Convocation Lecture Series

2020-21 Interfaith Understanding Through the Arts

Free Virtual Event — part of the 2020 Spirit and Place Festival

On Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, Franklin College hosted a virtual event titled “Interfaith Understanding Through the Art of Storytelling,” which brought together different religious communities and artistic expressions. A video of the event it posted below.


The event is the inspiration of Franklin College Professor Emeritus David Carlson, Ph.D., and Franklin College Director of Religious Life and Chaplain Hannah Adams Ingram, Ph.D., who have long been drawn to interfaith dialogue and understanding. 

Two noted storytellers entertained listeners with their engaging tales. George Kelley, education director of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis, represented the Jewish tradition, while Joanne Terrell, Ph.D., associate professor of theology, ethics and art at the Chicago Theological Seminary, represented the Christian, Buddhist and Taoist traditions.

The program was underwritten through the generous financial contributions of Franklin College alumni Bill Brown ’61 and his wife Sue Ann, Sandra Hinshaw ’66 and her husband Tom, and Bob Epstein ’67 and his wife Louise. The event was presented by Franklin College, Center for Interfaith Cooperation, Franklin Creative Council and Johnson County Public Library.

For more information, please contact Rev. Hannah Adams Ingram, Ph.D., director of religious life and chaplain, at 317.738.8140.

Bios of Speakers

George Kelley
George KelleyGeorge Kelley has been the education director of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis since 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York and a master’s of education from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. He is currently serving as the chair of the Reconstructionist Educators of North America. His interests are in creating curriculum to help use Jewish values to enhance interpersonal relationships and exploring new ways for young people to make the Torah relevant in their own lives. He is active in the interfaith community, building bridges with leaders in Indiana and in other parts of the world. As a storyteller and lecturer Kelley brings a sense of entertainment to learning and the greater community.

Joanne Terrell
Joanne TerrellJoanne Terrell serves as as associate professor of theology, ethics and art at Chicago Theological Seminary. She is an ordained elder in the Michigan Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. She earned her undergraduate degree from Rollins College, and two master’s degrees (divinity and philosophy) and a doctorate from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She is the author of the book Power in the Blood: The Cross in the African American Experience. Terrell’s current research interests are interreligious in scope and focus on soteriological principles in Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity, the genre of spiritual autobiography and the power of the visual and performing arts to affect personal, social and cosmic transformation.