Fall 2008 Programs

Scripture as the Human Word of God

Monday, September 29, 2008 
Dr. Hutson
Science Auditorium 

Dr. Christopher Hutson will discuss why acknowledging the human imperfections in the Bible may be the most faithful way to read it. Dr. Hutson comes to visit us from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he is Associate Professor of the New Testament. He is a minister with the Churches of Christ and holds a Ph.D. from Yale University. 

Sponsoring Academic Department: Religion & Philosophy. 

Other Sponsors: The Chaplain's Office; the Interfaith Committee; and the Philosophy Club. 

Cultural Events Credit 

Does Christian Monogamy Work in Africa?

Thursday, October 2, 2008 
Dr. Doug Falen  
Interfaith Center 

As European Christianity was introduced to African societies, it brought along a set of expectations about marriage, most importantly that a Christian marriage must be monogamous.  Dr. Falen will explore how Christianity has developed in the context of a West African society where polygamy is commonly practiced. 

Islam: Divine Law for Humanity

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 7:30 pm 
Dr. Abdul Hamid- President, Islamic Center of Hamden and Connecticut Council of Masajid, Inc. (and father of Berry's Dr. Nadeem Hamid, Assistant Professor of Mathematical and Computer Science)
Science Auditorium 

Presentation Overview 

Cultural diversity is a blessing if humanity acknowledges and accepts the supremacy of Divine Law. This principle can be seen in ecosystems: diverse ecosystems are more stable in comparison to monocultural systems, reflecting the physical and biological laws ordained by our Lord. 

Whereas various components of an ecosystem follow the Divine Decree (biological and physical laws) without any choice, humans have been granted a choice. This is the test. Those who follow the Divine Decree to the best of their ability are eventually successful. Just as biological and physical laws have not changed, the Divine laws for humans have also not changed. The name of that divine decree is "total submission to the will of our Lord," Islam. 

Dr. Abdul Hamid, Ph.D. in Entomology, has taught various biological sciences at universities in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Connecticut. Upon retirement over a decade ago, he has volunteered full-time on various projects with the Muslim community in Connecticut, including: building mosques, promoting housing development, publishing a monthly Islamic newsletter, arranging for Islamic community services, providing children's Islamic education, and more. 

Sponsored by the Chaplain's Office and the Interfaith Council 

Cultural Events Credit pending... 


Sound Body Wisdom: Practice of the Self

Saturday, October 25, 2008;  5:00-8:00 PM
Jacqueline Westhead
Interfaith Council

Sound Body Wisdom is a somatic* and experiential form that draws on the wisdom of the body in motion, awareness practices, somatic-based therapies and life. 
Participants will be led by the group, partnered and individual exercises in movement, breath, voice and rhythm to cultivate creative exchange, empowerment and a space for personal development. 
This work will offer tools in connecting with others and ourselves through physical expression, musical exploration, communication and personal awareness practices. 

We will discover our breath and bring breath into sound through toning exercises, vocal expression and phrasing. 
Rhythm will be understood through physical exercises that source body centered learning and playfulness. Improvisation and witnessing tools will help guide the natural emergence of expression through the pathways of voice, body and intention. 

Sound Body believes movement, voice/breath and personal expression are the very foundations and key ingredients for being fully alive. It emphasizes the art of awareness and the capacity to sense, feel and think in each situation so we can re-learn and integrate our physical, emotional and creative bodies while gaining insight into the nature of our own thoughts. It supports the wisdom of inner connectivity leading to outer expressivity and seeks to discover what prevents us from being fully embodied and enlivened. 

Sound Body Wisdom creates a safe environment that supports us moving beyond conditioned patterns and into listening to our own wisdom, connected to others and the world. Each of us brings our own unique experiences and knowledge to this work. Truly listening to our personal wisdom and meeting it with curiosity can help facilitate deeper learning into one's own experience of body, mind and spirit and living a fully embodied life. 

A Little Info On Jacqueline: 
Jacqueline Westhead is an educator/ facilitator, musician, and dancer with over 17 years experience. She has trained in diverse styles such as African dance, yoga, martial arts, contact improvisation, Butoh, Commedia dell-arte and other highly expressive movement forms. She has studied in Somatics and developmental movement, and is a certified Somatic educator and CMT. She was a senior member of Jellyeye (Drum Theater) and created and performed 
Extensively with them for 7 years. She was a founding member of MASS (Music And Sonic Sculpture) Ensemble and has collaborated with a variety of independent artists and companies over the years creating movement and 
music-based work for theaters and festivals as well as being an independent choreographer. She has traveled and studied in West Africa, southern India and studied percussion with internationally known artists Glen Velez and 
Hamid Drake. Her music has led her to play for a variety of artists’ CDs, music projects and U.S. tours. Jacqueline has created workshops for youth and adults across the United States and abroad in such places as The University of Michigan, Cleveland Public Theater, The Cultural Center of Chicago, Berry College and Power of Hope. She has received several CAAP and NAP grants to study, create new work and design community projects. She has worked with schools, hospitals, community and private organizations in her blend of rhythm, expressive movement and voice integrating her diverse studies in music, dance and ancient traditions.  

