Great News for Seton Hall Honors Students! A Religion Major Just For You

After completing the 4 Honors Colloquia, Honors students may complete the Religion Major by fulfilling the following requirements: 12 credits from the Religion Department’s 2000 or 3000-level courses, 6 credits of which must be at the 3000-level.

Check out for more information.  Or, contact Dr. KC Choi, the Chair of the Religion Department, at


Gisela Webb on Interreligious Dialogue at Grinnell College

The following Religion Department news item has been published on the Seton Hall University Website, under the News and Events column at


Professor Gisela Webb of the Department of Religion has been invited by Grinnell College (Iowa) to participate in the symposium A Muslim Saint in Iowa: Interreligious Dialogue and the Legacy of the Emir Abd el-Kader.

The symposium, according to Grinnell College, “commemorates the United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21, 2014 as reflected in the life of the Emir Abd el-Kader (1808-1883). An exemplary Muslim, a celebrated military hero of Algeria in opposing French colonization, and an international peacemaker (savior of 12,000 Christians in Damascus), the Emir Abd el-Kader was hailed as ‘one of the few great men of the century’ (NY Times).”

In honor of the Emir’s ongoing legacy, the symposium will feature a scholarly panel focusing on enduring voices of “Interreligious Dialogue in Action: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives.”

As an invited member of the panel, Professor Webb will speak on Pope John XXIII’s views on interreligious studies, interfaith marriage, and social justice. The symposium will be held from September 21 to September 23, 2014. More information on the symposium can be found on

Rabbi Alan Brill in the News

Rabbi Alan Brill, one of our Religion Department professors who teaches in the Jewish-Christian Studies Graduate Program, is featured in a local New Jersey newspaper.  The article covers Rabbi Brill’s time in India this past year, studying the relationship between Judaism and Hinduism.  Check it out here:

“Kinship of Catholic and Jews” Programming Update

Dr. George Faithful, one of our university core post-doc teaching fellows, was interviewed by our very own Father Larry Frizzell about his new book Mothering the Fatherland (Oxford, 2014) for WSOU’s (89.5 FM) “Kinship of Catholics and Jews.” The program will be broadcast on Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 8:30 am. Later it will be available in the I-tunes archive of the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies. Wake up early this Sunday (if 8:30am is early for you) and tune into Seton Hall’s radio station!

Professor David Bossman and Biblical Theology Bulletin

Check out Jewish-Christian Studies and Religion Department professor David Bossman’s Biblical Theology Bulletin.  He serves as the editor of this journal.

Check Out Father Paul Holmes’ Work on the Toolbox for New Catholic Pastors!

The following update on Father Holmes’ work on the Lily Endowment funded Toolbox for New Catholic Pastors has been posted on the main Seton Hall University Website (see  Below is the text of that update:

Seton Hall University and the National Leadership Roundtable for Church Management recently completed their ninth Toolbox for Pastoral Management last month.

Begun in 2009, the Toolbox is a weeklong seminar for new Catholic pastors, offering over a dozen presentations on the management skills pastors need to be a successful leaders in 21st-century parishes. Experts in various facets of temporal administration provide presentations on subjects including human resources, internal financial controls, stewardship and risk management, hoping that new pastors can “hit the ground running” when they return to their new parishes.

As director of the Toolbox, the Department of Religion’s Father Paul Holmes, the University Professor of Servant Leadership, hosts the weeklong seminars and offers a “Theology of Management” at the beginning of each seminar. Toolboxes have been held in January and July at retreat centers across the country, at the Jersey shore, Tucson, and Jacksonville. The Toolbox seminar in Jacksonville was featured in the “Beliefs” column of The New York Times earlier this year ( The most recent Toolbox was held in Baltimore.

The Toolbox seminars are made possible through a generous grant from Lilly Endowment.

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Religion, Youth, and Popular Culture: Life of Pi

by Anthony DiFlorio

Contrary to widespread modern-day belief, human beings are still vastly intrigued by the great unanswered questions: “What is the meaning of existence?”, “Is there life after death?”, “What is the origin of being and consciousness?”, among others.  These fundamental questions are often obscured by entertainment and mass media consumption, which generally cater to superficial emotions and rarely address the philosophical, religious or spiritual aspects of our reality. Yet, every now and again, there is released a film, a book, a song or an album which resonates profoundly through the hearts and minds of an impressionable, young audience; a work of art that poses profound questions and captures the human senses, rendering them more alive than ever. Continue reading

Religion and Art: Liz’s Journey

by Elizabeth Dunbar

Religion and art have played significant roles in my life from a young age. I was born into a newly converted, non-denominational Christian household, my father and mother having converted from Catholicism and Judaism, respectively. My first memories of religion are evangelical in nature, but this quickly changed when my family became Catholic (for most of them, this was merely a re-entrance into the Church). I was five when my little sister and I were baptized, and my family has remained Catholic since then. But through all of this, my mom clearly held onto her Jewish identity. Continue reading

Building Bridges: 60 Years of Jewish-Christian Dialogue at Seton Hall – Inaugural Event

The inaugural event of the year-long celebration “Building Bridges – 60 Years of Jewish-Christian Dialogue at Seton Hall” will take place on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, in Jubilee Hall Auditorium. Dr. Peter Schäfer, Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies at Princeton University, will lecture on “Two Powers in Heaven? The Emergence of Binitarian Ideas in Pre-Christian Judaism.”

From the invitation: “In 1953, Monsignor John M. Oesterreicher established the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall. His labors and those of his associates throughout subsequent decades have had a profound impact on the Church’s relationship with the Jewish community at the local, national and international levels. Throughout this year the University will hold a series of events to celebrate, advance and expand this legacy of interfaith dialogue.”

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