Study trips to Italy, debates on the free market, internationally acclaimed scholarship and much more in a semester with Gordon’s Jerusalem and Athens Forum honors program.
The Jerusalem and Athens Forum, or JAF, as it has affectionately been called, started its spring semester early this year. With eight program alumni in tow, JAF director and history professor Tal Howard boarded a red-eye to Rome, Italy. The next 10 days featured day trips to Orvieto, Rome and Florence, Italy, exploring the medieval virtues and vices. Participating alumni read Dante's Purgatorio and two texts by German philosopher Josef Pieper: A Brief Reader on the Virtues of the Human Heart and The Four Cardinal Virtues. The readings complemented visits to the Vatican Museum, St. Peters, The Forum and Colosseum in Rome; and the Spanish chapel at Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, and the Monastery San Marco in Florence.
Housed in the Monastery San Paolo in Orvieto, which is also home to Gordon’s Orvieto program, alumni travelers enjoyed the tastes and sights of the Umbrian countryside in Orvieto (Pictured: Professor Howard pointing out the ancient road leading to Rome from the Giardini Communali Di Orvieto to JAF alumni Kirk Vanacore ’09, Sarah Grimes ’10, Amy Holcombe ’12, Hilary Sherratt ’12 and Izabella Wisniewska ’11).
|View a photo journal of pictures and reflections from this trip >>|
Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and coauthor of the landmark Atlas of Global Christianity, visited Gordon as part of the Faith Seeking Understanding lecture series. JAF also hosted two smaller discussions: one with Gordon-Conwell’s provost, Frank James III; and one with Karl Giberson and Steve Alter on C. P. Snow’s landmark lecture “The Two Cultures.” (Pictured, left to right, Todd Johnson, Frank James, Karl Giberson and Steve Alter)
Oxford University Press released JAF director Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard’s third book, God and the Atlantic: America, Europe and the Religious Divide. During March, Professor Howard discussed the book at an on-campus book-signing event, and also as part of Gordon’s Old Town Hall lecture series in Salem, Massachusetts. (Pictured, left to right, Gregor Thuswaldner, German and linguistics; Tal Howard, history; and Steve Alter, history, at 4/31 book signing).
Students, staff and faculty gathered for the seventh annual JAF Debate at Gordon College on Christianity and capitalism. Students also explored early American religious liberty on a day trip to Providence, Rhode Island, ending the day sharing dinner and conversation with Catholic students and faculty from the Dominican school, Providence College. (Pictured, left to right, team members Jon Ozuna ’12, Abigail Sargent ’13 and Kyra Sliwinski ’11; Stanley Lemons talking to JAF students at the First Baptist Church in America in Providence; and Tal Howard introducing the role of athenaeums in early American public life.)