Fielding Graduate University News

Was Jesus a Political Zealot or Grassroots Activist? Specialists Differ in this Exciting Fielding Event

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Jan 06, 2014

Two prominent specialists on the historical Jesus, Reza Aslan and Jean-Pierre Isbouts, will address the question: Was Jesus a political zealot or a grassroots social activist?

Fielding Graduate University is proud to present the first of five free and open to the public Fielding Educational Series presentations featuring two prominent specialists on the historical Jesus, Reza Aslan and Jean-Pierre Isbouts, who will square off on this exciting panel discussion over the question: was Jesus a political zealot, or a grassroots social activist?Ad

This discussion will be facilitated by Fielding faculty member, Rich Appelbaum, PhD, on Tuesday, January 7 from 7:00- 9:00 pm at the Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort, 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103.   

The Fielding Educational Series features select presentations that are timely and relevant to current social issues from the scholarly fields of human and organizational development, psychology, and educational leadership and change. 

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan resized 600Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He is the founder of AslanMedia.com, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world, and co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of BoomGen Studios, the premier entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Greater Middle East.

Aslan's degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University (Major focus: New Testament; Minor: Greek) , a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University (Major focus: History of Religions), a PhD in the Sociology of Religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. An Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, he is also a member of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund, which gives grants for peace and security issues; Narrative Four, which connects people through the exchange of stories; PEN USA, which champions the rights of writers under siege around the world; and the Levantine Cultural Center, which builds bridges between Americans and the Arab/Muslim world through the arts.

Aslan's first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age), as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities.

Born in Iran, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife (author and entrepreneur Jessica Jackley) where he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Cooperating Faculty in the Department of Religion at the University of California, Riverside. His previous academic positions include the Wallerstein Distinguished Professor of Religion, Community and Conflict at Drew University in New Jersey (2012-2013), and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Iowa (2000-2003).

Jean-Pierre Isbouts

Jean PierreJean-Pierre Isbouts is a bestselling author and award-winning screenwriter and film director. A humanities scholar, his research has been devoted to biblical archaeology, Renaissance Florence and 19th century Europe. He also serves as graduate professor in the doctoral programs of Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA.

Jean-Pierre was born in Eindhoven, Holland and studied Attic Greek and Latin before continuing in archaeology, art history and musicology at Leyden University. He completed his doctoral research on the 19th century architectural firm of Carrère & Hastings at Columbia University in New York. He then joined the American Council for the Arts (ACA) in New York City, active in a number of Federally funded arts programs. ​

In the 1990's, he founded the ArtSpace studio in Los Angeles, a unit of American Interactive Media, and produced a number of programs on Renaissance and 19th century art as part of the Great Art Series; many of these were subsequently translated in seven languages. He later served as Managing Director of Philips Interactive Media Europe, a joint venture with Polygram, from its head offices in London, UK.

As a musicologist, Dr. Isbouts has produced recordings of Bach, Corelli, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Satie, Franck and Debussy with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and other soloists and ensembles.​

An award-winning filmmaker, Jean-Pierre has directed stars including Leonard Nimoy, Charlton Heston and Dick van Dyke, working with Hollywood studios such as Disney, Castle Rock Entertainment, Hallmark and Agamemnon Studios. His TV programs have been broadcast on ABC, A&E, CNBC, History Channel, Hallmark Channel and PBS stations, as well as scores of television networks in Europe and Asia.

His first book, Charlton Heston's Hollywood, was published in 1998. Based on many hours of interviews with Charlton Heston, the book chronicles the astonishing transformation of post-war American cinema through the eyes of the only actor whose career spanned from Cecil B. DeMille to James Cameron.

In 2007, National Geographic Books published his first major work, The Biblical World, which became a worldwide bestseller, and the first of several books for National Geographic Society. The success of Biblical World was followed by the 2012 publication of In the Footsteps of Jesus, which sold over a 100,000 copies in the first 8 weeks of release--an unprecedented record for a large hard-cover book at a $40 price point.

In 2013, Jean-Pierre wrote his in-depth study of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa ("The Mona Lisa Myth"), written with Dr. Christopher Brown, and began a new work on the history of Christianity. In November of 2013, National Geographic Books will publish Jean-Pierre's Who's Who in the Bible, a major reference work comprising over 2,000 men and women in the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament.

Jean-Pierre is represented by Global Lion Intellectual Property Management, a literary agency based in New York, Los Angeles and Florida .

