Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Continued Prayers Requested for Kenya
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
We have been working hard on adjudicating proposals and organizing sessions for the upcoming regional MAR-SBL conference to take place near the end of March. Over the long weekend, I was able to update our regional website: http://www.marsbl.org/ Please visit the site to get the details on the conference, and please mark your calendars to attend.
To check out our draft of SBL sessions (with participant names, institutions, and paper titles), click here (PDF file).
To check our our draft of an abstract booklet, click here (PDF file).
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
"Dr. Bernhard Word Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, passed away peacefully on December 26, 2007, at age 91. A noted educator, author, and biblical scholar, Dr. Anderson is perhaps best known for his textbook, Understanding the Old Testament, which set records in sales for a book in that field and is read in translation around the world..."
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Virginia Seminary Waives Tuition for All Black Students
I am very pleased that VTS has taken a giant step forward in helping to cultivate African-American leadership in the church. We are now offering full-tuition scholarships to each and every one of our black students from the U.S.
The future of the Episcopal Church depends on realizing the full range of talents within our tradition. We want great men and women from many different places to be raised up to leadership roles. With our deep historic connection with the Bishop Payne Divinity School (which was founded in 1878 and merged with Virginia Theological Seminary in 1953), we are required to cultivate black Episcopal leadership within the church.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
R. Lansing Hicks, professor emeritus of Old Testament and former associate dean of academic affairs at Yale Divinity School, died Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Hamden, CT after a long illness. Hicks joined the faculty of YDS in 1971, following the affiliation between YDS and Berkeley Divinity School, and retired in 1990. He had been appointed to the BDS faculty in 1958.
That sense of integrity was apparent early in Hicks’s career when, as a young scholar in 1952, he was among a group of faculty at the University of the South in Swanee, TN, who resigned their positions to protest the school’s reluctance to desegregate. Hicks and the others had written a widely publicized letter calling the school’s position “untenable in the light of Christian ethics and of the teaching of the Anglican Communion.”
“He always reflected the graciousness of his southern roots, but at the same time his fine ethical and moral sense made him a shining example of religious opposition to segregation in the South of the 1950's,” said Robert Wilson, associate dean of academic affairs at YDS and a longtime Old Testament colleague of Hicks. “His influence at Berkeley and at Yale was both wide and deep, and he is fondly remembered by all those with whom he came in contact.”
Joseph Britton, dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, said, “Lansing was one of the real heroes of Berkeley Divinity School. His courageous decision to walk out of the University of the South over the issue of racial segregation always endeared him to our students, who looked to him not only as a learned teacher of the scriptures but as a real role model as well.”
Wilson and others vividly remember Hicks’s unflagging commitment to people and to the church.
“Lansing Hicks was unfailingly concerned about his students and about the church he was preparing them to serve,” said Wilson. “As a teacher he was thorough and comprehensive; as an administrator he was open and fair; as a scholar he was both meticulous and creative; and as a colleague he was congenial and kind.”
Victoria Hoffer, lecturer in Old Testament at YDS, recalled, “Lansing Hicks was my advisor, teacher, and friend. From my first days at Yale Divinity School, through my Ph.D. and beyond, he welcomed my questions and interests. He gave me encouragement every step of the way.
“He supported me in times of personal difficulty. How I admired this modest, elegant, completely genuine man, who gave of himself so generously and with such kindness. Many precious memories flood me when I think of Lansing. The most special, perhaps, was his delight in describing how he met, and then courted and married his beloved Helen. A true scholar and a dear friend is gone. I will miss him very much.”
As a biblical scholar, Hicks’s interests lay primarily in the area of the Christian use of the Old Testament in its relation to the New Testament. In 1968, he delivered The Winslow Lectures at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, published in monograph form as Forms of Christ in the Old Testament: The Problem of The Christological Unity of the Bible. He also published articles in the Anglican Theological Review, the Journal of Bible and Religion, The Oxford Annotated Bible, and The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible.
At times, Hicks was the only member of the YDS faculty with enough archeological field experience to teach an Old Testament archeology course. During summer 1976 he was visiting archeologist for excavations at Tell Dan, and in summer 1966 he was field supervisor in the excavations at et-Tell. In May 1962 he worked on excavations at Tell er-Rumeith.
Born Sept. 20, 1921 in Raleigh, NC, Hicks was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1945. He served Grace Episcopal Church in Weldon, NC and the Church of the Epiphany in New York City before joining the University of the South in 1949.
