Zerby Lectures 2014-2015
We have two Zerby lectures in 2014-2015: Jay Michaelson and John Thatamanil
”Church Upstairs, Yoga Downstairs: The Challenges and Promise of Multiple Religious Participation”
John J. Thatamanil is Associate Professor of Theology and World Religions at Union Theological Seminary in New York. His areas of research include comparative theology and theologies of religious pluralism. Specifically, he writes on Hindu-Christian Dialogue and Buddhist-Christian Dialogue. His first book on Hindu-Christian dialogue is The Immanent Divine: God, Creation and the Human Predicament. He is currently at work on a second book provisionally entitled Religious Diversity After Religion: Reimagining Theologies of Religious Pluralism. He is Chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Theological Education Steering Committee and the Project Director of the AAR/Luce Summer Seminars on Theologies of Religious Pluralism and Comparative Theology.
Have you ever noticed that some of the loudest voices on Israel/Palestine are also some of the most strident? Why is it that pro-Israel and pro-Palestine activists often talk past one another, rather than with one another? This evening, we will look at flashpoints of debate – around academic freedom, pinkwashing, and the conflict in general – from the perspective of multiple narratives. Can American allies of Israel and/or Palestine understand the narratives of the “other side” in a way that moves conversations forward? What lessons can we bring from our own successful (and unsuccessful) efforts at respectful dialogue?
Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson has been writing on these issues for ten years, for
which he has been strenuously attacked from both the left and the right
(which is usually a good sign). He is a contributing editor to the
*Forward *newspaper, and his influential article entitled “How I’m Losing
My Love for Israel” was the first major statement of the growing divide
between American liberals and Israel, and won the Society for Professional
Journalists award for opinion writing. This will be a practical session
with interactivity, exercises, and war stories from the field.
Jay Michaelson is the author of five books and over three hundred articles on religion,
sexuality, law, and contemplative practice. His most recent book, Evolving
Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment,
was published in 2013 by North Atlantic. Other books include
God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality, an Amazon bestseller and
Lambda Literary Award finalist; Everything is God: The Radical Path of
Nondual Judaism; and Another Word for Sky: Poems. His work has been
featured on NPR, CNN, and in The New York Times.