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Friday, October 24, 2014

From other steps: Marquand Chapel, Yale Divinity School

10/23

Yale Divinity School


Random notes from Yale Divinity School 2014 Convocation and Class Reunions:

Peter S. Hawkins, Poetry and the Psalms: Singing a New Song
* King James has the poetry, the translation we carry in our bowels
* George Herbert’s 1633 lyric metric Psalm 23, the God of Love my shepherd is…unofficial Scottish national anthem. (http://www.ccel.org/h/herbert/temple/23dPsalme.html)
* Gerard Manley Hopkins created his own Psalms, like  Pied beauty: Glory be to God for dappled things…(http://www.bartleby.com/122/13.html)

....and for a bonus, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/leonardcohen/hallelujah.html

Christian Smith Parents: the Real Pastors: The Absolute centrality of parenting in passing on religious faith and practice to the next generation
We have moved from religion as a communal solidarity project to a personal identity accessory
(see youthandreligion.nd.edu)

The Justice Imperative:How Hyper-incarceration Hijacked the American Dream by Marilyn Kendrix et al.
* We have 2.3 million behind bars
* We have more incarcerated than the top 35 eurocentric nations combined
* In Connecticut, there are 16,500 inmates, 46500 on parole, a total of 45000 in  the system
* Connecticut spends a billion a year on  Department of Corrections
* Even though we are a nation of 2nd chances, formerly incarcerated have penalties that go beyond time. Ineligible for public housing. Unrentable by landlords. Ineligible  for food stamps. Employment  discrimination is legal. Most rational thing to do is to reoffend and be sent back. 60% are back in prison within one year of release. Costs us 52,000 per inmate per year.
* We are the world leader in imprisoning our own people.With 5% of world's population we have 25% of world’s incarcerated.
And none can vote after felony conviction
Like a new Jim Crow (http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Crow-Incarceration-Colorblindness/dp/1595586431)

 The Blue Note gospel: preaching the prophetic Blues in a Post-Soul World by Otis Moss III, successor to the controversial Jeremiah Wright at Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago
* The church is capitalism in drag
* Society of a neo-religious capitalism
* The blues expresses America from the underside
* The blues is catastrophe expressed quietly
* The blues expresses tragedy without despair
* The gift of the black church is joy in the face of desperate sadness, to express tragedy without ultimate despair, the ability to dance in the dark….

Giving the invocation at Woolsey Hall
My prayer of invocation at the alumni dinner:

Oh God, creator of the universe, of all that is, we praise you. We thank you for all around these tables. For the meeting of old friends. For memories of when ideas were exciting and study brought us close to you. Let these days rekindle the passionate desire to question, thing and learn. Help us remember all who brought this food to our table tonight. From planting to serving.  We thank you for the opportunity to renew our friendships and remember the times we spent together here. Let us enjoy this night together. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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