is a child development specialist, and she challenged

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the prevailing model of how children learn morality. She said that we do not have to think of a child starting with a sense of itself as a separate individual and then growing (often with difficulty) into a sense of mutuality with other people. Rather, we can think of ourselves as starting in a web of relationships, within which our identity is constructed, and the sense of separate individuality as something to be worked on later. There is a poem I am fond of which expresses this sense of identity through mutuality. Here is a stanza from Ecstasy by John Donne, a seventeenth-century Metaphysical Poet. “When love with one another so/ Interinanimates two souls, /That abler soul which thence doth grow/ Defects of loneliness controls.” The central idea here lies in this word which Donne made up, “interinanimates,” which means, “puts a soul, or anima, into, in, the space between, inter, two people, inter-in-animates,” so that there is not just my life and your life but the life that is between us, and this third life is stronger, abler, than either of our lives on its own. This third life can then counteract the defects of loneliness we each experience by ourselves. This is highly abstract, and I will try to give you a more downto-earth example. I remember being asked by a mother of a young baby whether I would like to hold him. I took him against my shoulder, and then, in order to demonstrate my expertise with young babies, jiggled him up and down with one hand while patting him on the back with the other. He was promptly sick all over my shirt. Now how did the mother behave? She behaved just as if she had been sick all over my shirt herself. She apologized profusely and offered to take the shirt and get it cleaned. What was happening here? It is easy to say, she felt responsible for the baby. But I think this is too weak an explanation. I think she identified with the baby. When she showed off her baby to other people, she was not so much proud of the baby or proud of herself for having had the baby; rather, she was proud of herself-and-thebaby together as a unit. After all, it had been inside her until very recently, and it was still taking its nourishment from her body. What happens here I think is what Donne calls “interinanimation,” and it allows what I call “evaluative transfer,” by which one person can become proud or ashamed of what another person has done. This seems odd when you first think about it, but it is in fact a familiar experience. One spouse can become proud or ashamed because of what the other spouse has done; the shame spreads, as it were, from one to the other. This even happens at


an institutional level. I used to teach at Calvin College, where the new members of the faculty were required to sign a form of subscription to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt. I had never heard of these documents before I went, and I had some reservations when I did read them, for example about “detesting the anabaptists.” Why did the institution make me do it? Well, I think it wanted to incorporate me into a certain history. And it worked; I became part of that community and I became proud of certain things in that history and also ashamed of certain other things in that history, as though it had been my own history. Now to go back to the text. There is something odd about the word “therefore” here. “For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.” If “for all” means “instead of all,” or even if it means “on behalf of all” with the implication “instead of all,” then how can Paul say that therefore all have died? One familiar context in which we get this combination is representation, as the Calvinists explained in detail in the seventeenth century. An ambassador, representing her country, can sign a document instead of us (so we don’t do it), and thereby, therefore, we sign it as well. This is what Paul goes on to mention in verse 20, we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were appealing to you through us. But I think the combination is found more broadly where we have the kind of partial merger of identity I have been talking about. Calvin, the theologian not the College, talks of a “mystical union” between Christ and the believer. This union (or partial merger) allows for an evaluative transfer, by means of the life that is between us. Actually, we can think about a two-way transfer. This is Easter thinking. There is the transfer of our sin to Christ and a transfer back to us of the kind of life that Christ leads. The old has gone, the new has come. This mystical union is not, however, just me and Jesus; it is the unity of the whole body, of which we as individuals are full members, but merely members. We are perfected into the life together that has that kind of unity. But that is the topic for a different sermon. I will try to give a less abstract example of the kind of two-way transfer I mean, and then return finally to Kant to show why he is wrong. Suppose a family adopts a boy who has somehow acquired the habit of stealing. This becomes, by a one-way transfer, a matter of shame to the whole family, perhaps especially to the brother who goes to the same school and unless he repudiates the connection between them, has to bear the consequences of his new brother being found stealing from the school lockers. But eventually, per-

haps, there is a transfer in the opposite direction. The kind of life that the family leads is a life between them all, and it includes respect for each other’s property. And this can also become characteristic of the life of the new member of the family, though this will not be automatic and will require the boy’s cooperation. The life between them all holds the boy together. In the same sort of way, our lives in Christ can begin to show Christ’s qualities. So Paul says in our verse it is the love of Christ that “urges us on” in the NRSV, but the verb is actually sunechei in Greek, literally “holds us together.” Calvin says, about this verse, that Christ has bound us to himself. Finally, back to Kant. Kant has an individualist notion of guilt and sin, “the most personal of liabilities” and this prevents him from seeing the possibility of the kind of evaluative transfer I have been talking about. We are right to be cautious about this kind of partial merger of identity, because it can be foolish, as in cases of identification with celebrities (I am thinking Elvis Presley or the British royal family); it can be dangerous in cases of co-dependence; or it can even be pathological. But it also has the potential for some of the best things in life, some of the things that make life worth living, because they take us outside ourselves. The life between us in a community or a common enterprise can free us from our private prisons. YDS did not make me sign a form of subscription to any sixteenth or seventeenth century documents. But it has its own ways of incorporating people. I have been here twelve years, and I have felt them working. By allowing ourselves to partially merge, while preserving certain safeguards, we find

There is not just my life and your life but the life that is between us, and this third life is stronger, abler, than either of our lives on its own. that we can get beyond ourselves. In terms of Donne’s poem, Defects of loneliness are controlled. Since we have a model in our relations with each other for this kind of two-way transfer, Kant is wrong to think that he has an objection in principle to such a transfer between us and Christ. Christ can hold us fast in such a way that in his death for us we die, and in his life we live. Dear God, Thank you that you have sent your son to take our sins, and to give us new life in him. In his name, we pray. Amen.

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BDS Newsletter Spring 2016  
BDS Newsletter Spring 2016  
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