Dean's Corner

Ad Extra - Vol. 1, n. 2: November 2011

Dean's Corner

November 2011

by C. J. Renz, OP

It seems hard to imagine that we are beginning November. As I write this newsletter, the northeast coast has been slammed with a snow storm. It is the first time in recorded history that snow hit Central Park in October! Thankfully, things are calmer here in Berkeley.

Autumn has always been my favorite season. With the fading of daylight, trees let go of the drive for growth and hunker down for winter. Part of this process involves the “retrieval” of chlorophyll, that green pigment in the leaves which is responsible for doing most of the work to capture energy from sunlight. The result is a virtual explosion of yellows, oranges, and reds (carotenoids, anthocyanins and xanthophylls, for those of you interested) which are normally obscured by the more abundant clorophyll. For me, the experience is not only a revelation of color but also of the fact that there is beauty in decay.

DSPT Dean's Corner - Calvin and Hobbes

It is perhaps at this time of the semester when many students (and perhaps faculty, too!) feel themselves in a state of decay as a result of the mounting pressures from the semester. When viewed through an autumn lens, however, that self-decay can reveal hidden wonders. While questions (whether those on exams or those which arise from research) might seem like tricks, they can be moments of revelation and creativity. So, keep your eyes peeled!

Faculty Updates

Sr. Barbara Green, OP is starting a series of four 4-hour practical sessions teaching nonviolence to/working on it with a group of ten Dominican sisters, half of whom have been through the previous session but want to do it again. The process follows Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communications cnvc.org.

At the upcoming meeting in San Francisco of two professional societies (American Academy of Religion aarweb.org and the Society of Biblical Literature sbl-site.org), GTU will host a reception for alumni gtu.edu on Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. At that time, our very own Sr. Barbara will be honored with the 2011 GTU Alum of the Year gtu.edu. As a recent GTU announcement noted,

Dr. Green has been a faculty mentor and guide to a considerable number of Biblical Studies and Christian Spirituality MA and doctoral students, and has been a significant architect in the framing and successful operations of these two academic areas. She has also been a proponent of the development of teaching practices that truly engender learning, while working with faculty colleagues and students to continue to develop successful pedagogy. She has a strong commitment to helping students develop skills as learners and scholars, investigating and coming to find meaning in and interpretations of scripture. Her publications have provided new approaches to thinking in her field, particularly relating Bakhtin to Biblical Scholarship.

The reception will be held at the Hilton Union Square, Imperial Room B. For more information, please contact Kathleen Kook, Associate Dean for Admissions of the GTU.

In his capacity as Regent of Studies of the Western Dominican Province opwest.org, Fr. Bryan Kromholtz, OP will be traveling to several sites. First, he will stop at Washington, D.C. to visit two friars of the Province who are doing advanced studies. Next, he will visit Providence College (Rhode Island) where three friars from the Province work as professors. Finally, as Coordinator of the Regents of Studies of the provinces of the U.S. and Canada, Fr. Bryan will travel to Rome for a meeting of the Commission for the Promotion of Study of the Dominican Order. This nine-member Commission advises the Master concerning the evaluation, coordination, planning, and policy related to the intellectual life of the Order.

The upcoming meeting (Nov. 4-5) of the Pacific Coast Theological Society pcts.org will focus on theological aesthetics. Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP and Fr. Chris Renz, OP will serve as respondents for two of the papers given by GTU doctoral students from the Art and Religion area. The meeting will be held in the Tucson Room at CDSP.

Fr. Chris Renz, OP spent Reading Week in Burlington, North Carolina where he offered a workshop on collaboration in ministry for the staff of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community blessedsacramentnc.org. The content focused on scriptural and theological foundations for collaboration, and incorporated key concepts from the work of Loughlan Sofield and Carroll Juliano. Coincidentally, the pastor of the parish, Fr. Paul Gabriel, OFM Conv. is also a graduate of DSPT.