Series Promotes Understanding of Diverse Faith Traditions

Monday, December 3, 2007

SJU Learns, a series dedicated to exploring the diverse faiths of Saint Joseph's students, faculty and staff, will present its latest program, "Kindling the Lights of Hanukah," on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the Wolfington Center Conference Room at 4 p.m. The program is the third in the 2007-08 series entitled "The Roads to Spirituality."

"By highlighting the diverse roads that members of our community take to attain spirituality, we aim to demonstrate both the common threads and unique contributions of each tradition," said Debbie Lurie, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics, chair of the interfaith task force. "In this way, we can fill SJU's mission to be welcoming and inclusive to all."

The program, which is organized by Lurie and Nancy Fox, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will feature background information on the holiday and an explanation of its traditions. All are invited to light the menorah for the second night, sample latkes, play with dreidels and sing traditional songs.

SJU Learns will continue its programs after winter break, with SJU Prays, an interfaith blessing service for the spring semester, on Jan. 24. Also set for the spring semester is a lecture on "Christian Spirituality: Augustinian, Benedictine and Mercy Tradition," presented by David Odorisio, campus minister; Frank Bernt, associate professor of interdisciplinary health services; and Sharon O'Grady Eisenman, director of human resources.

On Feb. 20, at 4 p.m., in the Chapel of Saint Joseph's, Dennis McNally, S.J., professor of fine arts, will present a discussion on "Spirituality and the Fine Arts," illustrating how the imagination can be a doorway to the inner world of the Holy Spirit.

Arnold Farr, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, will present a discussion and demonstration on March 12 on "Finding Spirituality Through Martial Arts."

Finally, on March 26, in the Chapel of Saint Joseph's, the series will close with a presentation entitled "In Search of Silence: Exploring Retreat Centers, Monasteries, and Contemplative Spaces." The program will be hosted by Tenaya Darlington, M.F.A., assistant professor of English; Gerard Jacobitz, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology; and John Newhouse, Ph.D., assistant professor of interdisciplinary health services. All three are veteran retreatants, and will provide reflections from their own experiences as well as information on local retreat centers.

--David King '08




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