CFP: “The End of the World as we Know It?” A Graduate Theology Conference

[Unfortunately, I don’t know if I will be able to make this, but I promised my friend Adam Wallis that I would spread the word here at AUFS.]


The Boston University School of Theology Doctoral Student Association invites submissions to a graduate student conference titled “The End of the World as We Know It? Religious Scholarship on Apocalyptic Themes.” The conference will be held the weekend of March 23, 2012 at Boston University. The keynote speaker will be Professor John Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale Divinity School.

Apocalyptic themes fill popular media – in movies such as 2012, Know1ng, and The Road, in television series like The Walking Dead, and in the news coverage of religious groups claiming the end of the world is nigh. Continue reading “CFP: “The End of the World as we Know It?” A Graduate Theology Conference”

Thoughts on the Parable of Leaven

Here is some theological exegesis I am thinking through, resulting from a subconscious insight. Lately I have been reading some books concerning the Jewish roots of Christianity, and other material on the role of (biblical) Israel in Christian theology, and these ideas have been pervading my thoughts, directing what I look for in how I see things: reading theology, writing, and—apparently—other subconscious activities, such as watching my wife bake zucchini bread. I was watching her, and as yeast got mentioned in our conversation, it dawned upon me: the parable of the leaven in the synoptic Gospels has something to say about Israel within it.

Another parable he spoke to them: ‘the kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until it was all leavened.’ (Matt. 13:33) Continue reading “Thoughts on the Parable of Leaven”

Domestic Violence and the NFL

This might seem hardly worth a blog post, but I think the reading audience might like to know about this.  Here is an article highlighting the ten percent rise in reports of domestic violence in cities under the circumstance of their NFL team losing. A study between 1995-2006 of six NFL teams- the Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans-showed an increase in reports of male violence toward their female home partners, within the narrow window of the last hour of the game to two hours after the game ended. I don’t think this can be taken to mean a whole lot about American sports and culture on its own, but when combined with other social phenomenon it has to say something about our culture’s obsession with violent entertainment, and its reproduction in viewers (though it might be interesting to see if other sports correlate with domestic violence, suggesting that it is not the violence of the sport that is influencing violence, but maybe the gambling going on or something else).

Defending Constantine: First Thoughts

Stanley Hauerwas has a review of Peter J. Leithart’s Defending Constantine: The Twilight of Empire and the Dawn of Christendom, available for free here. After reading it, it sounds like Hauerwas is being very gracious and receptive to what Leithart has to say, but it appears that Leithart has a plurality of arguments, lacking any single thesis other than that Yoder is wrong about some things relating to Constantine and war/pacifism. I own the book, and have not yet had time to read it in full, but based on my skim of the final chapter and Hauerwas’s review, I am unimpressed so far with his arguments against pacifism (or with his motive for this aspect of his book).
Continue reading “Defending Constantine: First Thoughts”

The Far-Reaching Scope of Pauline Apocalyptic

This is a postscript to a post I wrote a while back on “Why I Used to be Attracted to Radical Orthodoxy,” in which I stated my initial attraction to RO because it “promis[ed] to have something theological to say about economics, sex, cities, philosophy, aesthetics and music,” and most nearly everything. Before I ever encountered RO, I was captivated by chapter 8 of John Howard Yoder’s The Politics of Jesus (“Christ and Power”) because it offered a means for reflecting on the structural aspects of sin and the structural elements of redemption. As I was recently reading Douglas Harink’s Paul Among the Postliberals it occurred to me that Pauline apocalyptic theology might have been a more obvious place to begin exploring the cosmic (all encompassing) framework of the gospel, rather than RO’s  explorations into the various “sites” in which secular modernity has invested heavily (because they often uphold Christendom as the alternative). A couple of choice quotations from Harink make the case for apocalyptic as a mode for theological engagement with different “sites” with the gospel: Continue reading “The Far-Reaching Scope of Pauline Apocalyptic”

The New Jesus Radicals Site

The Jesus Radicals updated their website recently, and they have been putting up more material than I can currently keep up with. In addition to an overhaul of the site (its capacity and aesthetics) they have made  (at least) two significant changes: they are alternating posts from a variety of people, and they have added an ongoing series of interviews called “iconocasts.” Nekeisha and Andy Alexis-Baker were the primary administrators of the site, but they have merged with Mark Van Steenwyk (formerly from, which now redirects to Jesus Radicals). The posts I have read so far are of decent quality (not quite peer-reviewed articles, but better than typical blog posts), and are usually posts that come in a two or three part series, giving in-depth reflection and analysis. I also listened to one of the recent iconocasts, and interview with Cornell West, and I was particularly interested in West’s critical comments regarding Obama near the end of the interview (sure, plenty of people are critical of Obama, but I think West has different grounds for his comments than most critics).

Georgetown, That Wonderful School

I thought readers might be interested in this article. The gist is below:

Georgetown University has offered the former president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, a dictator with blood on his hands, a teaching post at its Walsh School of Foreign Service as its “Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership.”

Apparently, neither the university president nor the faculty nor the Jesuits have been apprised that lawyers are working to bring charges against him at the Hague for human rights violations. Indeed, GU, an ostensibly Christian university, might just as well have invited Marcos, or Somoza or Liberia’s Charles Taylor to teach. Seems to me, inviting Uribe shows how stone deaf GU is to the times. More, it is a complete betrayal of the Gospel of Jesus. The Jesuit mission is summed up this way: “to promote the faith that does justice.” Hiring Uribe shows how much, here in the U.S., the Jesuit mission has become bankrupt. At Georgetown, it’s “the faith that does injustice and makes war.”

Also check out this site and this article. (Thanks to Andy Alexis-Baker for alerting me)

Why I Used to be Attracted to Radical Orthodoxy

As I was reading Yoder’s The Original Revolution I was struck by the following paragraph, because it crystallized for me both what originally attracted me to  Radical Orthodoxy (back in 2004, and for a while thereafter—though, to be honest, I still read them) as well as why I distance myself from that movement/book series/whatever-you-consider-it:

It is especially from the Anglican tradition that the rest of us have learned something of the pervasive intellectual power of the idea of the Incarnation. Continue reading “Why I Used to be Attracted to Radical Orthodoxy”