Images of the Body in Feminist Spirituality

Wednesday, November 19 at 7 pm 
A Slide Show by Dr. Ellen Johnson
Evans Auditorium 

The female body is central to any understanding of feminist spirituality. The cycles marked by menarche and menopause are at the root of the triple goddess image of the divine. The body is celebrated in ritual, song, dance, and art and used as a pathway to mystical experience. This role of the body is in direct opposition to historical attitudes about the body in the Abrahamic religions. Representations of the body by feminist artists are part of this presentation. 

Sponsored by the Interfaith Council, the Women’s Studies Program, and Interdisciplinary Studies.  

The Politics of Enlightenment: Buddhism and the Doctrine of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan

Tuesday, November 24 at 7 pm
Dr. Jeffrey Lidke
Evans Auditorium 

Located at the borders of China, India, and Nepal, Bhutan is the world's only Tantric Buddhist country. In 1974 Bhutan's King, Jigme Wangchuk, established the doctrine of Gross National Happiness as a primary national agenda. Rooted in fundamental Buddhist teachings and practices, GNH is understood as a measurement of the spiritual, 
material, and economic quality of life of each citizen. In this multimedia presentation, Dr. Lidke analyses GNH as a central aspect of a Bhutanese political system whose aim is spiritual enlightenment for all Bhutanese citizens. 

*Cultural Event Credit!  

Spring 2008 Programs


Travelers and Magicians

Wednesday, January 23rd, 7 pm Jeffrey Lidke  
Evans Auditorium 

"Travelers and Magicians" is the first major motion picture shot in Bhutan.  Directed by award winning Director and Buddhist monk Khyentse Norbu ("The Cup"), the film richly captures the natural beauty and cultural spirit of Bhutan.  Dr. Lidke will lead a discussion pm the film and provide information about the upcoming summer program in Bhutan. 


India Unveiled: A Photographic Odyssey

Wednesday,February 13th, 7 pm  
Robert Arnett 
Evans Auditorium

In this slide presentation and lecture Mr. Arnett will discuss his travels 
to India and his studies of its rich, complex religious and cultural traditions. 

*Please see Mr. Arnett's exhibit which is on display this month in the library" 

Sponsored by Asian Studies Task Force, Fine Arts, International Programs, 
Interfaith Council, and Department of Religion and Philosophy. 

Mr. Arnett's work can also be viewed at www.atmanpress.com 


What we Know about the Temple where Jesus Preached

Thursday, February 28th, 7 pm  
Sharon Mattila  
Science Auditorium 

In Jesus' time, the Jerusalem Temple stood at the pinnacle of its glory.  Herod the Great had built the Second Temple on an enormous and magnificent scale.  This Temple has been reconstructed with a reasonable degree of certainty, on account of the archaeological excavations that have been conducted at the Jerusalem Temple Mount since 1967, as well as the descriptions found in the ancient Jewish historian Josephus and in the early rabbinic literature. 


Walls of Anguish in the Holy Land: Israeli-Palestinian relations on the West Bank

Wednesday, March 5th, 7pm  
Steven and Linda Bell  Evans Auditorium 

Linda and Steven Bell (Professor of Psychology and former President of Rodeph Shalom Synagogue) will present their experiences in the Holy Land discussing interviews and sights researched last summer in the West Bank of Palestine,  East Jerusalem and Israel. Little is known about the plight of the Palestinian people living under military occupation, increasing settlements and the separation wall. This presentation is designed to increase your understanding of the process and effects of the occupations on an indigenous people in their own land.  


Sound Body Wisdom

Monday, April 7th, 7pm 
Jacqueline Westhead
Interfaith Center 

Sound Body Wisdom is a somatic*and experiential form that draws on the wisdom of the body in motion, awareness practices, creative expression, somatic-based therapies and life.  This workshop is for anyone wanting to find new depth and freedom in their connection to self as well as the world around them. Participants will be led with group, partnered and individual exercises in movement, breath, voice and witnessing to discover creative exchange, authentic expression and new pathways of experiencing daily life connected to cognitive and emotional patterns. Structured and improvised exercises in physical and vocal expression, non-verbal communication, energy, witnessing and awareness practices will offer tools and insight in this practice.  

Ecology and Religion Panel

Tuesday, April 22nd, 6pm
Featuring Tom Blue Wolf
Krannert Ballroom


Georgia Interfaith Power and Light

Thursday, April 24th, 7pm
Dr. Katy Hinman
Science Auditorium

Every major religion has an ethic of creation care.  Dr. Hinman will discuss the organization and ways our community can help with the conservation and care of environment 


On-Going Classes 

Thursdays, 7 p.m.
Interfaith Center

Come experience the ancient Japanese practice of sitting meditation, with alternating periods of walking meditation. For more information contact jdirnberger@berry.edu or nkimbro@berry.edu. 

Tai Chi

Tuesdays, 11p.m.
Interfaith Center

Tai Chi Chuan, which means the ‘Discipline of the Supreme Ultimate’ is a flowing set of movements that combine aspects of yoga and meditation with practical combat techniques. Although the origins of the tradition are shrouded in the mystique of legend and mythic lore, we have evidence of a fully formed tradition dating back no later than 14th century China. This weekly class will train students in the basics of ‘energy circulation’ (chi qong) as well as the 108 movements of the ‘slow set’ of Yang style Tai Chi. 



Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Interfaith Center

Classical instruction based on the eight limbs of Yoga: Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. Please bring a yoga mat (or large towel) and a thin cushion to sit upon for meditation. A back jack seat or stadium seat will be helpful to those with a weak back. You may also wish to bring a light shawl or small blanket to use during savasan.