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“A Mirror of Adventism? Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventism and the American Dream”

Date: February 23, 2008

Speakers: Gary R. Gray, M.A., M.Div.; Gary Land, M.A., Ph.D.; Oystein LaBianca, M.A., Ph.D.; Pamela Harris, M.L.S., Ph.D. ; Russell L. Staples, Ph.D.

Positions: Assistant Professor of English, AU; Professor of History, AU; Professor of Anthropology, AU; Professor of Communications, AU; Professor Emeritus of Mission , AU Theological Seminary.

Topic: “A Mirror of Adventism?  Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventism and the American Dream”

Venue: Chan Shun Hall, Andrews University

Attendance: 77

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Presentation: Gray surveyed Bull & Lockhart’s book as an “insider” & “outsider” view of Adventism and compared the first and second editions. Staples found their treatment of theology skewed by sociological models, focusing on anomalies & not eschatological themes. Harris explored ironies in the SDA Church being a “feminine” church yet denying women ordination and top leadership positions. Land saw the book as not a true history but a sociological treatment, yet the best study of Adventism based on primary and secondary sources that explores the dialectical elements in Adventism. LaBianca focused on how our eschatology of persecution intersects with “American Dream” ideas.

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