Listening to Other Voices

The Glastonbury Abbey lecture series was established in the Fall of 1999 to foster interfaith dialog under the overall theme of “Listening to Other  Voices. ” Each year a different general topic is presented and speakers are  engaged to address it from the perspective of their own faith tradition. The topic for the series year 2017 - 2018 is  Do Justice and Live in the  Presence of God.  (Inspired by Psalm 15) Please join us to hear the below listed speakers.

Lectures are held in the Morcone Conference Center at 7:15  p.m.

No registration required. Seating is on a first - come, first - seated basis.  Parking is also limited. Therefore, we advise that you carpool where  possible. Lectures are free. Donations gratefully accepted.

October 19, 2017: Rabbi William Hamilton  — Walking in  God ’ s Ways  - Lessons from Abraham Joshua Heschel

“When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying,” wrote Rabbi Heschel  (1907 - 1972). There is probably no better place to start an exploration of  “ doing justice ”  than with this great soul who put his philosophy into  practice as a civil rights activist, anti - war demonstrator, and American  Jewish representative at Vatican II calling for change to anti - Semitic  language in the Catholic liturgy. Rabbi William Hamilton, leader of  Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline, MA, will examine this year ’ s  theme through the lens of Heschel ’ s life and discuss what the renowned  theologian has to say to our current culture.

Rabbi Hamilton, a nationally - known lecturer and passionate advocate  of Heschel ’ s teachings, has been with Congregation Kehillath Israel, a  Conservative synagogue, since 1995. He serves as Chaplain of the  Massachusetts State Police and is a trustee for the Anti - Defamation  League. He is the recipient of the Jewish Federation ’ s (Combined Jewish  Philanthropies) 2001 Rabbinic Leadership Award and also received a  Safe Havens Vision Award for working to prevent domestic violence.  This lecture is sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom, Hull, and Congregation  Sha ’ aray Shalom, Hingham.

November 16, 2017:  Ani Zonneveld  — The Pursuit of Justice  in Islam and Understanding How It Got Away 

“ Muslims for Progressive Values ”  may sound like a contradiction in terms  to anyone who defines Islam by daily news headlines. But Ani Zonneveld,  founder and president of this faith - based grassroots movement, is working  to change misperceptions and present the egalitarian heart of her religion.  “ How did the concepts of mercy and justice, the very essence of the Quran,  become distorted and unfulfilled by many of its followers? ”  she asks.  “ What is the ethics of Sharia and the human rights language of Islam?”

Ms. Zonneveld, who a singer/song writer and author, will answer the  questions in a program of talk and music. Born and raised in Malaysia,  she is now based in Los Angeles and has seen her advocacy for peace,  women ’ s equality, and gay rights become an international network of  chapters taking root not only in her native country, but in the US, Canada,  France, Germany, Australia, Bangladesh, Chile, the Netherlands, Burundi  and Tunisia.

January 18, 2018: Sr. Barbara Reid, OP  — Doing Justice and  Gender Equality: Biblical Perspectives

Women have been partners in the faith journey since Genesis and their  influence can be found in the Bible ’ s male - centric text if a seeker knows  where to look.  Sr. Barbara Reid, Professor of New Testament Studies, and  Vice President and Academic Dean at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, has been such a seeker all her life. She will discuss how modern day  gender equity movements have their roots in the women of Scripture who  advocated for justice, and in the biblical images of a just and merciful God  who appeared in both male and female form. Professor Reid will also talk  about ways of interpreting Scripture that lead toward justice.

Sr. Barbara Reid is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Sr. Barbara holds a Masters from Aquinas College in Religious Studies,  and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from The Catholic University of America,  in Washington, D.C. She is currently general editor of  The Wisdom  Commentary, that will be a 58 - volume series of feminist interpretations of  the books of the Bible, which Liturgical Press began publishing in 2015.  She is the author of numerous books, including  Taking Up the Cross: New  Testament Interpretations Through Latina and Feminist Eyes, and  Women in the  Gospel of Luke.

February 15, 2018: Rev. Mariama White - Hammond  
The Great Cloud of Witness  - What Our Ancestors Teach Us 

Addressing the 2017 Boston Women ’ s March, Rev. Mariama White - Hammond opened the historic proceedings by telling the crowd of 175,000  that she owed a great debt to her mother, (Rev. Gloria White - Hammond),  her grandmother, and all the forebears she didn’t even know. In that same  spirit she will reflect on Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance  the race marked out for us.” She will talk about the Civil Rights Movement, the importance of ancestors in the Black spiritual tradition, and how  connecting with history can be a source of strength for building a better  future.

Rev. Mariama is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal  Church and serves as Interim Youth Pastor and Minister for Ecological  Justice at Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain. She majored in International Relations at Stanford University, studied abroad in Chile, and holds  a Masters in Divinity from the Boston University School of Theology

March 15, 2018: Rev. Gregory J. Boyle S.J. Save the World ... Or  Savor it? Being Reached by the Widow, Orphan, and Stranger 

Jesus took four things seriously, says Father Boyle: inclusion, non-violence, unconditional loving - kindness, and acceptance. As the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Father Boyle has spent 30 years working to put those tenets into practice by reaching out to men and women in prisons and street gangs. He will talk about that work and reflect on the original covenant between God and God’s people. As pastor of Dolores  Mission Church in East LA in the 1980s Father Boyle organized the parish and community to respond to escalating gang violence by forming "Jobs  for a Future,” offering training, day care, and work in an abandoned building that became Homeboy Bakery.

Father Boyle is the recipient of the 2017 University of Notre Dame Laetare Medal and is the author of the bestselling book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. His latest book is Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship (November, 2017, Simon & Schuster).

April 19, 2018 : Razia Jan 
Doing Justice in the Afghan Classroom: Empowering Women  and Girls

She is called  “the Mother of Deh’ Subz.” That’s a district 30 miles northeast  of Kabul and home to the Zabuli Education Center and the Razia Jan Institute. Both are a long way from Duxbury, MA, where Ms. Jan ran her tailoring and dry cleaning shop for 38 years. But the Afghan native always  looked back, determined to improve educational opportunities for girls in her country, and raising the money here and abroad to do it. She also had  many meetings with community elders in Afghanistan, gaining their trust  and support. The education center, named for the late Afghan philanthropist, Abdul Madjid Zabuli, opened in 2008 and provides free courses,  meals and uniforms to more than 600 disadvantaged Afghan girls in  grades K - 12. The institute, which opened in 2017, is offering advanced  training in health/midwifery and office administration.

Ms. Jan, who has received numerous awards, including being voted one of  CNN ’ s Top Ten Heroes in 2012, is testimony to what one person with vision can do.