Library News and Events

Salma Arastu: Seeking Oneness

Salma Arastu discussed her art and influences for her Seeking Oneness exhibition at Graduate Theological Union  on October 11, 2018.

She has close to 40 solo shows to her credit, and sees her work as inspired by the spirit of the divine. Over the past thirty years she has created images with continuous, lyrical line and a variety of re-purposed materials in an effort to express joy in the universal spirit that unites humanity. For more information about her, visit her website

The Seeking Oneness exhibition in the GTU library runs through January 11, 2019.

David Stiver
Special Collections Librarian

Artists Round Table: A View from the Bench: Social Justice in Art, Law, and Religion of the Chicano Community

An Artists Round Table concluded an exhibit featuring drawings made by Cruz Reynoso on his case notes while serving on the California State Supreme Court, as well as works by other Chicano artists in the Bay Area on September 20, 2018. The exhibition was curated by Rondall Reynoso in the Graduate Theological Union library and ran from June 19 through September 21.

The artists at the round table, going right to left, in order of speaking, are Robert Chavarrin Guerrero, Xoxhitl Nevel Guerrero, Yadira Cazares, Gustavo Reynoso, Malaquías Montoya, Rondall Reynoso, Liliana Navarro, Cruz Reynoso, Abby Ginzberg, and Andres Cisneros-Galindo.

Prior to the discussion, the documentary "Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice" (2010) produced by Abbie Ginzberg, who was present, was shown.

David Stiver
Special Collections Librarian

The Transforming Spiritual Landscape of Peripheral Faith Communities Series

The Japanese American National Library, the Japanese American Religious Federation, and the Asia Project at the Graduate Theological Union presented three forums on The Transforming Spiritual Landscape of Peripheral Faith Communities beginning in October 2017.

The forums were History and Origins of Racial-Ethnic Faith Communities, October 28, 2917; Remembering the Future: Reflections on Theological Education: November 28, 2017; Remembering the Future: Reflections on Theological Education: Model Programs, Initiatives & Curricula, February 24, 2018.

These events were an ongoing exploration in theological education and responses within peripheral communities as experienced by Asian-American and multiple-cultural professors of religion. The recordings are part of the effort by the Graduate Theological Union Special Collections to capture and preserve the memories of significant educators in a collegial format. 

Ron Nakasone observes after the first forum: "it was an opportunity for members of the various faith congregations to give voice to their intense existential and institutional concerns. Indeed, a review of the video recording of the event indicates a profound anxiety among the attendees for a need to understand their transforming spiritual landscape, the future viability of their faith tradition and congregations, individually and collectively, and seminary education efforts in preparing leaders for the local congregation. In contrast, to the theoretical and academic questions raised at an earlier GTU event, the inquiries from the non-academics revolved around identity, hybrid (multi-faith) spiritual experiences, and a yearning for theological and congregational direction."

Some additional information can be found here

David Stiver
Special Collections Librarian

Digitization Project: E.T. Earl Lectures – The Fifties

Many of the E.T. Earl Lectures from the 1950s have been posted online by Special Collections and Archives at the Graduate Theological Union.

The Earl Lectures have been sponsored by Pacific School of Religion almost every year since 1902. In 1950, the lectures were first recorded on audio tape, when the event was also broadcast on the radio. Very few have heard any of these lectures since then.

These lecturers include some of the best known religious scholars and advocates of the day: Stephen Neil, Walter W. Van Kirk, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Roland Bainton, George Buttrick, James Muilenburg, Nels F.S. Ferre, Emil Brunner, Roger Shinn, Robert J. McCracken, Rajah B. Manikam, Daniel Day Williams and Norman Cousins.

The project documents Christian and religious thinking and activities in the Fifties and is a predecessor to our oral history collections on religious education in the Sixties, which is also on the GTU Digital Library site.

David Stiver
Special Collections Librarian



GTU Celebrates Publication of Encyclopedia on Spirituality and Asian American Cultures

GTU faculty members and other contributors celebrated the publication of their encyclopedia Asian American Religious Cultures on October 1, 2015.


Six years in the making, the project was spearheaded by Fumitaka Matsuoka (retired), Edmond Yee (retired), Ronald Y Nakasone, and graduate Jonathan Lee. Matsuoka, is Robert Gordon Sproul Professor of Theology Emeritus and the former Executive Director of the Institute for Leadership Development and the Study of Pacific and Asian American Religion (PANA) at Pacific School of Religion (PSR). Yee is an author, editor, translator, and professor emeritus of Asian Studies, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Nakasone is a member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and an artist. Lee is an associate professor of Asian American studies who specializes in Southeast Asian and Sino-Southeast Asian American studies at San Francisco State University.

“The project highlights GTU's role and scholarship in advancing the religious/spiritual traditions and experiences of Asian American and other peripheral communities. GTU served as an incubator and venue for early academic articulations on the Asian American and Pacific Islander aspirations." says Nakasone.

The event kicked off Theological Libraries Month, established by the American Theological Library Association for the month of October, to highlight the vital role libraries play in theological education.