A Program of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice
November 2-4, 2014
With Professor Walter Brueggemann, Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev, and Professor Norman Gottwald
“Making biblical studies and social analysis accessible to the seminary, the sanctuary and the streets” is how Ched Myers has described the work of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice, located at Stony Point Center in Stony Point, New York. This kind of accessibility means gathering to sit and talk--scholars and activists, emerging leaders and tried elders--people who come together to learn and strategize because of their commitments to social justice in order to go out and act on those commitments. One such gathering is an exciting three-day workshop planned for this November on the theme of “Prophets Now!” with Walter Brueggemann, Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev, and Norman Gottwald.
Akin to the Hebrew prophets, we live at a time of monumental change and challenge. In this workshop we will study the prophetic witness in the Hebrew Scriptures to help us meet the challenges of our day with courage, insight and vision.
Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is a past president of the Society of Biblical Literature and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He has recently published Psalms: New Cambridge Bible Commentary with William Bellinger (Cambridge University Press), Sabbath as Resistance (Westminster John Knox Press), and Reality, Grief, Hope (Eerdmans Press).
Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev is the Scholar-in-Residence at Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, NM. Nahum is the founder and leader of Beit Midrash, a wisdom school and learning community. Nahum has a particular passion for exploring the social critique and vision of the Hebrew Prophets and applying that learning to contemporary social activism. He has taught Scripture at retreat centers all across the country. He has been a teacher and leader at the Stony Point Summer Institute, a multifaith social justice summer institute for Muslim, Jewish and Christian young adults.
Norman K. Gottwald is the Wilbur Webster White Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies at New York Theological Seminary, a multi-denominational and multi-ethnic school serving the churches of metropolitan New York. He is presently Adjunct Professor at Pacific School of Religion and previously served on the faculties of Columbia University, Andover Newton Theological School, American Baptist Seminary of the West, and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. He is an ordained minister of the American Baptist Churches USA. He is also a co-creator of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice and author of The Tribes of Yahweh, The Hebrew Bible--A Socio-Literary Introduction, and The Politics of Ancient Israel.
Sunday November 2nd
7:00 to 8:30 pm Professor Brueggemann (via Skype) will present on “Breaking the Silence”. We live in a world in which market forces and the socio-political structures they create present themselves as the only viable system, silencing all alternative conversations. Dr. Brueggemann will analyze how the prophets broke through the domineering structures of their day to bring a message of judgment and hope. Dr. Brueggemann will apply the lessons of the prophets to the challenges of our day. There will be time for comments, questions and answers.
Monday November 3rd
9 am to noon. A time for guided group conversation applying the learning from Dr. Brueggemann’s presentation to the ministry of the people present for the workshop. At the conclusion Professor Norman Gottwald will offer his reflections on the conversation.
Monday afternoon: Free time for rest, reflection and informal conversations.
7:00-8:30 pm. Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev will present on “Sacred Conversation: A Biblical Approach to Disrupting Oppressive Systems”. The Hebrew Bible presents a devastating critique of empire. At the same time, the Hebrew Scriptures envision sacred conversation as a central aspect of an alternative, non-imperial culture. Rabbi Ward-Lev will trace the connections between empire, monologue and idolatry and more crucially the relationship between conversation, divine service and justice. This exploration of the central role of conversation in relationship to God is especially important at a time when polarized views seem to dominate our society. There will be time for comments, questions and answers. Professor Brueggemann will be present for this presentation via Skype.
Tuesday November 4th
9 am to noon. A time for guided group conversation applying the learning from Rabbi Ward-Lev’s presentation to the ministry of the people present for the workshop. At the conclusion Professor Norman Gottwald will offer his reflections on the conversation.
The formal workshop concludes with lunch on Tuesday. Professor Gottwald, in residence through Saturday, will be available the rest of the week for further conversation on the themes of the workshop.
There are a few options for attending this event. For those wanting to attend only the Sunday night event and supper, the rate is $50. This is the only option for attending part of the workshop.
For all others there is a conference fee of $150. In addition, attendees would pay one of the following: Stay as a Sojourner in a lodge from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch for $425 (double occupancy), stay in Gilmor Sloane House from Sunday dinner through Tuesday lunch for $300 (double occupancy), or commute from home from Sunday through Tuesday for $150.
Need-based scholarships up to $150 available upon request.
Register here. Attendees can come just for Sunday night to hear Brueggemann, for Sunday to Tuesday for the workshop itself, or for Sunday through Friday for additional time with other attendees and Gottwald for the rates above.
If you have any questions, email Mark Johnson, Director of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice.
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