Services will be held at Trinity Church on the New Haven Green this Saturday, January 19, at 11:00 a.m. Plans are also under way for a memorial service at the Divinity School at a later date. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and three children: Katherine, Peter and Robert.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Passing of Prof. R. Lansing Hicks
Lansing recently reminded me of our mutual connections with both Union Seminary in New York and with VTS here in Alexandria. He earned his Th.D. from UTS in 1954 and he served on the VTS faculty from 1953-1954 and again during a sabbatical in 1986. VTS awarded him the D.D. in 1990.
Monday, January 14, 2008
A new WebSpace is now up and running on the Duke University site introducing our joint VTS/Duke program sending visiting teachers to Renk, Sudan to teach the biblical languages and other needed subjects. Check out the site by clicking here.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Another Painting for Epiphany Season
During Epiphany season, we should find ourselves here, within this winding procession, which snakes around through Bethlehem's arching gate and off into the distance in the paintings upper right.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Epiphany, by Giotto, ca. 1320
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Our Students from Kenya Report Difficult Times Back Home
This just in last evening from VTS student, Robin G:
I spoke with two of our classmates over dinner tonight and want to draw your attention to what is a very scary situation in Kenya. As you are most likely aware, violence has spread through much of the country following a disputed election. Tomorrow (dawning in just a few hours in Kenya) there is a major rally being planned and there are fears that the violence will escalate dramatically. Many of Daniel's relatives live where the rally is planned. Mary's husband is unable to leave the house. Throughout Kenya, household food and supplies are running low and the people are unable to leave to get more as roads are blocked. Two members of Mary's husband's church have been killed in the violence and her parents are unable to sleep in their house at night. Mary and Daniel informed me that the violence is affecting areas where Peter Kanyi's family lives and also where Nicholas Sichangi and Samuel Sudhe, two members of last year's graduating class, live. This is a difficult time for all of our students from Kenya, especially as they are seperated from those they care about the most; please join me in lifting up Mary, Daniel, Peter, Sudhe and Sichangi and their families in prayer.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Reports from Renk, Sudan
A) From Angela: ...Good news! I just received a brief phone call from Hans and Mary. They arrived safely in Khartoum and were met by Father Joseph at the airport. Hans said that the travel went as planned despite a stop in Beirut. They will begin their journey to Renk at some point tomorrow morning (or in their case -- later this morning) and I expect I will hear from them via email or phone once they arrive at their final destination.
B) From Angela: ...I received a call from Hans at about 6am this morning and thought I would share a few updates. He and Mary have arrived at Renk and are settling in. They are staying in Father Joseph's living quarters and, according to Hans, being fed very well and enjoying the beautiful weather!
Their journey from Khartoum to Renk took about 6 hours and included 1 flat tire - but they arrived safely and in good spirits. Teaching will begin in the next day or so and Hans said they are both looking forward to it.
C) From Ellen Davis: I phoned today, and they both had a very good first day of class... Fr. Abraham...kept saying, “May we read one more verse (of Jonah)?” Hans had only 6 students, so some have not returned from the holiday, but he said 3 of the 6 are very impressive. So we have lots to rejoice about. They have not experienced any difficulty connected with the shooting in Khartoum, but there is some talk that it was following a party of heavy drinking. I told them to stay away from all such parties.
List of All Teachers in Our Renk, Sudan Visiting Teachers Program
Here is a list of the visiting teachers who have traveled to Renk, Sudan beginning in June 2004, along with their institutions. For those of you unfamiliar with this program of ours, click here and/or here to learn more.
RENK VISITING TEACHERS AND THEIR INSTITUTIONS
Ellen Davis (Duke; Isaiah)
Richard Jones (VTS; Sudanese Church History/Hermeneutics)
January 2005 - Hebrew
Anna Brawley (St. James Cathedral, Chicago)
Megan McMurtry (Duke)
July 2005 - Hebrew
Rosemary Beale (VTS)
Amanda Mbuvi (Duke)
Andrew Mbuvi (Duke/Shaw)
January 2006 - Hebrew
Chadwick Eggleston (Duke)
Shirley Smith Graham (VTS/Christ Church, Alexandria)
Mandy McMichaels (Duke)
July 2006 - Hebrew
Megan McMurtry (Duke/Vanderbilt)
Elizabeth Felicetti (VTS)
August 2006 – Anglican Studies
Jo Bailey Wells (Duke)
January 2007 - Manna and Mercy
(no language teachers traveled from US; security risk)
Rev. Alan Storey (Methodist Church of Southern Africa)
July 2007 – Greek and Hebrew
Deborah Knott (Duke)
Phoebe Roaf (VTS)
Ellen Davis (Duke; Worship in Exodus and Leviticus)
Andrew Rowell (Duke; Letter to the Hebrews, Greek)
Peter Morris, M.D. (Duke; Public Health/clinic)
January 2008 – Greek and Hebrew
Hans Arneson (Duke)
Mary Schmitt (Duke)