March 7, 2014
The season of Lent is a time of penance, reflection, and for many, the taking on of disciplines in order to clear a path for spiritual awakening.
At Candler, it also happens to begin the same week as midterms.
The Reverend Ellen Echols Purdum, assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation at Candler, says this juxtaposition makes the time ripe for theology students to embark on a journey of self-reflection.
"There’s always this lovely tension between the academic and liturgical year," says Purdum. "The season of Lent is an opportunity for students to be intentional about the observance of spiritual practices in the same way they are intentional about studying for exams."
In order to make the most of this opportunity, Purdum and Audrey Hindes, program associate for academic and international support, are leading Lenten small groups to help Candler students pause and look inward.
The groups will meet four times over the course of the 40 days of Lent to allow students to gather in an intimate setting and develop introspective habits that will lead to personal revelation and growth.
"Lent is a time to be honest, to move from the inauthentic self to the authentic self, as spiritual guides from the desert fathers and mothers to Henri Nouwen have taught us. It’s a time of self-scrutiny and self-examination that can guide our steps forward," says Purdum.
Both groups highlight balance and vocational discernment, which Purdum sees as a subset of spiritual formation—one that needs explicit attention as a part of a theological education.
March 3, 2014
E. Brooks Holifield, Charles Howard Candler Professor of American Church History, Emeritus, wrote an article featured on Huffington Post's Religion section exploring America's focus on religion, especially compared to that of other Western powers.
"Many Western Europeans think of Americans as hopelessly, bafflingly, and dangerously, religious. Many Americans think of Western Europeans as distressingly, inexplicably, and unrelentingly, secular," writes Holifield.
Originally appearing on Emory University's blog Sacred Matters, Holifield's article looks to America's history for answers to its religious leanings.
February 27, 2014