According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Subverting the Norm III




Political Perspectives on Postmodern Theology & Church Practice
https://subvertingthenorm.wordpress.com/presenters-2015/

What is Subverting the Norm?

SUBVERTING THE NORM is a three-day event that brings together pastors, theologians, philosophers, church practitioners, researchers in religion and all those interested in exploring the relationship between postmodern theologies and church practice. Some of the questions we’ll consider at the third Subverting the Norm include:
Is postmodern theology and religious practice insufficiently political, at least insofar as it plays out in academic and church circles?
Are religious collectives and churches contributing to a new and distinct approach to socio-political transformation? Or do postmodern religious collectives and communal practices mimic rather than challenge the contemporary political, social and economic cultures they intend to avoid?
In what ways is the work of religious thought offered by postmodern theologies also a work of political thought?
Can postmodern theologies open theoretical and practical possibilities for collective resistance and for social, political, economic and ecological transformation?
Why do so many strains of the postmodern religious conversation (death of God theologies, postsecular philosophies, radical theologies, and emergent church practices) – despite emphases on the other – tend to be dominated by white male voices that are usually from significant privilege? And what might these postmodern theologies learn from theological traditions that more often place questions of power and politics at their centre, such as liberation, feminist, queer, and postcolonial theologies?
And, finally, if established churches and collectives are to be faithful to the revolutionary event that gave birth to Christianity, how might they be informed by such approaches to political theology?
Interactive learning tracks related to ministry, liturgy, worship, preaching, community organizing, art and much more will be offered.
Interested in presenting? Please check out our Call for Presentations.
A DISCLAIMER ABOUT THEORY & PRACTICE (for the inquiring minds who want to know)…
At Subverting the Norm, there tends to be a fairly strong emphasis on the notion that theory is practice. To borrow the words of Subverting the Norm keynoterNamsoon Kang:
[W]e should recognize the significance of theological discourse as public discourse that affects the lives of people in a concrete way. People’s participation in the theological discourse can distort or transform their identities and understandings of self, the world, and the Divine. Therefore, theological discourse is neither merely a matter of interpretation of the tradition, the scripture, or doctrines, nor a matter of transmitting inherited religious identities. Theological discourse can be, in and of itself, a form of identity and solidarity. Feminist theological discourse, for example, has transformed identities and established solidarities especially among women. It did not just present the interests of women whose identities they fixed in advance. Feminist theological discourse created both an arena of discourse among women and a stronger voice for women in discourses that were male dominated. The solidarity formed among women and men of conscience had to do with the capacity of this theological discourse to bridge the concerns of personal life and the public institutions and culture.
Theological discourses function in various ways as sites of contestation and resistance, of forming new religious and personal identities, and of building solidarities. Theological discourses that theologians produce, disseminate, and teach in academia are not simply objective interpretations and neutral reflections on the world and the church in it. Instead, theological discourses are productions of and for the world and the church that we live in. Stereotyping theologians and academics as those residing only inside ivory towers; bipolarizing theology-ministry, theory-praxis, knowing-doing; or differentiating academism from activism overlooks the significant functions that theological institutions and their theological discourses play for their constituencies, the students they educate, the church in which they interact, and the larger society to which they communicate. Theological discourses are the epistemological ground for educating students of theology who work and will work for the world and the church in it. Theological discourse contributes to the deconstruction of the old and the constant reconstitution of the new religious identities; to new understandings of the self, the world, and the divine; and to a new vision for an alternative world and one’s commitment to a more just world… Theological discourses could be the grounds upon which religious practitioners, believers, students, activists, or academics center their practice of belief and their love for the world.
Select Bios

John D. Caputo

John D. Caputo, the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities Emeritus at Syracuse University, is back for his third appearance at Subverting the Norm. He is a hybrid philosopher/theologian intent on producing thoughts which circulate between philosophy and theology, short-circuits which deny fixed and rigorous boundaries between philosophy and theology. Caputo treats “sacred” texts as a poetics of the human condition, or as a “theo-poetics,” a poetics of the event harbored in the name of God. His past books have attempted to persuade us that hermeneutics goes all the way down (Radical Hermeneutics), that Derrida is a thinker to be reckoned with by theology (The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida), and that theology is best served by getting over its love affair with power and authority and embracing what Caputo calls, following St. Paul, The Weakness of God. He has also addressed wider-than-academic audiences in On Religion, What Would Jesus Deconstruct?, and Truth. His highly-anticipated and much-heralded The Insistence of God: A Theology of Perhaps was released last year.


Katharine Sarah Moody

Katharine Sarah Moody (PhD Religious Studies, Lancaster University, UK, 2010) is an independent scholar working at the intersection of philosophy, theology and the study of lived religion. She is particularly interested in the generative relationships between radical theology and emerging Christianity. Her most recent post was Research Associate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool, where she worked as part of the Philosophy and Religious Practices Research Network, and she is currently seeking funding to study the political potential of religious practices that draw on ‘the theological turn’ in continental philosophy and ‘the turn to Paul’ in political philosophy.

Her books include Radical Theology and Emerging Christianity: Deconstruction, Materialism and Religious Practices (Ashgate, forthcoming 2015); Post-Secular Theology and the Church: Truth, Tradition, Transformation? (Wipf & Stock, forthcoming); A/Theism: A New Kind of Christian as A New Kind of Atheist (Wipf & Stock, forthcoming); and Intensities: Philosophy, Religion and the Affirmation of Life (Ashgate, 2012; co-edited with Steven Shakespeare). She will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2015 Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion conference, ‘Political Theology: The Liberation of the Postsecular?’ (July 10-12).


Peter Rollins

Peter Rollins is a provocative writer, philosopher, storyteller and public speaker who has gained an international reputation for overturning traditional notions of religion and forming “churches” that preach the Good News that we can’t be satisfied, that life is difficult, and that we don’t know the secret. Challenging the idea that faith concerns questions relating to belief Peter’s incendiary and irreligious reading of Christianity attacks the distinction between sacred and secular, blurs the lines between theism and atheism and sets aside questions regarding life after death to explore the possibility of a life before death. Peter gained his higher education from Queens University, Belfast and has earned degrees (with distinction) in Scholastic Philosophy (BA Hons), Political Theory (MA) and Post-Structural thought (PhD). He is the author of numerous books, including Insurrection, The Idolatry of God, and The Divine Magician. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, currently lives in Los Angeles and will die somewhere as yet not known.


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