2014 Contributing Scholar: Laura Brekke

We are pleased to welcome Laura Brekke as one of the 2014 Contributing Scholars at State of Formation.

Laura BrekkeLaura Brekke is the Director of Religious Diversity at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit Catholic university in Santa Clara, CA. She is both the chaplain to Protestant students, and to all non-Christian students at on campus. She earned an M.Div from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and a Certificate in Theology for Ministry from the University of Cambridge. She is currently a Certified Candidate pending a call in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Her research interests include the interplay of religious minority communities in countries with state-recognized religions, women in interfaith leadership, popular culture and its use in interfaith dialogue, and comparative theologies of the “Other.” She is published in Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith: Theology and Doctor Who, a collection of academic essays looking at theological themes in the long-running British sci-fi series.


Read more about our 2014 Contributing Scholar class here.

From the Ground Up: An Insider’s Perspective on a Roman Catholic Laity Grassroots Campaign

By Dorie Goehring

I am part of a group called Catholic RENEWAL, which seeks to act as a forum for progressive Roman Catholics to come together in fellowship and advocate for various causes, such as inclusion of women in the priesthood, inclusion of the laity in church processes, more liberal stances on social issues such as sexual ethics, and generally working toward what we see as a more "just" Church.  This often puts us, technically speaking, outside the bounds of Catholic doctrine.  We accept this as part of our endeavor to enact the Kingdom of God (as we see it) within the structure of the RCC.  However, this often means we start from the ground up.

This semester, we have focused our efforts in organizing around lobbying Cardinal O'Malley to present a progressive stance on the issue of contraception at the upcoming Synod on the Family in October.  This synod, predicted to have significant effect on Church policy, has been marketed toward the laity as a chance to express their perspectives to the authorities in the RCC--something that is seldom done.  While many Church leaders have taken this as an opportunity to engage with their dioceses on various issues under this theme, Cardinal O'Malley has not done so.  We believe that this is a mistake--not just with regard to the subject matter (dicey no matter which way you look at it), but within the implications of engaging with the laity, as well.

Full article here.

Call for Nominations

Please nominate a colleague, student, friend, or yourself to become a State of Formation Contributing Scholar!
State of Formation is a forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. State of Formation, founded as an offshoot of the Journal of Inter-Religious Studies (JIRS), is a program of CIRCLE, The Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership education at Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School.