Showing posts from August, 2015

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend…

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

It has been a month and a half, actually, since the last link post. I’m an academic, and it was summer. Not that I wasn’t working: I was chained to my desk by what are still relatively new administrative responsibilities. But I had to have a summer somehow, and going on something of a semi-formal blog hiatus was it. DET is back up and running, however, and you can expect the usual steady stream of posts. And we even managed to pile up some good stuff while on hiatus! Be sure to check up on anything you missed while enjoying the summer.

Stumbling along Witherspoon Street - the highlight of my time at the 2015 Barth Conference [Coates]The Nine Lives of DET, pt. 1 [Jackson]The Nine Lives of DET, pt. 2 [Jackson]The Nine Lives of DET, pt. 3 [Jackson]Karl Barth, an annihilationist? A recent Twitter "conference" [McMaken]On the Supposed Irrelevance of Religious Studies: The Case of Env…

What Am I Reading? The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Edited and introduced by Isabel Best. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012.
On the last day of his life, Dietrich Bonhoeffer preached a sermon. In his lifetime Bonhoeffer was respected as a theologian and a teacher, a great mind who would surely leave a mark on Christendom. We in the twenty-first century recognize him as a Christian martyr to the evils of Nazidom. Above all other things, Bonhoeffer thought of himself as a pastor and a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bonhoeffer held tightly to the Christ who brought victory over Death and Sin and who remains "the living Lord who meets me" (208).

For those who live seventy years after he was murdered, Bonhoeffer remains somewhat of an enigma. Who exactly was he? And more importantly, if put more crudely, would he have watched Fox News or MSNBC? To paint in broad strokes, liberal or more progressive Christians tend to grasp onto the Bonhoeffer of the Letters and Papers from P…

On the Supposed Irrelevance of Religious Studies: The Case of Environmental Change

I cannot speak for all religion professors, of course. And I’m sure that there are places where this “narrative” holds sway even more than at my institution (pictured is Butler Hall, the seat of the Lindenwood School of Humanities with its Religion department). Nonetheless, I often get the sense that in higher education today and in public consciousness (to the extent that the public these days can be said to be conscious…), the discipline of religious studies is met with something like polite incredulity about its meaningfulness. Indeed, sometimes this incredulity is far from polite. Like the humanities tradition in general, religious studies often seems to be backed into a corner and asked to justify its continued existence and consumption of relatively very modest resources in today’s universities.

Part of the problem, in my humble opinion, is that humanities professors – including professors of religion – have done little to contest this narrative, much less advance a compelling …

Karl Barth, an annihilationist? A recent Twitter "conference"

It all started yesterday as I was reading through a bit of CD 1.2. My eyes lit upon a line and sparked something in my theological imagination. So, I did the totally reasonable thing and took it to twitter:
Karl #Barth an annihilationist? "In eternity when we see God face to face, either we will be those who love, or we will not be" CD 1.2, 372— W. Travis McMaken (@WTravisMcMaken) August 20, 2015
Our dedicated Senior Contributing Author, Scott Jackson, took note almost immediately:
Hmm. Got a keep a closer eye on Barth's eschatology.— J. Scott Jackson (@jsjackson15) August 20, 2015
And then things really got going. Enjoy this recap!
@WTravisMcMaken Isn't Barth just saying we either will or will not love in eternity? The second "be" implies "those who love."— David Congdon (@dwcongdon) August 20, 2015
@dwcongdon That's definitely possible. I haven't looked at the KD.— W. Travis McMaken (@WTravisMcMaken) August 20, 2015

The Nine Lives of DET, pt. 3

In this expansive (or, as some might read it, interminable) series of posts commemorating DET's ninth birthday, we have highlighted one post from the past for each of the nine years we've been in publication. Recall that Facebook was only just catching on in 2006, so we made it in just under the wire -- right before the social media began the rapid process of subsuming all pubic discourse.

In my previous post we saw that the true spirit of  theo-bloggery thrives only in community. At some level, despite ideological differences and vocational rivalries, we live and move within a web or tapestry of threads as emotional, visceral and intense as the dedicated cadre of fans that cluster in musty gyms to enjoy roller derby. I want to (finally) conclude this series by reflecting on the power of community, solidarity, collaboration and pedagogically trendy stuff like that.

Year 7. Baal and Asherah on a Date
Opening up this website to outside contributors has resulted in some scintillat…

The Nine Lives of DET, pt. 2

In my previous post, to mark the ninth birthday of this blog, I proposed to essay a kind of phenomenological account of what makes Die Evangelischen Theologen tick by revisiting nine representative posts, one each for each year of operation. The operative theory is this: If the indivisible eternal suffuses each discrete moment of finite existence, then it follows that each of these posts should offer a sort of microcosm for the whole. Upper management decreed this nine-lives concept should be stretched out (milked) over three separate posts. I'll leave it to you, gentle readers, to decide whether that was a good idea.

So then, let's continue.

Year 4. A Reformer for All Seasons
If you browse through the "Categories" column on the left side of the DET page -- You're here already, so you might as well do so now -- you'll find, not surprisingly, that Karl Barth trumps all other theologians in number of posts. By a long shot. Still, although a distant second to B…