Nichole R. Phillips, assistant professor of religion and human difference, was interviewed recently by Emory Report about her work exploring the power of religious rituals to create social cohesion and dismantle barriers.
In the classroom, Phillips' students examine the socially transformative nature of rituals using their own experience as a laboratory.
"We deal with very real, contemporary issues and look for the answers religion and theology bring to those perspectives," Phillips explained. "The classes enable [students] to draw on their personal experiences and backgrounds. I provide the tools for them to go out into the community and look for answers,” she says.
Phillips is a recipient of the Humanistic Inquiry Program Fellowship, a grant program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that aims to strengthen the humanities and expand interdisciplinary inquiry at Emory University.
Jacob L. Wright, associate professor of Hebrew Bible, is taking his scholarship to the public through his perspective on the new Hollywood film “Noah,” a discussion group that studies prophets of the Bible, and a free online course on the purpose of the Bible.
Interpreting a Flood of Controversy Emory’s video series “Emory Looks at Hollywood” tapped Wright to offer insights into the new Paramount Pictures film “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe as the ark-building character from the Bible. The film has drawn criticism from some who say Hollywood took too many liberties in interpreting the biblical story for the silver screen. Wright disagrees.
In the video, he explores the larger context of the flood narrative—its origins and various interpretations—noting its appearance in multiple iterations in ancient cultures. Watch the video on Emory News Center: bit.ly/1l3ASRK
Wright more fully engages “Noah” in Sacred Matters, a web magazine of public scholarship on religion and culture that invited Wright to provide deeper context for the film in light of public criticism.
Thanks to technology upgrades made during renovations of Cannon Chapel last summer, anyone with internet access can now experience Candler’s twice-weekly worship services in real time via live video streaming.
Barbara Day Miller, associate dean of worship and music, calls the live stream capacity “a gift” for those watching from other places, and anticipates practical applications for the service as well.
“Our alumni and constituents all around the country can hear music and sermons and prayers based on the texts they are preparing for their own congregations,” she says.
From a teaching standpoint, Day Miller also sees great benefit in students considering this new capability as they craft a worship service.
“This technology has added another dimension of preparation and care to worship planning,” she says. “The attention to detail this requires—the ability to step back and imagine the action and to more clearly understand the flow of the service before it begins—will serve students well as they move into their own churches that may have similar technological capabilities.”