The church needs to focus more on art and less on religion and converting people in an effort to become less “churchy,” according to Stanford University’s Dean for Religious Life, The Very Reverend Dr. Jane Shaw.
“I think people are always slightly surprised that I’m not very churchy as a person,” Shaw told the Palo Alto Online in an interview. “I don’t think church is to be more churchy. I think church is about, anyone should be welcome. I’m really interested in how you welcome many different kind of constituencies, certainly not convert them, not even necessarily to do religion all the time.”
Stanford announced that Shaw, 51, was to join the school’s Department of Religious Studies in July as a dean and professor of religious studies, moving to the school from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. At Grace Cathedral, Shaw was not only the first woman to head the church, but the first openly lesbian dean.
Shaw, hailed as a “champion within the LGBT community” by the Palo Alto Online, was a founding member of the Chicago Consultation, a think tank made up of Anglican and Episcopal bishops, clergy, and lay people who support the full inclusion of LGBT people into the church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.
According to the university’s press release, Shaw is to “provide spiritual, religious and ethical leadership to the university community, serve as minister of Memorial Church and also teach undergraduates and graduate students as a professor of religious studies.” (Read more about the lesbian hired as dean HERE)