SSW Faculty Blog
Theology Studio Blog Post, 2/19/13
Bonds of Affection: The Ecclesiological Significance of Storge
A recent complaint from a friend about the Hunger Games trilogy brought into perspective something that I, in fact, really liked about the books. She loved the revolutionary spirit of the story, but (spoiler alert! spoiler alert!) really disliked the ending. “They stop fighting,” she complained, “and then move off somewhere and start a family, like they’re just giving up on the revolution and selling out to cultural expectations.”
Last week I gave some lectures in Lubbock, Texas, and along the way I made this remark about the state of the Episcopal Church. Tell me what you think:
To really begin to assess the current problems in the Episcopal Church, I think we would have to go back to the founding of the American Church, and note the way that it mirrored the American democratic experiment in isolation from the broader body of churches. Recall that isolationism was one of the key values of Washington’s farewell address.
Ever been to a gift exchange where the drawing of names and dollar limits had everyone so bound up with anxiety that it felt like more you were completing middle school busy work assignments in order to keep your grade from falling?
Ever known someone—or been someone—who seemed driven by conscious to out-give everyone in the room, as if it wasn’t really a gift unless it overwhelmed any normal sense of propriety?
For Holy Week, I’m reading the second volume of Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth. There is so much for discussion here: the hermeneutical methodology, the appreciate critique and qualified usage of historical critical tools, even the very idea of a Pope writing a scholarly book that engages in the academic fray with all the vulnerabilities that involves.
Over the last couple of decades a proliferation of theologies of this or that object, be that object the environment, orphans, or wild donkeys, has left me a little dizzy. In fact, I’d come to a place where I’d completely lost track of that titular preposition, like happens when you say the word “whimsy” so many time that you forget what it means. Or if it’s even a word. What is “of,” and why is it populating the titles (wait for it…) of so many theology texts?
(Note: a revised version of this entry appears at http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/03/09/3449775.htm)
On Saturday, February 18th, Seminary of the Southwest hosted the third annual Central Texas Colloquium on Religion conference, where students and professors from SSW, UT, Baylor, and Abilene Christian University gathered to exchange ideas.
While listening to some of these papers, I found myself pondering again the question that the Colloquium always brings up in my mind: what do theological studies and the study of religion have to offer to one another?
For the past several weeks, I've been feeling an absence in "greater Metropolitan SSW," and I decided today to go investigate. Many of you who have lived in the neighborhood for a year or more will remember Mr. JC, the aging African-American caretaker who can be seen most weekdays from 8:00-4:30 leaning on the brick wall in front of the doctor's office at 805 E. 32, or taking care of the lawns up and down the side roads there.