Madrasa-Midrasha | Sacred Seasons: Spirituality in Ritual Practices

Monday, April 19th 2021, 5:00pm
Online Event, 2400 Ridge Rd Berkeley, CA 94709

Please join us for a special Madrasa-Midrasha event with Dr. Sam Shonkoff and Dr. Kamal Abu-Shamsieh as we reflect on the sacred seasons of Passover and Ramadhan. Their talks will explore the notion of Spirituality as it is incorporated in and developed through religious commemorations and practices.

Dr. Shonkoff's talk is titled "The Forty-Nine-Day Path from Liberation to Revelation" and explores how in Jewish ritual time Passover marks the beginning of a psychological journey to Shavuot, the celebration of Sinai.

Dr. Abu-Shamsieh's talk is titled "Samples of Ramadan Lessons for Spiritual Nourishment" and explores how in the Islamic tradition, Ramadan is a time of fasting, self-purification, harmony with self and community, and God's remembrance every day and every night.



Sam Shonkoff is the Taube Family Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at the GTU, where he teaches on Jewish religious thought, modern Jewish cultures, and methods in theology, ethics, and the historical-cultural study of religions. His research focuses primarily on German-Jewish thought and Hasidism, as well as appropriations of Hasidic spirituality in relatively secular spheres. Shonkoff’s current book project investigates themes of embodiment in Martin Buber’s representations of Hasidism vis-à-vis the original sources. He is co-editor with Ariel Evan Mayse of Hasidism: Writings on Devotion, Community and Life in the Modern World (Brandeis University Press, 2020) and the editor of Martin Buber: His Intellectual and Scholarly Legacy (Brill, 2018). Prior to joining the GTU in 2018, Shonkoff taught at Oberlin College and the University of Chicago.


Kamal Abu-Shamsieh is Director of the Interreligious Chaplaincy Program (ICP) and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at the GTU. He founded Ziraya Muslim Spiritual Care and extensively traveled internationally to train chaplains in primarily Arab and Muslim countries. Since 2012, he has served as a chaplain at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. He completed four clinical pastoral education units (CPE) at Stanford Hospital and a Certificate in Palliative Care Chaplaincy from California State University Institute for Palliative Care. He completed a Ph.D. at the Graduate Theological Union in 2019 where he examined Prophet Muhammad's dying experience as a good death model for an Islamic practical theology for end-of-life care.


We would like to thank the Walter & Elise Haas Fund for the generous support of the Madrasa-Midrasha Program at the GTU.

This event is online only