Learning from Rashi

  As the acting dean of academic affairs for the fall semester, I was given the task of preaching at our Matriculation service. As is customary for this service, the readings were taken from the propers for education found on page 931 of the Book of Common Prayer. My attention turned to the reading from … read more

Augustine For Our Times

This month the Seminary of the Southwest faculty has been reading William Cavanaugh’s excellent little book Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire. Micah Jackson had assigned this book to the Junior class for their colloquy and the faculty have been engaged in a parallel reading of it, culminating in a colloquy of our own about […]

Living Reconciliation in Rome

During the last week of January, I took nine students from Seminary of the Southwest for a study trip to Rome. Our trip came on the heels of the recent Anglican Primates’ Meeting in which the Episcopal Church was reprimanded for its actions and teachings regarding human sexuality. For the previous weeks I had been […]

Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski

Sunday, December 20 Psalms 24, 29; Genesis 3:8-15; John 3:16-21   Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer: Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski Advent Meditation The collect for the Fourth Sunday of Advent asks God to purify our conscience as we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ that we might find a mansion within […]

Correction: Soul in the City on Nov. 13 is cancelled

We regret to announce that this event is cancelled, and we apologize for any inconvenience to you. Our literary journal, Soul by Southwest, comes to life happy-hour style on the second Friday of each month. Friday, November 13,  Eileen Flynn DeLao, Austin American-Statesman religion writer and blogger, chats with Church History Professor Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski. 4:00–5:30 p.m., Rather House back […]

Jerusalem From the Outside

This summer I concluded a year of studying about Judaism as lived in contemporary Israel. I was privileged to be part of a program, the Christian Leadership Initiative, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee and the Shalom Hartman Institute. I was among fifteen other seminary professors and denominational leaders who learned and lived together in […]

Deep Roots for a Changing Church

At Seminary of the Southwest one of our core values is rootedness. For me as a professor of church history, this means ensuring that my students have a firm grounding in the Christian tradition. I often say that I do not want to make my students into historians like me. (There are already enough of […]

In Praise of General Convention

I am an unabashed, unapologetic fan of General Convention. I know this very well might put me in a minority position. In Episcopal Church circles it is not uncommon to hear people complain about General Convention – that it is too long, too big, not responsive enough to change, a waste of resources. Like any […]

Going Where Jesus Has Gone

In the accounts of the Resurrection, I have always resonated with these words from the angel at the empty tomb in the Gospel of Matthew: “He is gone ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him” (Matt. 28:7). These words arrest me because of the sense that Jesus is always going ahead, drawing us forward to the next part of God’s will for us.

Along the road to GalileeI have travelled the road from Jerusalem to Galilee. It is not an easy journey. You travel down from Jerusalem to the edge of the Dead Sea. Then you turn and travel along the Jordan River. It is a dry place, arid and dusty. The Jordan is not broad and deep.  It is narrow and muddy.  Surely there are good places to stop and rest, but to move from Jerusalem to Galilee takes a certain resolve.

Telling Stories

During the first week of January, I participated in the annual Interfaith Seminary Retreat sponsored by the Multicultural Alliance of Texas. This event brings together students from Christian seminaries in Texas with Jewish and Muslim seminarians from Los Angeles and Baltimore for the purpose of deeper learning and awareness of one another’s traditions. The focus of this retreat was the role of story telling. Stories were used not just to explain the various traditions represented but as a way of engaging one another in small groups and individually. The act of telling stories is a powerful way of humanizing those who might seem different from us. It allows us both to see what is distinctive about each of our journeys but also what are the commonalities that bind us together.