ECF Fellows News: Winter 2020

February 19, 2020

Tucker Adkins (2019) has had a very busy few months. Since successfully submitting the first chapter of his dissertation in August, he has devoted much time to archival research. For his next chapter, a spatial study of eighteenth-century New England's Great Awakening, Tucker has recently visited and utilized the manuscript collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, New-York Historical Society, Connecticut Historical Society, and Yale University. He also had the opportunity to present preliminary portions of his research as a panelist at the annual winter meeting of the American Society of Church History. Lastly, apart from his dissertation work, Tucker had published his first peer-reviewed article--"'Craved reality': Perry Miller, Sinclair Lewis, and Puritanism"--in the most recent issue of Jonathan Edwards Studies.

Claude Barbre (1995) and Jill Barbre received a 2019 Gradiva Nomination Award in the Best Article Category from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) for their book chapter entitled, Breaking Into a Sacred, Bloodier Speech: The Healing Role of Monsters in Child Development, Trauma Play, and the Cultural Imagination, published in Violent States and Creative States: Human Violence and Creative Humanity, vol. 2. Adlam, J., Kluttig, T., Lee, B. (Eds), London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. NAAP established the awards in 1995 to honor “our valuable allies” in the humanities, “including poets, artists, producers, directors, and publishers who have created works that advance psychoanalysis and the arts.” Claude and Jill were honored with certificates for their writing at the Gradiva Award Banquet Ceremony at Hebrew Union University, New York City, Saturday, November 16. Dr. Barbre is an eight-time nominee and five-time recipient of the international Gradiva Award in four separate categories (Best Article, Book Chapter, Book, and Poetry) presented by NAAP. For a complete list of 2019 Gradiva Nomination Awards, see https://naap.org-gradiva-awards. In addition, Dr. Barbre presented a number of papers in the late Fall of 2019 at national and international conferences. In October, he presented several papers at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS), Rutgers University, New Jersey. The first paper was entitled, The Stones Roll Right Through But Each Pane Stays Whole: The Psychology of Displacement, Trauma, and Hope in the Poetry of Tomas Transtromer. A second paper was presented, entitled, To Bear Misfortune’s Mark: Simone Weil’s Writings on Uprootedness and Displacement and Their Effect on the Phenomenology of the Body. A third paper was presented at the Rutgers conference entitled, Families in the Bardo: Dementia, Displacement, and the Edges of Liminal Loss. In addition, in November Dr. Barbre presented a paper, Etruscan Spirits and Blood Consciousness in the American Southwest: The Double Inheritance of Italian-American Influences on D.H. Lawrence, at the Italian American Studies Association Conference, Houston, TX. Also, in December he was a Keynote Speaker at the Psychotherapy Action Network Annual Conference (PsiAN) entitled Advancing Psychology for the Next Generation: Rehumanizing Mental Health Policy and Practice (PsiAN), at Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA. The paper was entitled, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On: Witnessing, Weathering, and Activist Stewardship. In March 2020, Dr. Barbre will present several papers at conferences in Europe. A paper entitled, Memoirs of War and War Trauma: Thinking of W.R. Bion’s Writing On Terror and Psychic Catastrophe When Reading Carolyn Forche’s Memoir of Witness and Resistance, will be presented at the International Conference, The Faces of War, at Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK. He will also present a second paper there, Eye in the Sky with One Eye on the Ground: Military Drone Operators and Traumatic Inductions. In addition, Dr. Barbre will present a paper, Fragments in a Convex Mirror: Poetry and Collages in the Art of John Ashbery at an international conference entitled, Poetry and Paintings in Conversations—An Interdisciplinary Conference, sponsored by the University of Oxford, Oxford UK. Further, he will present a paper entitled, “I See Dead People”: Ghostly Impasses and Traumatic Hauntings in the Writings of D.H. Lawrence, at a conference entitled D.H. Lawrence and the People, the 34th International D.H. Lawrence Conference, University of Paris, Paris, France. At the end of March he will present two papers at a conference entitled Over the Horizon: Comparative Perspectives on Literature, sponsored by Birkbeck, University of London, London UK. The first paper is entitled, The American Federico Fellini: Faithful Disbelief and the Trickster Archetype in the Global Remapping of Cinematic Narratives; the second paper is entitled, Chased to the Shore with Maps on Our Backs: Toni Morrison’s Writing on “The Foreigner’s Home” in Light of Contemporary Refugee Literature. Finally, Claude received a 2019 Service Award from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCS) for “his ten years of outstanding service to the university, the Chicago community, and the profession of psychology.” Dr. Barbre is Distinguished Full Professor of Clinical Psychology where he is course-stream coordinator and lead faculty of the Psychodynamic Orientation at TCS, and also teaches in the Psychology and Spirituality Studies, as well as the Child and Adolescent Concentration. He is a Training Supervisor, and member of the Board of Directors, The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP), and a pastoral counselor and psychoanalyst in private practice in Chicago (cbarbre@thechicagoschool.edu).

