Neoliberalism’s Demons: The Complete Multimedia Experience!

I have been regularly posting professional updates on my personal site, but a comparison of traffic stats indicates that perhaps not many people are seeing those. Hence I am reupping my link to a lecture, with lengthy Q&A, that I did a couple weeks ago with the Open University of the Left in Chicago. Also of interest is this radio interview I did with Doug Henwood for Left Business Observer, and another I did for This is Hell on WNUR 89.3FM in Chicago.

Mark your calendars!

Some events in the next few months:

  • February 4: Release of my translation of Agamben’s Pilate and Jesus
  • February 23-24: I will be at Wayne State University, where I will give talks over Creepiness and the devil
  • February 27: Release of Creepiness
  • Thursday, March 5, at 6pm: I will be giving a talk over Creepiness at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Hyde Park
  • March 19-20: I will be at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where I will give a lecture on the devil and lead a graduate seminar on Agamben’s work

Updated details of the UCC 2030 Theological Summit


reclaiming the pastor as theologian

the theological summit of the UCC 2030 Clergy Network

September 13, 2013, York County, PA

Presenters:      LauraBeth Jones Armstrong, St. Luke’s UCC, Trappe, PA

Rev. Liddy Barlow, St. John’s UCC, Larimer, PA

Rev. Dr. Christopher Rodkey, St. Paul’s UCC, Dallastown, PA

Jared Ruark, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Rev. Courtney Stange-Tregear, Zion UCC, Nottingham, MD

Guest Facilitator: Dr. Jeffrey Robbins, Chair of Religion & Philosophy, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA Continue reading “Updated details of the UCC 2030 Theological Summit”

Review of William H. Gass’s Middle C

A good many of you will, I think, find much joy from reading William H. Gass’s forthcoming (March 12) novel, Middle C. If most of us cannot totally relate to its depiction of a scholar who has faked his way into her/his profession, I am surely not alone in identifying with the proliferation of selves & self-doubts that themselves identify the novel’s protagonist. Where William Kohler in The Tunnel is the diabolical embodiment of the banality of evil, to grab at a blurby cliche, Joseph Skizzen in Middle C is the clumsy bumbling into the evil of banality. What’s the difference, you may wonder? My short reply: where evil as a banal inevitability renders us more or less complicit as we wait for the hammer to fall (think the lull just before the final blast of Mahler’s 6th Symphony and the suspense that endures every subsequent listen), banality as necessary evil discovers the notes that survive the din of life’s repetitions (think the B-flat tonic whirr of the computer breathing into your consciousness like a breathy crank-caller when you’re reading Twitter).

And if that doesn’t sell you on it, there are a number of amazing lectures on the history of modern music that will have you racing to build a Spotify/Pandora soundtrack.

In any event, this is all a prelude to a link to my review, which I think turned out pretty well.

Don’t forget how much you love sociopaths!

When planning your Monday evening, give some thought to coming to my talk over Why We Love Sociopaths at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park (1301 East 57th St.). This event, organized by Anna Kornbluh of the Interccect reading group, will be starting at 6pm.

(You should probably plan to come early so that you can go to Powell’s and the Seminary Coop while you’re down there.)

I am Larry David: Cooking with Jean-Luc Marion Edition

To add to the announcements of awesome publications by contributors of AUFS, I just completed the foreword to my church’s 200th anniversary cookbook.  It is the surely first church cookbook to reference Marion, and I am glad to have accomplished this before anyone else.  What better way to introduce a book of Pennsylvania Dutch recipes than with a word about “the saturated phenomenon?” Continue reading “I am Larry David: Cooking with Jean-Luc Marion Edition”

Presentation and Book Signing at Susquehanna University this weekend

If any of you are in north-central PA, I’ll be doing a book signing and a presentation on The Synaptic Gospel at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, this Saturday afternoon, as part of Penn Central UCC’s annual conference there.

My talk will be very similar to the one I gave at the Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity conference last month.  Here’s the link to the Prezi presentation that I am using for The Synaptic Gospel.

New Article in the Journal of the Masonic Society

When I arrived home from the Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity conference I found the new issue of The Journal of the Masonic Society in my mailbox, which has an article that I wrote which begins a larger conversation that I intend to continue about ritual violence and Masonic ritual from a Girardian perspective.  Before I saw the article in print, I know that a robust conversation had already begun about the article on some Masonic chatrooms and local groups, based on the number of emails sent to me within hours of the journal’s mail delivery.  Needless to say, the article touches some sensitive issues.

The cover depicts a sculpture of Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, the three ruffians who murder the architect of Solomon’s temple in the Masonic Hiramic Legend.  Continue reading “New Article in the Journal of the Masonic Society”

Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity

I’m really excited to be presenting a workshop on The Synaptic Gospel at “Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity” this May in Washington, DC, because the speaker list looks great.  Further, at least in the world of religious education, there’s a buzz going around about this confernce being a unique gathering that could be a game-changer for a sub-discipline of practical theology that is being systematically axed from seminaries and is sorely in need of some new vitality.

Here’s the conference agenda… Continue reading “Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity”