A Quick Update from Bridges

I have been trying to push myself out of hiding (from theology blogs) for a few weeks now, and writing this post is a way forcing myself out. I thought being ABD would make me more active on blogs, but the opposite has been the case, so I thought I would begin by giving a quick update, and link to a new blog, of which I am a member. First the update: I passed my exams back in February, which is a relief. After that, I had two weeks to write a paper for the Wesleyan Theological Society meeting being held at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) March 4-5. My paper was entitled “Cosmopolitan Homelessness or Eucharistic Sending? For and Against Yoder’s Diaspora Ecclesiology,” and dealt primarily with Yoder’s book, The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited, bringing his work into dialogue with Alexander Schmemann’s work on liturgy. I was a little nervous when Michael Cartwright introduced himself to me before I read my paper, since he co-edited that particular Yoder volume, but the presentation went well and Cartwright was supportive of my project. After some discussion with Steve Long (my dissertation director) and some thought, I actually decided to turn this little project into my dissertation proposal, which I spent the next few weeks reading for, and then writing. I am not going to say much about it here, but I will say that I am looking at liturgy and mission in conversation with Yoder and Schmemann, with special reference to the Jewish roots of liturgy and Jewish roots of Christian mission(s). Though I have been reading Yoder and Schmemann for years, I have a lot of research to do in order to converse in debates about ecclesiology, and especially to discuss missions (not something I have really studied).

I have also joined forces with fellow Marquette students Geoff Holsclaw and David Horstkoetter (they blog here and here, respectively) to write on a blog hosted by The Other Journal, entitled Justice Outside the City. We are hoping to add another author or two in the future, and we also have guest posts planned. I wrote an inaugural post on the title of the blog a while ago (as did David), and it has taken time to pick up steam, but David recently wrote a post about bin Laden and justice, and Geoff has put up a post on “the new universalism,” so we hope to gather some momentum and offer the blog as a regular contributor to reflection about justice, politics, and philosophy from a theological perspective. Please take the time to check it out.

9 thoughts on “A Quick Update from Bridges

  1. What interests me is the dialogue you propose between Yoder & Schmemann…. that promises to be salutary. I am always trying to pay heed to the ways the liturgy directs us to the world.

  2. Thomas,
    Good to hear. I too am interested in Yoder, ecclesiology, and mission and did a paper at Society of Biblical Literature at the GOSPEL IN OUR CULTURE NETWORK (GOCN) FORUM ON MISSIONAL HERMENEUTICS in Nov 2010 on “JOHN HOWARD YODER’S MISSIONAL EXILES AND JEREMIAH 29:

    I don’t know Schmemann.

    – Joon Sik Park’s dissertation on Richard Niebuhr and Yoder “Missional Ecclesiologies in Creative Tension”
    – Nigel Wright’s “Disavowing Constantine: Mission, Church and the Social Order in the Theologies of John Howard Yoder and Jurgen Moltmann”
    – Jeppe Bach Nikolajsen’s new dissertation “Redefining the Identity of the Church” on Newbigin and Yoder may be useful to you.

    I am focusing on Barth’s ecclesiology in my dissertation I am writing.

    Keep in touch.


  3. Andy:

    Thanks for the note; I will check out those sources for sure (I was familiar with the Wright one, but not the Park one). Has your above-mentioned paper been published? How was it received among Biblical scholars?

  4. Thomas,
    Nope. Hasn’t been published. I need to work on that. It was received fine. I tried to engage the biblical scholars–plus this group is full of theologians–led by Darrell Guder, George Hunsberger, etc.

    I look forward to our paths crossing sometime.

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