Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote in his 1946 book of essays, Discerning the Signs of the Times, “Given our tendency to distort reality for our own purposes, it is not easy to (discern the signs of our times) honestly. Moral discernment is as much an act of grace as of sophisticated analysis.”
For 23 years in a row, Ghost Ranch has hosted leaders in the church, politics, international affairs and media to discuss a variety of social, cultural and political issues through the eyes of faith. This year, “Discerning the Signs of the Times” will again provoke stimulating discussions of current events, focusing on upcoming U.S. elections and world events. Barbara Howell and Dean Lewis are facilitators.
The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones will focus on religion in America today from her perspective as President of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She is the sixteenth and first woman president of Union Theological Seminary where she is also the Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology. She describes the seminary students she sees as “bringing fresh energy and insight to our understandings of faith in our increasingly global society. They are earnest activists committed to ending poverty and saving the planet…they bring gusto to the task of building communities and breathing life into our next phase of Christian history. A large question remains, however: Will they fill our traditional pulpits or will their sanctuaries spring up elsewhere? What does the church of their future hold?”
Dr. Jones is a prolific and popular scholar in the fields of theology, religion and gender studies. Her books include Feminist Theory and Theology, Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety and Trauma and Grace. She became the first woman president in Union’s 172-year history in 2008.
Previously the Titus Street Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, Dr. Jones went to Union after seventeen years on the Yale University faculty, where she also served as chair and faculty member of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Jones has held faculty appointments at Yale Law School and in the Department of African American Studies and Religious Studies.
Verity Jones, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Divinity School, is the project director of the New Media Project and a Research Fellow at Union Theological Seminary. Verity is an ordained clergy person with joint standing in the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is the former publisher and editor of the award-wining magazine, DisciplesWorld and the past president of the Associated Church Press. Her work has also appeared in the Christian Century, Biblical Preaching Journal and Journal for Preachers. Over the last eight years, she has developed something of an expertise in religion journalism and the complicated communication needs of religious organizations.
Roy Neel has been a prominent figure in national political and policy affairs for nearly three decades. From 1977 to 1994 he served in key roles in Al Gore’s Washington operations, becoming Chief of Staff for Senator and Vice President Al Gore. Prior to leaving the White House, he served as President Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, responsible for coordinating all policy and communications activities for the President. He has been a frequent guest on television newscasts providing timely analysis on current political and governmental issues.
Week(s) 07/16/2012 – 07/22/2012
Instructor(s) Barbara Howell;Serene Jones; Verity Jones;Dean Lewis;Roy Neel Need more info? Call us at (505) 685 – 4333 ext 4152