Faculty in the News – April 2015

Professor Yahya Michot’s book “AHMAD AL-RÛMÎ AL-AQḤISÂRÎ, Against Smoking. An Ottoman Manifesto” (Oxford: Interface Publications – Markfield: Kube Publishing, 1431/2010) was translated into Turkish and published under the title “AHMED ER-RÛMÎ EL-AKHİSÂRÎ: Tütün İçmek Haram mıdır? Bir Osmanlı Risalesi” [Is Smoking Tobacco Haram? An Ottoman Epistle] (Istanbul: Kitap Yayınevi, « İnsan ve Toplum Dizisi, 74 », 2015). The book was the object of a long review by Ali Bulunmaz in the major Turkish newspaper “Cumhuriyet”, on February 10, 2015 : “Keyif verici mamulatın Osmanlı serüveni” [The Ottoman Odyssey of a Pleasure Giving Substance].

Prof. Shanell Smith has been granted a Wabash Center Summer Research Fellowship on a project titled, “Reading Ambiveilently: (Re)-Discovering the Self in Biblical Interpretation,” for five weeks during the summer.  “My research project aims to widen their (students’) focus by developing a hermeneutical strategy called reading ambiveilently. This method aims to help students expand the examination of religious difference by compelling them to (re)-discover her-/himself by becoming vulnerable in the interpretative task through a process of self-inventory, leading to a fuller self-awareness and transformation.”  The purpose of the Wabash Center Grant and Fellowship program is to support the development of Pre-Tenure Workshop participants’ careers as teachers and scholars. Fellowship and grant projects are typically focused on an area of scholarly academic research and writing.

Prof. Yehezkel Landau’s blog, Jerusalem, Our Healing Mother City, was published in the Huffington Post on April 21. The blog references three dates: Yom Ha-Shoah or Holocaust Memorial Day on April 16, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, April 24, and the centenary of the Armenian genocide, also on April 24. Prof. Landau talks about how Jews, Palestinians and Armenians all live in Jerusalem’s Old City, which may be a source of healing for them. “Within the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, Armenians, Jews and Palestinians live in adjacent quarters. On the level of the physical body, all three peoples have endured massacres in the last century — two on a genocidal scale. So all are survivor communities, suffering-servant peoples experiencing death and resurrection, and acting as witnesses to the triumph of the spirit over horrific suffering. On the spiritual and emotional levels, all three peoples have experienced exile from their homelands, being refugees or “strangers in strange lands.” Can there be some transcendent lesson in this interface of sorrows and of aspirations for homecoming and healing?”

Prof. Shanell Smith was featured in the April edition of Presbyterians Today for her Bible Explorations column. “Revelation at First Blush” explores Revelation 22:20 as she writes “I began to think that the main idea of Revelation was found in four words: ‘Surely I come quickly.'” Prof. Smith will explore, over the course of a year, the mysterious and often-misunderstood book of Revelation and what it means for the world today. Presbyterians Today is the award-winning, general-interest magazine of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) telling the stories of our faith, online and in print.

On April 15th, Prof. Yahya Michot delivered the 13th annual Victor Danner Memorial Lecture at the invitation of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department of Indiana University, Bloomington, under the title “Mamluks, Qalandars, Rafidis, and the ‘other’ Ibn Taymiyya”. The lecture was co-sponsored by the School of Global and International Studies, the College Arts and Humanities Institute, and the Medieval Institute. The research of Prof. Yahya Michot on Ibn Taymiyya is quoted extensively in an article by Dr. Laurent Bonnefoy (CNRS, France) in the April 2015 issue of the E-magazine “Orient XXI”: “Ibn Taymiyya, mauvais génie des djihadistes?”

Prof. Lucinda Mosher will lead a special event at the Islamic Center of Owensboro, Kentucky on Saturday, April 18th titled “To Know and Love Thy Neighbor”. The workshop is part of the Faith in the Neighborhood Series and Prof. Mosher will be leading the special event, which is free and open to the public. The conversation will explore what constitutes interfaith literacy, how we move from diversity to pluralism and an introduction to “Theology as a Second Language”. The event is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Owensboro, the Islamic Center of Owensboro and Owensboro Daviess County Ministerial Association.

Prof. Timur Yuskaev and Neset Ulusal, Muslim Religious Coordinator at Quinnipiac University and a Hartford Seminary student, will be the panelists for discussion on ‘Muslim Voices against Extremism.” The panel is sponsored by the Peace Islands Institute’s Center for Interfaith Affairs, in collaboration with Quinnipiac University‘s Department of Cultural and Global Engagement. It will take place at Quinnipiac University’s Mount Carmel Campus on Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

Prof. Najib Awad‘s newest book is now available on Amazon. The new book is titled Orthodoxy in Arabic Terms: A Study of Theodore Abu Qurrah’s Theology in its Islamic Context. This volume represents the first in-depth, analytical and systematic study of the core components and theological rationale of Theodore Abu Qurrah’s apologetic discourses in conversation with Islam, with specific attention to his writings on the Trinity and Christology. It explores the question of whether, in conveying orthodoxy in Arabic to the Muslim reader, Abu Qurrah diverged from doctrinal Christian theology and compromised its core content.

Prof. Yehezkel Landau has written a blog for the Abrahamic Family Reunion website. The blog is titled A Jew Looks at Lent, Easter and PassoverIt points out that Good Friday and the Passover seder fall on the same day, April 3, in 2015, and goes on to talk about the changes in how Christians and Jews perceive each other since Vatican II.  “If we believe that God is the Source of both Love and Justice, then Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others can together exemplify imitatio Deo by combating hatred and violence perpetrated by anyone in the name of religion.  In so doing, we can ensure that the lives and dignity of our fellow human beings, created in the Divine Image, will be enshrined as sacred values that transcend any theology, creed, or professed devotion to God.”

Prof. Najib Awad was published in the latest edition of the Scottish Journal of Theology as he wrote an article titled “‘Through you, men live endowed with reason’: Gregory Nazianzen’s trinitarian thinking as a window to his personal character”. Scottish Journal of Theology provides an ecumenical forum for debate, and engages in extensive reviewing of theological and biblical literature.  In his abstract, Awab writes “this article suggests that the proper road for reaching an accurate and perceptive understanding of Gregory Nazianzen’s character starts from reading the literature of this father in a serious attempt at discovering the man behind the ideas of the texts and to perceive the core of his personality and character as theologian and servant of the church.” You can read the entire abstract here.


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