​Jean-Pierre is graduate professor in several doctoral programs at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara (www.fielding.edu). In his spare time (or what's left of it), he likes to discover new places in Asia and the Middle East with his wife Cathie, a production executive at Pantheon Studios.

Registration and more information: www.fielding.edu/Events 

Fielding Graduate University is an accredited nonprofit leader in blended graduate education, combining face‐to‐face and online learning. Our curriculum offers quality degrees and courses for professionals living and working around in the world. Fielding’s faculty members represent a breadth of scholarship and practice in the fields of educational leadership, human and organizational development, and clinical and media psychology. Maintaining Fielding’s reputation for quality programs for over forty years, faculty are mentors and guides to self‐directed students who use their skills to become powerful, and socially‐responsible leaders in their communities, workplaces, and society.

Tags: religion, conversation, fielding graduate university, human development

Preparations are set for the Sixth Annual International Conference on Positive Aging in Los Angeles, CA in February 2013

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Nov 29, 2012

PACCommunity members and renowned experts gather to shape confident future for aging population.

Featuring keynote speaker Wendy Lustbader, MSW, live webinar with Ram Dass, award recognition for Dr. James E. Birren,and presentation from Dr. Brian de Vries amongst many others.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, baby boomers will turn 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next decade making them the fastest growing segment of the population. Future implications indicate: “tomorrow’s elderly will have quite different social, demographic, health, and economic characteristics than today’s elderly… as average length of life continues to increase, issues regarding the quality of active life expectancy are likely to assume greater importance.” In anticipation of this growing segment of our population, the Sixth Annual International Conference on Positive Aging, hosted by Fielding Graduate University’s Institute for Social Innovation, brings together notable speakers and workshop leaders to explore new and innovative approaches to positive aging. This year’s topic is “Life-Reimagined: New Approaches to Positive Aging” and the conference will take place February 10-12, 2013 at the Center for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment in Los Angeles.

The Sixth Annual International Conference on Positive Aging includes a variety of workshops that explore themes of creative expression, community, wellness, and life transitions.  Dr. Katrina Rogers, Provost of Fielding Graduate University and Senior Vice-President states:  “Positive aging promotes creativity, wellness, and growth. It means taking personal control of your life instead of being a victim or passive observer. In this model, aging presents a new opportunity for being socially active, for engaging with the community, for being productive, and for seeking a new meaning and purpose in life. This is why the conference is larger each year: people are interested about how to age well.” The conference provides opportunities to engage in physical and creative activities, including yoga, meditation, music, and connecting with others with similar interests.  Conference registration is open to the public.

Wendy Lustbader resized 600The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Wendy Lustbader, MSW, who currently serves as Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work. Ms. Lustbader has considerable experience working with older people, their families and caregivers, and lectures nationally on subjects related to aging.  As a medical social worker, she specialized for almost twenty years in out-patient mental health at the Pike Market Medical Clinic in Seattle, and has also practiced in a home health care agency, hospital geriatric unit, and nursing home. Ms. Lustbader’s first book was co-authored with Nancy Hooyman, Taking Care of Aging Family Members. This is a practical guide to caregiving which is still considered the best book of its kind by experts in the field of aging. At the opening reception on Sunday, February 10th, Ms. Lustbader will speak about her latest book, Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older.

 

Ram Dass resized 600The conference will also host a webinar with world-renowned American contemporary spiritual teacher and author Ram Dass. He is known for his personal and professional associations with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960's, for his travels to India and his relationship with the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, and for founding the charitable organizations Seva Foundation and Hanuman Foundation. His practice of karma yoga or spiritual service has opened up millions to their deep, yet individuated spiritual practice and path. Dass continues to uphold the boddhisatva ideal for others through his compassionate sharing of true knowledge and vision. His unique skill in getting people to cut through and feel divine love without dogma is still a positive influence on people all over the world.

 

BirrenPic resized 600Dr. James E. Birren is one of the "reigning pioneers" in the organized field of gerontology since the 1940s. He is a past president of The Gerontological Society of America, and author of over 250 publications. Dr. Birren will receive Fielding's Creative Longevity and Wisdom Award in recognition of his six decades of seminal contributions including the influential work on guided autobiography.

 

 

 

 

Brian de Vries resized 600Featured speaker Dr. Brian de Vries, Professor of Gerontology at San Francisco State University, and will share his extensive work on aging experiences, including bereavement among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults.  He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of American, a member of the Leadership Council for the American Society on Aging, and co-chair of the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network constituency group. Most recently, Dr. de Vries has become a policy advisor for AARP, California. 

