Misconceptions about Div. School could be cleared up with visit

To the Editor:

I wish to challenge several caricatures and characterizations in Robert Inglis’ “New Christian group gathers at Div. School” (2/8). Inglis describes the setting of the conference by saying, “Marquand Chapel at the Yale Divinity School is an old-fashioned-looking place. Glass chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, Ionic columns hold up the rafters.”

Inglis’ description of Marquand Chapel as an old-fashioned-looking place seems a bit silly when one considers that the majority of the Yale University campus is an old-fashioned-looking place, with our colonial, Georgian and Gothic architecture. Inglis’ characterization gives the reader the impression that Yale Divinity School is some sort of exotic, unfamiliar, antique place, bearing no resemblance to and unlike any other part of Yale, despite the fact that Old Campus itself contains two “old-fashioned-looking” chapels.

In addition, if one were to come to Marquand Chapel on any day of the week, one would see that the divinity students who fill our pews every day are often people you might not expect to see on the inside of a church — which is to say, they are people just like most people at this university.

For most Yale students, Yale Divinity School sometimes seems to be another world. But if you come up Prospect Street and visit our chapel or attend one of our conferences or art exhibits, you might see that we’re really not as unusual as you might have thought.

Mark A. Cutolo DIV ’08

Feb. 9, 2006

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