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Showing posts from 2019

Women of the Reformation (redux)

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Back in 2017, we put together a series of posts on the Reformation to celebrate its 500 year anniversary (#Refo500atDET). To kick off that series, I wrote two posts on Reformation Women (part 1, part 2).

You can now access audio and video versions of that content through the players below, or through The McKrakenCast (podcast) or my YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to your preferred medium!





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Meanwhile, back at the ranch… (August 23, 2019 ed.)

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

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

Bless me, gentle readers, for I have sinned. It has been nearly four months since my last confes…I mean…links and updates post.

Folks who know that I’m a university professor might be tempted to think that I might be more productive over the summer as opposed to the fall and spring semesters, given the general patterns of the academic calendar. Alas, none of that holds true for those of us in the academic administration game. I’ve got an 8–5 with a set number of vacation days just like any other working stiff.

But enough about me. You’re here for the best curated religion, theology, politics, higher education, and current events link list on the web!

Before diving into the links, however, I’d just like to highlight a piece by Eli Valentin, entitled “Toward a Post-Maria Puerto Rican Pastoral Theology”. He says some nice things about Helmut Gollwitzer and my book, Our God Loves Justice (#…

Karl Barth, Theology, and Secularism. And the Numinous.

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It seems as though I’m going through something of my own, personal Barth revival.

After years of focusing elsewhere, especially on Helmut Gollwitzer, I have – for one reason or another, at least for the time being – returned my attention to the fleshpots of Egy...I mean…to Karli. There’s that podcast series on his Göttingen dogmatics, for instance. And this post.


Anyway, I’ve been reading the first Barth in Conversation volume (I feel like I’ve heard that title, or something very like it, somewhere before…), and thought that I would share some of it with you, gentle and patient readers.

In this passage, a journalist named Seiler interviews Barth and asks, among other things, about the state of contemporary theology. And of course, when we say “contemporary” here we mean 1960. Seiler suggests that Christianity had once been a question of confession, but has now become silent – part of the sociocultural furniture without anything in particular to add to the conversation. As you can …

Barth's "Göttingen Dogmatics" - §1: The Word of God as the Problem of Dogmatics

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Continuing our dive into Karl Barth's first attempt at writing a dogmatics, this episode tackles the first section: The Word of God as the Problem of Dogmatics. He discusses what it means to think of dogmatics as a science, and we also encounter an early version of his doctrine of the three-fold Word of God (revelation, Scripture, and preaching). Barth also reflects on why he thinks a prolegomena is necessary when doing theology, and I riff a bit on his recommendations for how to go about studying theology. 

This series in indexed on the serials page.





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Evangelical Patriarchy and the World of Sports

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As those of you, gentle readers, who follow me on Twitter will have already become aware, I’ve been reading Randall Balmer’s book on Evangelicalism in America.


I first became aware of Balmer when he published an essay on how the rise of the Religious Right wasn’t really about abortion so much as it was about defending racially segregated private “Christian” schools from IRS revocation of tax exempt status.

Yeah, I know.

That essay is in this book, or at least a version of it. It’s good. You should read it. But that isn’t what this post is about. This post is about evangelicals and sports—and more specifically, how sports create alternative worlds in which to live and how those worlds mesh with evangelicalism. And in general, I think, it explains the appeal that many folks find in spending a great deal of time, energy, mind-space, and money on being a sports fan in the contemporary United States. Spoiler alert: it comes from a deep sense of insecurity and a longing for an orderly wo…

DET Enters its Teen Years

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As of July 27, 2019, DET is officially a teenager.

Many things are different since I published the first post, way back in 2006—that's 13 years ago, for those who are (like me) bad at maths (as the Brits might say). But a lot of things are the same as well. I don’t think I’ve quite lived up to some of the promises in that first post, but – you live, you (hopefully) learn.

The blog has slowed down. I was a MDiv student when it started, and needed a place to interact with people an ideas. These days, however, I’m at a very different place in my professional life, with increasing administrative burdens directing most of my time and energy. As a result, I’ve writing about theology less and talking about it more. Some of you may be thankful (although, I’m sure some of you would rather not be afflicted) that I have started posting on YouTube and The McKrakenCast podcast. But if you prefer to just keep an eye on the blog, I’m posting all that material here too.