 

 

 

Attendees include professionals in the fields of health care, insurance, life planning, care giving and lifelong learning, as well as those interested in ageism, gaining, spirituality, creativity, wellness, entrepreneurship and more.

Early registration for the three day conference is $275 until January 14th, 2013, and $300 after. Single day tickets are $125. Registration includes meals and opening reception Sunday evening.  To attend only the Sunday dinner reception featuring keynote speaker Wendy Lustbader is $80.

To register, please visit: http://positiveaging2013.eventbrite.com/#

For more information and updates about the conference, please visit the website: http://www.positiveaging.fielding.edu/

Join the Facebook page for speaker updates and event announcements: Positive Aging Conference FACEBOOK 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: creativity, social justice, educational leadership, diversity, religion, intentional change, conference, sociology, self-esteem, international, adult learning, higher education, fielding graduate university, human development, learning

National Geographic Book presents new release: In the Footsteps of Jesus by Fielding faculty Jean-Pierre Isbouts

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Wed, Nov 07, 2012

In the Footsteps of Jesus: A Chronicle of His Life and the Origins of Christianity

A Modern Reconstruction of Jesus from Nazareth based on archaeology, anthropology, historical records and gospel

New book examines dissident movements, Jesus’ relationship with women and new theories about his life and ministry

According to In the Footsteps of Jesus, a new publication from National Geographic Books, Jesus and his father, Joseph, may have been skilled workers forced into labor on the rebuilding of Sepphoris, the Galilean capital. Drawing from a variety of evidence, the book reports that many scholars have begun to explore this theory for several reasons: One relates to the various meanings of tektōn, which though translated in the King James Bible as “carpenter,” also can be defined as “skilled worker.” Secondly, conscripting labor from surrounding villages was a familiar operating procedure in Roman vassal states.

The book also suggests that many of the poor and hungry peasants who flocked to Jesus were, in fact, victims of Herod the Great’s rapacious tax policies. Additionally, the book examines Jesus’ treatment and acceptance of women. This issue was recently brought into the spotlight by the controversy over a Coptic papyrus fragment referring to Jesus’ wife, so the discussion in the book is particularly well-timed. In the Footsteps of Jesus purports that Jesus even counted women among his Apostles. The Gospel of Philip, for example, states that “the companion of the [Savior is] Mary Magdalene.” However, the book cautions that terms such as “companion” or “wife” were often used metaphorically in Jewish and Christian texts of the time.

These are just some of the insights contained in this fresh portrait of the historical Jesus. “This is a Jesus for the 21st century,” says author Jean-Pierre Isbouts, a humanities scholar and author of National Geographic’s bestseller “The Biblical World” (2007). “This is a Jesus who is deeply involved in the social issues of his day and is determined to create a new paradigm for a compassionate society despite the political reality of Roman occupation.”

To make its case, the book not only draws from a vast array of visual evidence, including all-new photography, archaeological objects, literary sources and scores of detailed maps, but also from sources not usually associated with the historical Jesus, such as studies of Roman tax data.

Isbouts spent 15 years researching the historical Jesus, emphatically looking for sources not deeply investigated by his peers. “We tend to become very focused on our specialties in this field,” he says. “Archaeologists look for archaeological data; text experts look for literary data and anthropologists search for cultural evidence. Insights from people like economists or forensic sociologists are rarely consulted. So this book is an effort to reconstruct the man from Nazareth with input from all those different disciplines.”

Isbouts worked with a board of advisers and numerous other scholars from a variety of fields to corroborate his findings and paint a clear picture of Jesus of Nazareth within the appropriate and telling historical and cultural context. His board of advisers included:

  • Shaye J. D. Cohen, Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of Harvard University

  • Craig Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada

  • Amy-Jill Levine, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University

  • Rev. Donald Senior, C.P., Professor of New Testament Studies, president of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and general editor of the Oxford Catholic Study Bible

What emerges from the book’s pages is a very modern portrait of a grassroots spiritual reformer, fired by the socio-economic injustices of the Galilee and Judea of his day. This makes the book surprisingly relevant for our own era, when the Middle East is once again convulsed by the collision of political, religious and ideological forces.

For those readers for whom Jesus has become a remote personality, veiled by centuries of church dogma and Christology, In the Footsteps of Jesus offers a fresh and often moving encounter with a fully realized human being; a social and spiritual activist whose message still resonates with the great issues of our day.

