Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Boldly.
The week of November 8-14 was a microcosm of the unrest roiling our society and its particular expressions on our college campuses and in the cities of Paris and Beirut. As a university-based divinity school, part of our mission is to provide a moral voice to how we here at Vanderbilt respond to racism, sexual violence, classism, sexism, transphobia and transgender discrimination, terrorism, religious hatred and myriad ways we fail to live into our humanity, at Vanderbilt and in the world, with deep respect for others.
One way is by using listening circles when hard issues arise in the VDS community—we learn how to speak the truth as we know it and to listen hard to what each other is saying. Far from talk being cheap, we realize that as much as words can be violent and spark wars; they can also bring peace and foster compassion for others and our planet. Helping others to learn how to speak in truth rather than stereotypes and bigotry and listen with care and actually hear what we are saying to one another are skills we take far beyond the walls of VDS because not only do we listen and hear, we try to craft random acts of kindness and powerful movements for justice.
In short, we seek to be agents of social justice who respect the sometimes tough demands of academic freedom that is a hallmark of a university engaged in restless questioning while we also refuse to condone the isms that tear at the fabric of a vibrant society, the world community, and the university we call home. As the sign carried by a student at the University of Missouri said at one of the many forums occurring on their campus this week: We still have work to do.
VDS Voices Blog
- My First Year Experience — by Kimberly A. Goins, MTS1 As I reflect upon my first year experience at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, I cannot help but think what I wrote in my personal statement: I want to pursue the master of theological studies degree because I have a myriad of ideas about the connections among politics, racism, social justice, the...November 25, 2015
- The First Year Experience—An Extended Welcome — by Amy E. Steele, MDiv’00; PhD’12 Assistant Dean for Student Life Over time, a group of concerned faculty, staff, and administrators at the Divinity School discussed in the hallways and between meetings about how to enhance the orientation experience for new students. We were asking questions about strengthening writing and research skills, developing more stated...November 18, 2015
- Alumni/ae Tuesday – #GivingTuesday — Our monthly Alumni/ae Tuesday Guest Post has expanded! We’re proud to present #VDSGiving. We have invited VDS and GDR alumni/ae to write about what their Divinity School education meant to them, and to also write about the impact of the scholarship assistance they received. Our goal is to demonstrate how scholarship support has a lasting impact on...November 17, 2015
- More from VDS Voices»
News from VDS
- Bill Tammeus quotes Amy-Jill Levine, Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, in blog post: Converts like Robert Lax bring something fresh, something unexpected to communities November 12, 2015
- Emilie Townes to Discuss 'Justice Notes' in Nov. 18 Mendenhall Lecture November 3, 2015
- Global efforts against human trafficking topic of Vanderbilt Divinity breakfast with Professor Paul Lim October 26, 2015
- More News »