There are still some oth…

Karl Barth's "Göttingen Dogmatics" - Introduction

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Travel with me back to the early 1920s and Karl Barth's first attempt at writing a dogmatics. Launched while teaching at the University of Göttingen, this was the genesis of the material that would become Church Dogmatics approximately a decade later. What we call the Göttingen Dogmatics in English is especially interesting to me because it is much closer to Barth's work as pastor-cum-socialist organizer.

This is the first of a multi-part series, and it is the first series that I have produced primarily for the podcast medium. It is also available on YouTube. Make sure to subscribe via your preferred site.





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McKrakenCast (Podcast) Update

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As I’m sure you’ve noticed, gentle readers, I’ve been publishing a podcast for the last few months called The McKrakenCast. I posted about it back when I started it, and I also explained the name.

Also included in that previous post was a list of all the content that I had migrated over from my YouTube channel to the podcast. I wanted to update that with this post since I have finally finished migrating everything that I previously had on YouTube that I wanted to migrate.

You can find that list of content below.

Moving forward, I will be cross-posting between the podcast and YouTube as much as possible. That said, there will likely still be some bits of content that are unique to one or the other platforms. So make sure you subscribe to both!
















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Helmut Gollwitzer on Karl Barth and Socialism: An Excerpt

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This is an excerpt from an essay by Helmut Gollwitzer about Karl Barth and socialism. It is available in both podcast and video formats.





Excerpt source: Helmut Gollwitzer, "Kingdom of God and Socialism in the Theology of Karl Barth," in George Hunsinger (ed., trans.), Karl Barth and Radical Politics, 2nd ed. (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017), 83-85.

Image source and attribution: Stiftung Haus der Geschichte [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)].

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Brutal Truths: Rowan Williams on Why Reading Stringfellow is Hard

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For a few years now, I've been pondering and puzzling over the writings of William Stringfellow, the enigmatic Episcopal lawyer and lay theologian who spoke truth to power from the time of the early Civil Rights movement to the moral and cultural wasteland that was "the Reagan years." I've managed (so far) to eke out short articles and book reviews. Through the indulgence of DET's illustrious editor and of our gentle readers, a few of my Stringfellow-inflected posts have even slipped onto this website.

I confess that this project has been, and continues to be, a struggle, though it isn't self-evident why this is so. After all, the major corpus is manageable: Stringfellow wrote or co-wrote 15 books, none of which -- except for an astonishing, absolutely unclassifiable "biography" of Bishop James Pike -- is particularly long. Stringfellow's writing can be dense, to be sure, but he typically eschewed academic theological jargon. Reading him isn…

"Reformers in the Wings" - Book Review (Video / Audio)

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In this new content, I review David Steinmetz's book, Reformers in the Wings, and talk a bit about Reformation history and some of its lesser known figures.
This material is available in your choice of video or podcast format.





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Responding to "Sancta Colloquia's" review of "Our God Loves Justice"

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The podcast Sancta Colloquia, hosted by Rev. Lauren Larkin, recently had Sabrina Peters on as a guest to talk about my book on Helmut Gollwitzer, Our God Loves Justice (#OGLJ). I made this video to riff on them a bit and encourage you to listen to the episode.

Order a copy of the #OGLJ companion volume, David Congdon's The God Who Saves.

Watch this video to learn more about Dialectical Theology and the Society for Dialectical Theology.

More podcasts about #OGLJ:

https://trippfuller.com/2018/04/17/our-god-loves-justice-with-w-travis-mcmaken/

http://theologyandsocialism.libsyn.com/our-god-loves-justice-interview-with-w-travis-mcmaken-on-helmut-gollwitzer

https://soundcloud.com/themagnificast/ep-54-our-god-loves-justice-w-w-travis-mcmaken

http://www.loverinserepeat.com/podcast/mcmaken

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Jesus: Lord, Liar, Lunatic...or Awesome? A video book review

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Get my thoughts on Tripp Fuller, as well as on his book on Jesus in the Homebrewed Christianity guides series, from this fresh and zesty (as Tripp might say) video review.

You can get the book here: Jesus: Lord, Liar, Lunatic...or Awesome?




