Class on Liberation Theology

I wanted to make a shameless plug for a class I’m teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA on liberation theology. The class starts next Sunday on January 15th from 9:45-10:45, and I anticipate the class will wind down by late April. We will be reading Elizabeth Johnson’s text Quest for the Living God. The text covers important theological developments from various perspectives: political, liberation, feminist, black/womanist, Hispanic, interreligious, process, and ecological. I also am planning on covering other liberation movements that Johnson fails to cover in her text, especially queer liberation theology and a liberation theology of disability. Let me know if you’re interested and I can provide you with more information. Anyone in the DC area is welcome to attend.

Audio of the AAR Panel “The Secular and the Speculative”

Audio updated February, 2nd 2013. – APS

You may download an mp3 of the complete three hour session of the 2011 AAR Theology and Continental Philosophy Group session “The Secular and the Speculative: Exploring Themes from Anthony Paul Smith’s and Daniel Whistler’s After the Postsecular and the Postmodern: New Essays in Continental Philosophy of Religion”. (Apologies for not being able to include it on the page itself, but it was too large a file for any of the free services offered.) Speakers include AUFS authors Bradley Johnson, Daniel Whistler, and Daniel Colucciello Barber, as well as Rocco Gangle. We also have a new AUFS contributor, Joshua Ramey, as a respondent alongside of Ken Surin. I presided and made a short response to the responses at the end.

I can’t speak for everyone, but for me the panel felt good. Many of us in this group have been self-valorizing, with our intellectual friendships and engagements with one another, but with this panel it felt like some Big Other, who of course didn’t attend the session, had finally recognized us as well. There was little engagement from the main theological targets of critique (namely the new apocalypticists like Nate Kerr and Radical Orthodoxists), but perhaps that critique was always spoken in a language they could never understand. What did happen, however, was a great discussion with secular theologians and Catholic philosopher-theologians as well as a debate between the panelists themselves. I hope you all enjoy the recording and consider it a holiday present of some sort. Not unlike the socks that you end up liking quite a bit anyway.

The Synaptic Gospel: Cover, Updates

While many of you are shmoozing, talking, and AARing at the AAR/SBL this weekend, and I am nestled at home, I thought I’d provide an update on my book…  Here’s the cover, with which I am very pleased.

If you’re still interested in pre-ordering The Synaptic Gospel, I can still accept a limited number of orders.  You can do so by sending $29 to cdrodkey [at] yahoo [dot] com or mailing me a check for $28–send me a message to reserve your copy if you’re going to use snail mail.

You can also “like” the book on Facebook by clicking here and doing the “like” thing.

I have a few signings lined up for next year–all in Pennsylvania, most are private affairs and only one is open to the public–but if you’d like me to come to your church or college and speak or do a signing, please message me to see if we can make that happen.  Aside from next year’s AAR, I may be making tripts to the Nashville and Chicago areas in the summer. Continue reading “The Synaptic Gospel: Cover, Updates”

The Synaptic Gospel: Pre-orders

My Book, The Synaptic Gospel, is now available to pre-order directly from me.  I am attempting to sell a limited number of books before it goes to press to keep the price as low as possible and keep it out of library market-only pricing.

The book is scheduled to be published in March.

The Synaptic Gospel is a book that examines the nature of religious communities from phenomenological and neurological perspectives.  While not a “neuro-theology,” I attempt to use what we know from science about plasticity to make conclusions about faith communities.  Continue reading “The Synaptic Gospel: Pre-orders”

The Synaptic Gospel: An Update

I just completed what I hope will be the final touches on my book, The Synaptic Gospel.  The book comes in at just under 100 pages with the bibliography, notes, and an index.  It is an overhauled, significantly revised, and updated version of my D.Min. project from Meadville Lombard Theological School.  In its ‘dissertation’ form, if I may brag, it was the first thesis to pass with distinction from Meadville Lombard, back in 2008.  I hope that it will prove to be a worthy contribution to the wide and odd field of pastoral theology, offering a paradigm for ministry and religious education that offers an alternative to typical trends in youth and children’s ministries, with an eye for small religious communities.  This paradigm emerges from a discussion of Husserl, Stein, and current trends in neuroscience–specifically various interpretations of Hebbian plasticity.

When You’re Not Reverend MBA

I’ve been invited to speak next weekend at a big church growth conference, which is the Center for Progressive Renewal’s New Church Leadership Institute-East (NCLI).  There are two NCLI conferences every year, one on the east coast, and another on the west coast; this year’s east coast offering is being held at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.  Lancaster Theological Seminary is offering a graduate credit opportunity in conjunction with the conference.  (The other NCLI is being offered in Pasadena, CA, in November.)

I’m going to be offering a workshop titled “When You’re Not Reverend MBA,” on financial growth in small churches.  My congregation, Zion “Goshert’s” UCC, in Lebanon, PA, was recently featured in the UCC Calendar of Prayer for the congregation’s growth.  In 2010, we experienced a 4% increase in church membership, 8% increase in Sunday worship attendance, and a 17% increase in plate giving.  As of the last figures I have available, in 2011 so far we have a slight increase in membership, but we’ve counting another 9% increase in Sunday attendance and another 14% increase in plate giving.  So, a little to my surprise, I suppose I’m in a position to talk about how this has happened. Continue reading “When You’re Not Reverend MBA”