AAR / SBL in Chicago

Well, it's the time of year when theo-bloggers customarily reflect on their time at the recently held AAR / SBL national meeting(s). Chicago hosted the event this year, which I was happy about because I didn't have to fly. Chicago was, as always, a great town to spend some time in (even if the convention center left much to be desired).

In any case, rather than inflict upon you many generally boring stories of meetings with personages, interesting sessions, and books bought at deep discount, I will instead present you with the abstract to the paper that I presented on Saturday morning in a session conducted by the Ecclesiological Investigations Group on the theme: "The Social Gospel in a Time of Economic Crisis: The Churches and Capitalism Today." So, here are the stats on my paper.

"Helmut Gollwitzer and Economic Justice—A Theopolitical Appreciation"

Helmut Gollwitzer’s legacy as a politically concerned pastor and theologian is instructive for those today who want to take seriously both what Christian faith means for socio-economic justice and what that concern for socio-economic justice likewise means for the theological task. I treat three aspects of Gollwitzer’s work in order to highlight his significance for the contemporary situation: (1) his interesting application of the traditional idea of suum cuique, especially vis-à-vis Bonhoeffer; (2) the connection he draws between the Christian gospel and the necessity of combating economic-political privilege; and (3), his conclusions concerning Christian faith and theology’s failings in the face of atheist criticism of religion and what this means for continuing to do theology in the contemporary situation. One eye is kept on the Occupy Wall Street movement throughout the discussion in order to highlight how Gollwitzer’s thought illuminates matters in our own day.



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