Category Archives: History

In Memoriam:
The Inauguration of Jill Ker Conway

Jill Ker Conway, the seventh president of Smith College, died a few weeks ago on 1 June 2018. She has been fondly remembered by many others, and I will not attempt to offer an additional obituary or recollection of her … Continue reading

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DACA Discourse and Action Panel highlights student voices

Many students, some Smithies included, have found themselves in the midst of political upheaval since President Trump’s move to rescind DACA. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects eligible youth from deportation. The administrative program implemented in 2012 by … Continue reading

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The Baby Torah

“Do you want a Torah?  It belonged to my great-grandfather. My family is either going to donate it to our synagogue or give it to you.” The year was 2011, and the question came from a student, Emma Cooke, as … Continue reading

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Restore and Revive:
Great Awakening History in Northampton

A few Smithies, along with church leaders from all across New England, attended the Restore and Revive convocation, September 29 – October 2, which was the tail end event to a larger 10-day prayer conference. Restore and Revive was held … Continue reading

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The Glowing Influence of the Spring Equinox

The spring equinox, which fell on March 20 this year, is considered the first day of spring, and is recognized as a holiday across many religions and cultures. The spring and fall equinoxes mark important moments in our orbit of … Continue reading

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A Smith Haggadah

On the evening of Monday, April 10, the Sanctuary in Helen Hills Chapel was filled with 72 singing, laughing, and reflecting students. The Smith College Jewish Community (SCJC) hosted a Passover Seder. It was the largest, happiest, most energetic ever. … Continue reading

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Sacred Space and Beloved Community

The Yoga aphorisms of Patanjali from the third century state “what we truly worship we make sacred.” This philosophy rings very true for me. I believe it applies to “worship” in the broadest sense: quiet, alert walks in the woods; … Continue reading

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The Sanctuary Movement: A Brief History

As a religious concept, “sanctuary” is connected to a sense of holiness and means to be “set apart.” The word sanctuary, when used in the context of political movements, has come to also mean places of physical safety, as in … Continue reading

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“Sanctuary” at the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life

  The meaning of “sanctuary” has evolved significantly over the approximately seven centuries since the word was first coined. The English word comes from the Latin “sanctuarium,” which in turn is derived from “sanctus,” an adjective meaning “holy.” In its … Continue reading

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Exploring the Different Sects of Christianity

The history of the Christian church spans over 2000 years and encompasses some splits that have developed into different sects over time. Carol Zaleski, a professor in the religion department, specializes in the philosophy of religion, world religions and Christian … Continue reading

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