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Americanity: or, Religious Studies with St. Hereticus (critical edition)

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Robert McAfee Brown (ed.?), The Collected Writings of St. Hereticus (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1964).

We harken once again to the words of The Saint. They were written a little more than half a century ago now, but so much of it continues to ring true – with the appropriate updates born in mind (where is the “prophetic school” to carry on the work of St. Hereticus when you really need it…) – even today that I could not, gentle reader, bear the thought of keeping it from you.

The Saint addresses a number of other leading world religions as well: for instance, Naturism, Lingoism, and Churchianity also attract his attention. But let us leave those worthy studies to the side for the present (although I encourage you to explore them yourself). I would call your attention to the religion that The Saint treats first, which I take to indicate precedence. You will find the following on p. 55–57 of the work cited above. As usual, bold is mine and italics are in the original.

Ameri…

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… (April 27, 2019 ed)

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

…or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere.

I should really just drop that “fortnight” line at this point. The last link post was back in February.

In any case, it is time once again to emerge from hiding and offer an installment of the best curated religion, theology, politics, higher education, and current events link list on the web. Now is the time to catch up on anything you missed here at DET and elsewhere.

The main thing that I’ve been working on, gentle readers, it trying to turn you into gentle listeners. That’s right, I’ve started a podcast - The McKrakenCast - as a complement to DET and my YouTube channel. I’ve been migrating YouTube content over in the podcast form, and I’ve just about caught up. There is a post linked below that collects some of that material for you (and that explains where the name came from), and I’ll throw up another post when that process is done. There will then be fresh content across the pod…

Kaitlyn Centini - 2019 Harmon Religion Award Winner

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Those of you, gentle readers, who follow me on Twitter have - no doubt - already encountered Kaitlyn Centini (@KatieCentini), my advisee and student worker over the past ~2 years. Katie is getting ready to graduate from Lindenwood University (with a triple major in Art History, History, and Religion, as well as another three minors) and enter the History department at the University of Arizona for graduate studies. We recently presented her with this year's Harmon Religion Award, and I made the below video about it. There is also now a playlist of videos celebrating recipients of this award over the last few years.


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Top 5 books of 2018

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Reflections on Schleiermacher's 5th Speech on Religion

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Friedrich Schleiermacher is awesome. Lots of folks love to hate him, but I'm here to tell you that you should read him.

In this video, I discuss the 5th of Schleiermacher's speeches on Religion. I've re-purposed a recording that I made for a class that I no longer teach. I hope you find it helpful or at least entertaining.


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The McKrakenCast (Podcast)

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I'm sure that by now, DET readers are aware that I have a YouTube channel where I post theological (and other) videos for your enjoyment and edification.

Some folks have suggested to me that using a podcast format would be easier, since it would provide more flexibility for listening on the go, etc. Therefore, I finally heeded the call, read a few web articles on how to do it, and set up a podcast feed with SoundCloud.

The name of this podcast is The McKrakenCast. For anyone who might be wondering, "The McKraken" is a nickname given to me by some students, so the podcast is at least in part an homage to them. Below are a couple of pictures of gifts that they have purchased for me over the years that traded on this nickname. You'll see that the spelling is not exactly standardized, but I have my preferred spelling in the podcast name.


Anyway, at present, The McKrakenCast will primarily provide a secondary means of access for my YouTube videos. But I may expand it in …

Brief Book Note: Pedersen’s “The Eternal Covenant”

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Eagle-eyed readers of DET with sharp memories for detail may recognize this author and / or book. The author is a friend of the blog. He wrote two very good guest posts on Schleiermacher back in 2017, and I highly recommend them to you. In fact, pause your reading of this post and go read those two first:
How to Understand Schleiermacher's Theology—A guest post by Daniel Pedersen. Authority and Bible in Schleiermacher’s Theology—more from Daniel Pedersen.The first of those two posts ended up in the top 10 posts from that year, where I also mentioned this book – which was very newly published at the time.

Daniel James Pedersen, The Eternal Covenant: Schleiermacher on God and Natural Science, Theologische Bibliothek Töpelmann (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017).


I can’t say enough nice things about this book. I’m no Schleiermacher specialist, but I’ve read a decent bit of his work and have been interested in him for a while, and this book was absolutely riveting. Daniel’s argument is very ti…