Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Visiting Scholar shares her research into AIDS and Pentecostalism in SA.

On Monday, October 24, Dr. Katherine Attanasi gave the department's  Religion & Society Annual Lecture. This year we were able to tie in with the College of Arts & Science's Symposium against global indifference.  Dr. Attanasi is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Regent University (PhD. Vanderbilt University, MTh., M Ed., Harvard) where she teaches Christian Ethics. She recently completed work on a co-edited volume with Amos Yong entitled Pentecostalism and Prosperity: The Socio-economics of the Global Charismatic Movement (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming). 

In her lecture, South African Pentecostalism and the Gendered Politics of HIV Prevention, Attanasi shared findings and conclusions from her doctoral research.

Dr. Attanasi also met with religion students over meals and in the classroom. Religion major Corey Smith said, "I was very grateful for the opportunity to speak with someone in the  middle of a larger research project that would have meaningful impact on a community. Dr. Attanassi's lecture and discussion time was extremely helpful both in raising our awareness of her particular field  of research in gender issues within the Pentecostal church in South  Africa as well as encouraging and equipping us to think critically and  creatively in our own areas of interest."

If you missed the lecture you are not too late, you can watch it on the university's media site.

The Religion & Society Annual Lectures started in 2009. Past lectures were:
John Kiess (Loyola), "When War is Our Daily Bread: Congo, Theology, and the Ethics of Contemporary Conflict."
Elizabeth Philips (Cambridge), "Christian Zionism, Violence, and Peace in the Middle East."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

News from our Graduates: Polly Hitchcock '10

Polly Hitchcock graduated in December 2011. Here is what she has been up to:

Since graduating from Ashland 10 months ago, I have been in 3 countries and 4 states. I spent the past 9 months working for Global Assistance Partners, a non-profit working with local church leaders to bring discipleship and in-depth training to their people in both Kenya and the Ukraine. We also serve orphans and widows with humanitarian aid and support for education in Kenya. I worked as a Director of Operations, communicating with and advising in the 2 countries, evaluating on the ground work and researching finance and organization policies. 
I love to travel and love working in the church, so it was a fulfilling time. This summer I decided to go ahead and get back to school, and last week I started my MA in theology back in Ashland, at the seminary! I'm looking forward to more knowledge and growth, in order to continue to build up the body of Christ through teaching in the local church.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

International peacemaker comes to class

Mrs. Neerja R. Prasad of Nagpur, India visited Dr. Sue Dickson's REL341 'World Christianity and Mission' class on Thursday, Oct 4, 2011. Mrs. Prasad serves as the Secretary of the Synodical Women's Fellowship for Christian Service in the Church of North India, and is traveling throughout the United States for the month of October as an International Peacemaker with the Presbyterian Church (USA).
 Mrs. Prasad, a Christian activist in many areas of social justice including human trafficking, poverty and gender justice also met with students over lunch in Convo. Mrs. Prasad is a third generation Christian. Her grandfather had been a successful and well-known manufacturer in the South of India. When he converted to Christianity, his community boycotted his products and he and his family were outcast. He migrated with his family to the north where he took a new, Christian surname. Because of his Christian surname, his new community accused him of being a traitor to his country by adopting a foreign religion. The family migrated again, this time to Nagpur where Mrs. Prasad was raised. Mrs. Prasad, has been instrumental in rescuing young women from forced labor and sexual exploitation, in founding orphanages for the children of Christians murdered in the Red Corridor, and in establishing interreligious neighborhood communities to promote understanding, peace, and social justice.  .