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Pacific School of Religion

Pacific School of Religion’s Unlikely Adventure

Pacific School of Religion’s Unlikely Adventure

by Paul Chaffee

Nowhere is the diminishing influence of liberal Protestantism in the US more dramatic than in the decline of its seminaries. Mounting debt, smaller student bodies, and ever-increasing costs have left dozens of institutions struggling to survive.

Finding Art in Plastic Debris

Recently, the Doug Adams Gallery at Pacific School of Religion offered an exhibit of art work by Richard and Judith Selby Lang. As the GTU Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education stated on its web site: “The Langs have been visiting Point Reyes National Seashore for decades, gathering plastic debris as it washes out of the Pacific Ocean. Like archaeologists, the Langs carefully collect and organize these artifacts of our time.” The debris is then arranged by the artists in meaningful arrays and photographed to produce exquisite prints and assemblages. “In this way, the Langs address our throwaway culture, the ubiquity of plastic, and our shared responsibility for environmental stewardship.”

Finding Meaning in the Mess

Environmental degradation, air pollution, animal extinction … how can we be good caretakers of our planet without becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of these issues? How can scholars and religious communities respond to the call issued by 2014 president of the American Academy of Religion and GTU alum, Dr. Laurie Zoloth, to help fight climate change?

Bronzes – Women as Agents of the Sacred

Every culture has found ways to express its sense of the sacred or transcendent in myth/story and representationally in graphic form. This series of sculptures emerged from my interest in the role of women as centers through which the sacred is expressed or through which the sacred interacts with human communities.

Where the Divine and the World Swirl and Dance

When I was ten years old, a man who owned a small record label wanted to sign me after hearing me sing at a talent show where I went to school with his daughter. My Pentecostal Christian stepmother, bless her heart, was adamant that a gift like mine should only be “used for The Lord, not for the world.” My family moved shortly thereafter, alleviating me from facing the theological dilemma she’d imposed.

Spirituality in the 21st Century


Opening Many Doors to the Spirit

On April 21, 2012, Pacific School of Religion hosted a new event called Sacred Snapshots: A Sampler for the Spirit, a day-long event celebrating spiritual practices from a range of religions and tradition. Each hour during the day, participants could choose from an array of experiential sessions, worship rituals, and lectures on divinity in its many forms, taught by progressive leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of various faiths.