Madrasa-Midrasha: Good Faith, Bad Faith

Thursday, October 25th 2018, 5:30pm
Dinner Board Room, Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, 2400 Ridge Road Berkeley, CA 94709

Please join the Center for Islamic Studies and the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies for a plenary on the subject of theism and atheism in the modern age. We will hear from author Scott Shay, whose recent book, In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism, tackles the difficult question of theology in our time. Additional panelists include Filipe Maia, Assistant Professor of United Methodist Studies, Leadership, and Theology, Deena Aranoff, Faculty Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, and Ali Ataie, Professor at Zaytuna College. 

Scott A. Shay has had a successful business career spanning Wall Street, private equity, venture capital, and banking. He co-founded Signature Bank of New York and has served as its Chairman since its formation. He has been a provocative commentator on many financial issues, including among others, how the banking system should best function to help society, the implications of a cashless world, and tax reform. Scott called for the re-imposition of Glass-Steagall and breaking up the big banks at a TEDx talk at the NY Stock Exchange in 2012. Throughout his life, he has been a student of religion and how religion ought to apply to the world outside of the synagogue, church, or mosque. Having founded a Hebrew school, he has authored articles relating to the Jewish community and the best-selling Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry (Second Edition, Devora 2008).

Filipe Maia's research and teaching focus on liberation theologies, the Christian eschatological imagination, theology and economics, and Wesleyan theology. His scholarship pays special attention to the ways in which imaginaries about the future shape politics, economics, cultural patterns, and religious practices. Employing sources ranging from Latin American liberation theology, Marxist philosophy, and contemporary writings on finance, Professor Maia’s research builds a theological critique of the temporality of financial capitalism proposing alternative ways of imagining the future.

Deena Aranoff is Faculty Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She teaches rabbinic literature, medieval Jewish thought, and the broader question of continuity and change in Jewish history. Deena is also a community educator and teaches Bible, rabbinics, and Jewish mysticism throughout the Bay Area. 

Ali Ataie has been both a guest lecturer and guest instructor at several colleges and universities. He studied various Islamic sciences under local Bay Area scholars and has dialogued and debated with several Christian scholars on a variety of topics. He is a graduate of the Badr Arabic Language Institute in Hadramawt, Yemen and studied at the prestigious Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most eminent scholars in the world. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and holds a PhD in Islamic Biblical Hermeneutics also from the GTU.

 (Please note that the livestream for this event has been cancelled.)