July 2018 Newsletter

Religion and Politics: The intersections of our spiritual and moral lives

Matilda Cantwell, Director and College Chaplain

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King used to say he preached with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. I understand this to mean that his words were always inextricably linked with the moral and ethical concerns of the day, and that he found his perspective on these issues from the Christian scriptures. […] Politics is defined as “matters pertaining to a country or locale,” and the spiritual life calls us away from this sphere in many ways. Yet insofar as the spiritual life informs the moral life (sometimes they are even inextricable), a spiritual path often leads to an intersection with the political realm, as it did for King.


School for Social Work Chaplaincy

Rabbi Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser, Jewish Student Advisor and SSW Summer Chaplain

At the close of Spring semester, Jewish Student Advisor Rabbi Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser moves over to the Smith School for Social Work (SSW) to act as their summer chaplain.  The SSW has an intense summer residency program where students do two semesters worth of academic work in ten weeks. Rhonda serves as a support for students through the residency.


Poor People’s Campaign Sounds the Alarm

Kim Alston, Program Coordinator

I didn’t plan on going to a grassroots activist rally that day, June 4, 2018. But my days as Muslim Student Adviser offer many different opportunities, so I wasn’t surprised. Director of Religious & Spiritual Life and College Chaplain Rev. Matilda Cantwell and I travelled to Springfield to attend a rally sponsored by the Poor People’s Campaign, since supporting causes dedicated to the dignity and wellbeing of marginalized groups is part of the mission of our Center.


In Memoriam: The Inauguration of Jill Ker Conway

Emmett Wald, Program Assistant

I found this cassette, along with many others, in a box collecting dust in the storage area of the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. There are probably several more gems to be discovered; however, having eagerly read Ker Conway’s memoir The Road from Coorain (a high school graduation gift from my father) the summer before my first year at Smith, I was immediately drawn to the tape of her inauguration.


Jill Ker Conway will be honored by Smith College with a public memorial service on Thursday, October 18, 4:00 p.m. in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel.