Programs and Institutes
Hayyim and Esther Kieval Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies at Siena College
The Siena Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies was founded in 1983, with an initial contribution from Charles and Thelma Buchman and their family. Rabbi Hayyim Kieval, then the Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel in Albany was named as the Director. When the Institute's bylaws were adopted in 1989, Peter Zaas became the Institute Coordinator and budgetary officer. According to these bylaws, the Institute is located within the Department of Religious Studies.
After Rabbi Kieval's untimely death in 1991, Dr. Zaas became the Director and Rabbi Bernard Bloom, a longtime member of the Religious Studies department, became the Chair. In October 1999 the Institute was renamed the Hayyim Kieval Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies. An Advisory Board of Siena faculty, other area academics, clergy and community leaders advises the Institute on matters of policy and program.
For more information, contact Dr. Peter Zaas.
Reinhold Niebuhr Institute of Religion and Culture
The Reinhold Niebuhr Institute of Religion and Culture, an interdisciplinary, ecumenical, and interfaith community- oriented program, is named in honor of Reinhold Niebuhr, the 20th century Protestant theologian who spent a lifetime exploring the implications of religious faith for the public order. It sponsors lectures, workshops, and discussions on topics in which the interests of religion, culture, ethics, and society intersect. In recent years these have included nuclear disarmament, ecological justice, economic justice, interracial justice, and gender and society.
For more information, contact Dr. Peter Ellard.
Franciscan Center for Catholic Studies
The Franciscan Center for Catholic Studies (FCCS) is an academic initiative of Siena College that provides members of the College and residents of the Capital region a forum for exploring Catholicism in its historical, sociological, liturgical, and doctrinal complexity.
In keeping with the Franciscan orientation of the College, the FCCS highlights certain dimensions of Catholicism's past and present embodiments. These include a commitment to social justice, reconciliation and peace making, appreciating the natural world, savoring beauty in the creative arts, engaging those from different cultures and from different religious or philosophical traditions, and defining leadership as service to one's community. To support this mission, the FCCS sponsors or co-sponsors speakers; conferences; colloquia; and theatrical, musical, and fine arts events.
For more information, contact Dr. Tom Dickens.
Clare Center Lecture
The annual Clare Center Lecture is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and focuses on implications of the Franciscan tradition for higher education. It identifies a significant contemporary issue which can be illuminated by a critical examination of the tradition. The primary audience for the lecture is the Siena community, faculty, students, staff, and administrators, but it is also open to the wider community.
For more information, contact Dr. Holly Grieco.