How does your faith tradition explain (and respond to) senseless tragedies such as the Virginia Tech shootings.
Posted by Sally Quinn and Jon Meachamon April 17, 2007 6:23 AM
FROM THE PANEL
Martin E. Marty is Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he taught religious history, chiefly in the Divinity School, for 35 years, and where the Martin Marty Center has been founded to promote “public religion” endeavors. For a decade prior to entering academia, the “On Faith” panelist served parishes in the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago as an ordained Lutheran pastor. Marty is the author of more than 50 books including Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America (1970), for which he won the National Book Award. His additional honors include the National Humanities Medal, the Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the University of Chicago Alumni Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal of the Association of Theological Schools, and the Order of Lincoln Medallion (Illinois’ top honor). Marty has served as president of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the American Catholic Historical Association. He also has served on two U.S. Presidential Commissions and was director of the Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Public Religion Project at the University of Chicago. He is Senior Regent of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
The mourners have a promise not to be abandoned in their grief, but no promise that they can figure this all out.Martin MartyAward-winning author and professor emeritus, University of Chicago | 3COMMENTS
Apr 18, 2007 at 9:45 PM
"On Faith" panelist Pamela K. Taylor is co-founder of Muslims for Progressive Values and director of the Islamic Writers Alliance. She is a member of the national board of advisors to the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and served as co-chair of the Progressive Muslim Union for two years. Taylor is a strong supporter of the woman imam movement, which seeks the full participation of Muslim women in every aspect of life, including the pulpit. In July 2005, she became the first woman in centuries to officiate Friday prayers in a mosque when the United Muslim Association of Toronto and the Muslim Canadian Congress invited her to serve as guest imam. (This event followed a number of services, sermons and prayer sessions led by women held in private venues because no mosque agreed to host them.) In February 2006, when the former Grand Mufti of Marseilles visited Toronto, he requested that Taylor lead him in congregational prayer as an unequivocal demonstration of his support for female imams. Taylor has also been active in interfaith dialogue for 20 years, both in local initiatives and speaking at numerous conferences, universities, and churches. She received her MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and writes regularly on spiritual matters and the Islamic faith. She has essays in Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Perspectives from the World's Religious Traditions (2006) and the forthcoming The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics (2007). She has written hundreds of articles and opinion pieces for newspapers, magazines, and journals, and is an award winning poet.Pamela K. Taylorco-founder, Muslims for Progressive Values | 640COMMENTS
As editor of the Catholic weekly magazine "America" (americamagazine.org), Rev. Thomas J. Reese promoted discussion on current issues facing the Catholic Church and the world. The "On Faith" panelist is author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church. Father Reese is frequently quoted as an expert on Catholic issues. He is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, where he is working on religion and politics. Besides his theological training as a Jesuit priest, he has a doctorate in political science from the University of California Berkeley. He once worked as a lobbyist for tax reform.Thomas J. Reese, S.J.Senior fellow Woodstock Theological Center, Jesuit priest | 106COMMENTS
The Right Rev. Mark Sean Sisk has been Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, one of the Episcopal Church’s largest dioceses with over 200 congregations since 2001. Before returning to New York as Bishop Coadjutor in 1998, the "On Faith" panelist served for 14 years as President and Dean of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. The bishop also worked as a parish priest for 10 years before his predecessor Bishop Paul Moore asked him to join his staff as Archdeacon of Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties in New York. Mission, worship and nurture are the three main focus areas of Sisk’s episcopacy. At the root of each is the promise of keeping our Lord and our faith centered in our lives while we work together to help the most vulnerable in our society. He believes that his and other moderate, socially conscious Christian viewpoints need to be heard. It is his hope to function as a bridge-builder in dealing with the important social issues confronting us as a nation. Sisk earned a degree in economics from the University of Maryland and a Masters of Divinity at General Theological Seminary in New York. He was ordained in 1967.Mark S. SiskBishop, Episcopal Diocese of New York | 37COMMENTS