15th Anniversary Gala
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McCormick Seminary Course
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This symposium will help workers, students, religious activists and labor leaders both connect with and be supported by the theological groundings offered within different faith traditions.
The interactive symposium will highlight presentations from Muslim, Jewish and Christian experts in the field of economic justice. Additionally, select graduate students in religion will be invited to show case their own work on these crucial issues during the event.
Graduate students in religion from around the country are able to earn course credit by attending the Theological Symposium and IWJ Conference. Course credit is being offered through McCormick Theological Seminary, which will hold discussion during the conference and online before and after. Registration information will be available in March on this website.
The Symposium will take place over two days, Saturday, June 18th - Sunday, June 19th.
View a copy of the
Theological Symposium Agenda
Registration ($50*) covers:
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on Saturday; Breakfast and Lunch on Sunday
*Registration must be in conjunction with a Sunday Only pass or a full conference pass.
Mr. Hussam Ayloush
Mr. Hussam Ayloush is the Southern California Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is the largest national grassroots organization dedicated to presenting an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public.
In addition to his work with CAIR, he serves on the board of directors of ACCESS California, a non-profit organization providing social services to low income and under-served communities in Southern California. He also serves on the board of the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress (MAHSC) (read news report). Formerlly, he served Multi-Cultural Advisory Council (MCAC) (read news report) which advises the Los Angeles bureau of the FBI.
Rabbi Jonathan Klein
Rabbi Jonathan Klein proudly serves as the Executive Director at CLUE-LA. Prior to his ordination in 1997 from Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Klein served congregations in Flagstaff, Arizona and Rye, New York. Upon receiving his rabbinical degree, he served three years as Director of KESHER, the Reform Jewish Movement's college outreach program and then eight years as the Allen and Ruth Ziegler Rabbinic Director of USC Hillel at the University of Southern California. After deep soul-searching and refllecting upon his experiences of bussing and memories of his family's financial struggle, Rabbi Klein decided to unite the disparate experiences of his ILGWU-shop steward-grandmother Sophie Klein and his cantorial multigenerational ancestry into his work as a religious community organizer with CLUE-LA.
Mr. Ched Myers
Mr. Ched Myers works with Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, an ecumenical organization promoting biblical literacy, church renewal and faith-based witness for justice. Ched is best known for his work promoting Sabbath Economics. He is committed to popular theological education and socio-economic analysis with faith based activists. He is one of the founders of the Word and World People’s School, which bridges the “seminary, the sanctuary and the streets”. Ched's books include: Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus (Orbis, 1988), Who Will Roll Away the Stone: Discipleship Queries for First World Christians (Orbis, 1994), and The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics (Church of the Saviour, 2001). Mr. Myers has regularly encouraged workshop participants to connect with Interfaith Worker Justice.
Dr. Tex Sample
Dr. Tex Sample has been a cab driver, a laborer, and a roust-about in the oil fields, a local church pastor, an ecumenical staffer, a professor and a seminary academic dean. Sample works and teaches in the areas of U.S. lifestyles, U.S. culture, social theory and social change, power, social class and theological ethics. Sample has authored nine books and co-edited another: Blue Collar Ministry (Judson Press, 1984), U.S. Lifestyles and Mainline Churches (Westminster/John Knox Press, 1990), Hard Living People and Mainstream Christians (Abingdon, 1993), Ministry in an Oral Culture: Living with Will Rogers, Uncle Remus, and Minnie Pearl (Westminster/John Knox, 1994), White Soul: Country Music, the Church and Working People (Abingdon Press, 1996), The Spectacle of Worship in a Wired World (Abingdon Press, 1998), and an edited book with Amy DeLong. The Loyal Opposition: Struggling with the Church on Homosexuality (Abingdon, 2000), Powerful Persuasion: Multisensory Witness in Christian Worship (Abingdon, 2005), Blue Collar Resistance and the Politics of Jesus (Abingdon, 2006), and Earthy Mysticism: Spirituality for Unspiritual People (Abingdon, January, 2008). An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church (UMC), Sample is a supporter of Interfaith Worker Justice and active in its work in Arizona.
Dr. C. Melissa Snarr
Professor Snarr focuses her work on the intersection of religion, social change, and political ethics. As a Christian social ethicist, she draws on a variety of methodologies for her research, with particular interest in sociological and political theory as well as comparative religious ethics (focusing on Islamic political thought).
She teaches courses ranging from "Modern Christian Political Thought" and "Religion and War in an Age of Terror" to "Religion and Social Movements." She is particularly interested in bridging the discourse worlds of religious activists and academic ethicists to deepen the understanding of religious traditions and practices.
Her most recent book, All You That Labor: Religion and Ethics in the Living Wage Movement (NYU 2011), draws on extensive participant observation to analyze and evaluate the contributions of religious activists in the living wage movement. Interweaving sociological observations with ethical assessment, she examines how religious activists’ contribute to the economic-political agency of low-wage workers and their allies. She also offers further resources for the ongoing development of worker justice movements.
Dr. Snarr is the author of Social Selves and Political Reforms (Continuum, 2007) as well as several articles in the area of feminist ethics. Her current research projects concentrate on Protestant resources for unionization, as well as an analysis of interfaith organizing as a peace-building practice.
Dr. Miguel De La Torre
Dr. Miguel de la Torre is the Iliff professor of social ethics and an ordained Southern Baptist minister.. He specializes in applying a postmodern/postcolonial social theoretical approach to U.S. marginalized spaces to construct a theological and biblical ethics that challenges structures of oppression. He is the author of Genesis: A Theological Commentary on the Bible (WJK, 2012); The Quest for the Historical Satan (co-authored, 2011); Liberating Jonah: Toward a Biblical Ethics of Reconciliation (Orbis Books, 2007); Lily Among the Thorns: Imagining a New Christian Sexuality (Jossey-Bass, 2007); Leer la Biblia desde los Marginados (Ediciones Messajero, 2005); Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins (Orbis Books, 2004); Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America (B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004); La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami (University of California Press, 2003); The Quest for the Cuban Christ: A Historical Search (University Press of Florida, 2002); Reading the Bible from the Margins (Orbis Books, 2002); Introducing Latino/a Theologies (co-authored, Orbis Books, 2001). He is also the editor of Out of the Shadows and Into the Light (TBA, 2009); Seeking Liberation within World Religions (Baylor University Press, 2008); ftlineRethinking Latino/a Religion and Ethnicity (co-edited, Pilgrim Press, 2006); Handbook on Latina/o Theologies (co-edited, Chalice Press, 2006); AAR Career Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession (AAR, 2006); Handbook on U.S. Theologies of Liberation (Chalice Press, 2004). His latest book, Latina/o Social Ethics: Moving Beyond Eurocentric Moral Thinking, is being published by Baylor University Press, 2010). Dr. de la Torre has encouraged his students at Iliff to be involved with Interfaith Worker Justice.
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