The Rev Dr Bruce Chilton (1974), Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College, has accepted local, national, and international invitations to speak on his book, published in September, Resurrection Logic. How Jesus’ First Followers Believed God Raised Him from the Dead (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2019). In tandem, a specialist article also appeared, “The Chimeric ‘Empty Tomb,’” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 17 (2019) 145-172. In November, he gave a paper at the San Diego meeting of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature, “La Sarthe, Marcel Jousse, and Aramaic Au/Orality.” The paper is to appear in a volume edited by Werner Kelber on the Aramaic oral hypothesis as an approach to the study of the Gospels. He also completed a series for the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College on Hebrew prophecy and for the Rhinebeck Reformed Church on the theological contributions of Martin Buber, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Hannah Arendt, and Martin Luther King. During January he joined a panel of four scholars appointed by the Regents of the State of Louisiana to select scholars for awards to fellowships across the Humanities.

Stewart Clem (2017) began a new position as Assistant Professor of Moral Theology and Director of the Ashley-O’Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership at Aquinas Institute of Theology (St. Louis, MO). He is currently working on projects related to the moral theology of Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant's ethics and philosophy of religion, and the theology of sin. In February, he will be giving a public lecture at Oklahoma State University, titled, "Telling Lies and Saving Lives: The Ethics of Truthfulness in the Christian Tradition," reflecting his research for a book on the ethics of lying. He also serves as Priest Associate at the Church of St. Michael & St. George (St. Louis, MO), where he recently led an Advent Quiet Day on the theme "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence: Preparing to Meet Christ in Advent."

Francisco Garcia (2019) had a few pieces published in the fall. The first was an article co-authored with fellow Latinx clergy and leaders in national Latina/o ministries for the Episcopal Church, Anthony Guillen and Albert Rodriguez, discussing immigrant rights work in the church, and how challenging the normative whiteness operating in the church is a part of the work. Read the article here. The second piece came out as a theological reflection in the fall issue of the Anglican Theological Review on his work in the Diocese of Los Angeles around the issue of immigration. We initiated a ministry in late 2016 that led to the formation of a Sanctuary Task Force, and connected broadly with interfaith partners as "Sacred Resistance." More info about that issue, as well as his chapter, is included here. In October 2019, he presented two workshops at the Pathways to Economic Justice Conference at Vanderbilt Divinity School, on the topic: "Labor, Solidarity, and Faith: Reviving an American Tradition."

In his current doctoral studies, he is in his second semester of coursework, focusing on core and minor requirements in theological studies. Related to his coursework, he is a Graduate Research Fellow at the Wendland-Cook Program for Religion and Justice, a new research and action program at the Divinity School. Through this program and as an ECF Fellow, he continues to hone in on his particular area of applied research related to integrating theology and community organizing in a way that takes the work of the Church beyond it's current denominational structures. To that effect, he will be presenting a workshop at the CEEP Conference, entitled "Blessed are the Educated, Agitated, and Organized: Reorienting to the 'Radical' Origins of our Faith." He will also be writing a piece for ECF's Vestry Papers series in March. In March, he is on the planning committee and will also be participating in a conference hosted by Wendland-Cook entitled "Liberating People and the Planet: Christian Responses at the Intersections of Economics, Ecology, and Religion," as a student respondent to a faculty paper.

