Professor of Theology and Bible Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah was awarded a grant from Blueprint 1543, an organization whose mission is “to integrate Christian theology and the sciences to answer life’s biggest questions.” The grant will support her new writing project for ministers and mentors, with a working title, “Transforming Rites for Our Stories: Celebrating Beginnings, Middles, and Ends.”
The grant will underwrite the publication of a handbook on why and how to create meaningful rituals for life events and transitions. She explains, “It will combine liturgical theology, ritual theory, and psychological science. The church already has rituals for events like baptism, confirmation, marriage, and death. The book proposes that rituals for other events would assist parishioners as they process positive and negative life experiences. This pastoring cannot solely be accomplished theologically, but requires psychological science. It would engage the psychology of ritual as well as other fields of psychology such as lifespan development, identity development, grief/loss, and pastoral psychology.”
The Theology and Bible professor is also the author of The Book of Womanhood, (Cascade, 2015). This handbook is used in the rite of passage program, “Woman,” which she founded and launched at Nyack College for female students in their senior year of studies. Her writing has been featured in Everbloom and The Wonder Years, and also published by Christianity Today, CBE International, Redbud Writers Guild, InterVarsity Fellowship, and Missio Alliance.
Ancillary components of “Transforming Rites for Our Stories” will include a website with video, podcast, and a blog. “The site would serve as a repository for example rituals. Visitors to the site would be able to download written rituals for specific occasions,” Dr. Davis Abdallah adds. “Besides the example ritual, this download would include psychological insights specific to the occasion being commemorated, and tips on enculturating the ritual for the minister or mentor’s context.”
Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary students benefit from the quality of academic programs offered by the College and Seminary. Equally important is how they benefit from the scholarly endeavors of faculty like Dr. Davis Abdallah who are committed to contributing their personal transformation.
Congratulations are in order for Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah on this notable and scholarly achievement!