About the Author

Jean-Pierre Isbouts completed his doctoral program on archaeology and art at the University of Leyden and is currently professor in two doctoral programs at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. He has written several other books, including National Geographic’s “The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas” and “From Moses to Muhammad.” Isbouts has also written four television programs that explore the legacy of the Bible, including the Hallmark television mini-series “The Quest for Peace,” which won the 2005 Gold Aurora Award and the 2005 DeRose-Hinkhouse Award.

Tags: educational leadership, religion, international, higher education, fielding graduate university, research

Media psychology faculty member to publish sequel to acclaimed "The Biblical World"

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Tue, Apr 24, 2012
Jesus Footsteps Cover

Jean-Pierre Isbouts, D.Litt, a faculty member in Fielding Graduate University’s doctoral media psychology program, has completed the manuscript for the upcoming National Geographic publication In the Footsteps of Jesus. This 368-page hardcover book is richly illustrated with location photography, archaeological objects, art, and maps. In it Dr. Isbouts reconstructs the historical, social, and cultural environment in which the life of Jesus and the rise of early Christianity took place. The book is divided into three main segments:

 • Part 1 offers an overview of the Roman Empire before the birth of Jesus and the socio-economic changes wrought by Herod the Great in Palestine, followed by an intimate recreation of everyday life in a small Galilean village such as Nazareth.

• Part 2 follows closely in Jesus’ footsteps by recreating the journeys of his ministry, beginning within the immediate vicinity of Capernaum, followed by travels throughout Galilee, and culminating in the journeys to Tyre, Sidon and the Decapolis before the fateful journey to Jerusalem. Here, the narrative offers a detailed, hour-by-hour reconstruction of the Passion events, based on the latest scholarly and archaeological findings.

• Part 3 traces the gradual emergence of Christian communities in the decades after the Easter events, not only among the core of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and Judea, but also among Jewish and Gentile communities in Syria, Asia Minor and Greece, in addition to many other Christian communities seeded by the rapidly modernizing land and sea routes in the Early Roman Empire.jean pierre Isbouts 1

• Lastly, the book traces the growing popularity of pilgrimage routes to the Holy Land, which enabled thousands of pilgrims from the 4th century onwards to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. 

In the Footsteps of Jesus is deeply respectful of Christian traditions of all denominations, but does not hesitate to tackle some of the urgent questions raised by modern biblical scholarship and archaeological discovery. Among others, the book examines the insights offered by recent excavations at Sepphoris and Jerusalem, which shed new light on Jesus’ adolescence and the Passion. It also offers a fresh interpretation of Jesus’ Kingdom of God philosophy, while vividly illustrating the social and economic impact of Herod’s rapacious tax regimes as very few books have done before. Lastly, the book proposes a comprehensive chronological timeline of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee and beyond, based on the sometimes conflicting details reported in the Gospels.

The manuscript has been reviewed by a panel of distinguished scholars, including Craig Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia; Donald Senior, C.P., a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and General Editor of The Catholic Study Bible; Shaye J. D. Cohen, Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Harvard University; and Amy-Jill Levine, Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

The book will also include a number of photographs shot by Dr. Isbouts in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.

 In the Footsteps of Jesus is scheduled for release in November of 2012 as part of a nationwide promotional campaign. For more information, please contact Lisa Thomas at lithomas@ngs.org.

Tags: globalization, Media psychology, social justice, educational leadership, diversity, religion, leadership, human rights, graduate education

Isbouts to write new book for National Geographic

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Fri, Sep 23, 2011
JP

National Geographic Books, a unit of National Geographic Society, has retained Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts, author of National Geographic’s bestseller The Biblical World, for a new book titled In the Footsteps of Jesus. The new book will place the life of Jesus within the geography, history, and culture of first century Roman Palestine using the latest insights from modern archaeology, literary research, and forensic studies.

The Biblical World, written by Isbouts and published by National Geographic in 2007, explored the geographical, cultural, and literary context of the Judeo-Christian Bible, including narratives from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. As was the case with The Biblical World, the new book will deploy a strictly non-denominational approach. A television series based on the book is under consideration.

 “We hope that In the Footsteps of Jesus will help modern audiences to better understand Jesus in the context of his time, both as a historical figure and as the founder of Christianity,” said Lisa Thomas, senior editor at National Geographic Books.

A humanities scholar, Isbouts is a faculty member in the doctoral media psychology program at Fielding Graduate University. His most recent books include Young Jesus (2008) and From Moses to Muhammad (2010). For more information, visit www.jpisbouts.org.

National Geographic Society, founded in 1888 and based in Washington, D.C., is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations in the world. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/books.

 

Tags: globalization, social justice, diversity, psychology, Transformational learning, religion, human rights