Ashley Graham-Wilcox (2017) has been working on a project focused on creating pathways to more diverse and representative leadership in Episcopal camping and retreat ministry, with a main priority on lifting up young leadership, and helping them feel seen and heard in this ministry and career path. Driven by Ashley’s research and work, Episcopal Camps & Conference Centers has received a Becoming Beloved Community Grant to develop an anti-racism and inclusivity manual for summer camp. The design team has begun meeting, and the manual will be launched with a “pilot” group this summer. In addition, ECCC and its conference host site, The Claggett Center, partnered to launch an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion scholarship program, which awarded seven scholarships to attend the organization’s flagship education event. This program will be expanded to other sites and programs going forward. At ECCC’s 31st Annual Conference last week, driven by the theme Works in Progress, Bishop Eugene Sutton presented to the 100+ attendees on racial reconciliation and reparations, and led a pilgrimage to a slave gravesite on-site at the Claggett Center. The conference also featured entertainment from Dusty Ray Bottoms, a drag performer and LGBTQ+ advocate, who led a roundtable on her work with The Trevor Project and to ban conversion therapy.

The Rev. Dr. David Gortner (1998) and his wife, the Very Rev. Heather VanDeventer, moved in late summer of 2018 to Spokane, WA, to follow Heather’s call to become Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. During the subsequent year of transition, David continued in his role at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) as Associate Dean of Church and Community Engagement and Professor of Evangelism and Congregational Leadership. In his sabbatical of late 2018 and 2019, he stepped in at the request of the Bishop of Spokane to become Vicar of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Over that year, David stepped down from his executive team leadership role with VOICE, the regional interfaith community organizing network in northern Virginia. In the summer of 2019, David became certified as a Mental Health First Aid instructor, completed IAF’s national training in Community Organizing, and completed training in Deliberate Practice and Feedback-Informed Treatment for therapists.

David remained at St. Luke’s as Vicar until July, 2019, when he was called by the vestry to become Rector. He resigned his fulltime role at VTS in July, 2019, but continues as Principal of the $1million VTS Thriving in Ministry grant awarded by the Lilly Endowment (authored by David and by the Rev. Dr. Carol Pinkham Oak, Project Director). This grant works with priests in their continuing leadership and ministry development among groups of clergy whose unique challenges are not given center-stage for focus in typical gatherings of priests: 1) church planters and evangelists; 2) school chaplains and rectors with parish schools; 3) Asian, Black, and Latino priests; 4) women priests in rising positions of leadership, including cathedral deans; 5) couples who are both active priests.

David is also Chair for the General Convention Task Force for Ministry with People with Mental Illness and Their Families. The group is drafting resource materials for congregations and clergy, to be distributed and released for use at the next General Convention. Locally, he serves on Diocesan Council and is engaged in local issues of homelessness and housing shortage in the inland Northwest.

Over the past year, David has worked with a core Church Center team on creating an evangelism masterclass video series, Embracing Evangelism. This series was debuted at the Rooted in Jesus Pre-Conference and Conference, and will be released fully in February, 2020. His first book, Transforming Evangelism, remains a backbone of Episcopal understanding of evangelism as a spiritual practice. David continues to work on his forthcoming books on clergy leadership and young adult ministry.

P Joshua Griffin (Griff) (2013) earned his PhD in anthropology at the University of Washington last June. This past September, he started as an Assistant Professor in American Indian Studies at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington.

Kyle Oliver (2016) had a new peer-reviewed publication of research from our Digital Literacies for Ministry project: Oliver, K. M., & Williams-Duncan, S. (2019). Faith leaders developing digital literacies: Demands and resources across career stages according to theological educators. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(2), 122–145. He also accepted a new role co-producing Faith+Finance, an online and in-person gathering of faith leaders, impact investors, theologians, and social entrepreneurs meant to catalyze new initiatives, including around sustainable funding for faith communities. He will be teaching this spring for continuing education audiences: Faith Formation in a Digital Age (February 3-28 for Vibrant Faith); Changing Church: Missional Practices and/for Beloved Community (March 23–May18 for CDSP).

The Rev. Dr. Carolyn Sharp (1994), who taught Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School for 17 years, is now joyfully exploring a new dimension of her vocation as Professor of Homiletics at the same institution. Sharp published two books in 2019: The Prophetic Literature (Abingdon) and a Joshua commentary (Smyth & Helwys).

Philip Turner (1971) is looking forward to his new book, Christian Socialism: The Promise of an Almost Forgotten Tradition, being published by Cascade later this year.