The Word is Action: Engaging the Bible and Social Justice in memory of Walter Wink

October 20, 2016

In the 21st Century, the work of activists in the field of social justice has become increasingly intersectional. The environmental work of creation care, for example, has become more attentive to and involved with the issues of race and economic justice, rooted in the wisdom of indigenous communities and engaging a rising generation of justice seekers. The work has also become decidedly multi-faith in character and focus.

Biblical scholarship has become increasingly well grounded in the physical and social sciences, a benchmark of the work of founders of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice. Solidarity in the search for social justice has brought seminary students and faculty back into the streets, and activists have sought to deepen their understanding of the relationship between faith and justice by entering seminaries and graduate programs or writing for broad public consumption.

On occasion religious leaders lift up calls for peace and justice. Here and there the steps of legislatures and courts are also forums for civil society and communities of faith to witness and resist.

And yet, there are few opportunities for a purposeful gathering of scholars and activists to discuss their shared commitments and understanding. Not all who stand in solidarity with calls for social justice consider themselves “activists”. Not all who seek a deeper grounding of their understanding of peace and social justice in scripture and research consider themselves scholars. The academy can seem like an ivory tower full of empty talk; the streets can seem full of noise and desperation without evidence of progress; the occasions for multi-faith exploration is still extremely rare.

The Board of The Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice represents a cross-section of this world. Their interests and networks span the entire spectrum of work for social justice from scholarship and education to preaching and marching in the streets.  To celebrate the fifth anniversary of CLBSJ they are convening an international conference, October 20th – 22nd 2016 at the Stony Point Center, Stony Point, New York.  You are invited to join us.


Thursday, October 20th

Opening Worship and Music (Warren Cooper)
Welcome to Stony Point Center (Rick Ufford-Chase)
Acknowledgement of Territory (Chief Dwaine Perry) (The Ramapough Lunaape Nation)

Opening Plenary; The Work of Justice in Our Time (Jennifer Henry and Rick Ufford-Chase)
Video Text Video

Friday, October 21

Resisting the Powers

The Moral Mondays Project (Rodney Sadler – via Skype)

Storytelling and Mark, the Gospel of Peace (Tom Boomershine)

The Community of Living Traditions – The Model and the Practice (Panel of CLT members: Susan Smith, Matt Zeltzer, Kitty Ufford-Chase)

Transforming the Powers

The Project of Nonviolence in Islam (Rabia Harris)

The Evil Eye (Jack Elliott)
Video Text

Abusing the Bible: The Case of Deuteronomy 15 (Norman Gottwald)

Demonstration of Contextual Bible Study: Social Justice in Mark 12:38-44 (Matthew Coomber and Crystal Hall)
Video Video

Roundtable: Practical Ideas for Bridging the Scholar/Activist Divide (Sarah Thompson (via Skype) and Rev. Anthony Grimes (via Skype)), Responding: Laura Gottwald, Rabia Terri Harris and Rodney Sadler
Video Video Video

Celebration of the Life, Work and Legacy of Walter Wink (Bill Wylie-Kellermann and June Wink)


Workshops: Creative Powers for Justice

Archives as Sites of Resistance, Liberation and Creativity (Hillel Arnold)
Text Slides

Engaging the Bible for Indigenous Justice (Jennifer Henry)
Video Video

The Arc of the Universe: Quantum Physics and Social Justice (Douglas Bendall)

Active Nonviolence Biblical Scholarship Black Lives Matter CLBSJ Conference creation care indigenous communities intersectionality Shaping Solidarity Social Justice Stony Point Center Walter Wink