Showing posts from August, 2014

Theology is Women's Work

The close intellectual partnership between Reinhold Niebuhr and his wife has been a subject of interest in recent years (For more on this, see this article by Rebekah Miles ). By any measure, Ursula Keppel-Compton Niebuhr, who founded and headed the religion department at Barnard College, a stone's throw away from where Reinhold taught at Union Theological Seminary, was a remarkable scholar, teacher and leader in her own right. As I've recently begun to read or re-read as much Reinhold Niebuhr stuff as I can get my hands upon, I ran across this remarkable "confession" in the intro to one of his later books. Note especially the part I put in bold typeface. Reinhold Niebuhr, Man's Nature and His Communities (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1965), pp. 28-29. Writing these lines in my old age and being conscious of the spiritual and intellectual debt I owe my wife, not to speak of more precious debts incurred in decades of a happy marriage, I must close

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend… …or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere. It has been over a month, actually, since the last link post . There’s been lots happening these past weeks, some of which is reflected in the selection of links below. I should note, however, that I save lists of links and am usually running a bit behind the calendar by the time they get up here. So some of the most current events may be under-represented. I will try, however, to dig up some more recent “breaking news” sort of links. As something of a random note, some of you may be interested in a bit of blogosphere press garnered recently by my book , The Sign of the Gospel: Toward an Evangelical Doctrine of Infant Baptism after Karl Barth . In any case, here’s what’s been happening at DET: A Friendly Critique from Hauerwas: Rauschenbusch and the "Kingdom of Evil" (5) The Story of the Wittenberg Concord – Kittelson on Luther Reading Scripture with John Calvin: Mala

Toward a Metaphysics of Solidarity: Rauschenbusch and the "Kingdom of Evil" (6)

The notion of solidarity is pivotal for Social Gospel theologian Walter Rauschenbusch. He strives diligently to articulate a "solidaristic" reinterpretation of the classic loci of Christian theology as a corrective (or replacement? It's debatable, I think) of a mainstream theological tradition he deemed too solipsistic and otherworldly for a modern age -- too focused, that is, on the salvation of individual human souls in some putative afterlife to the detriment of a concrete soci-political praxis of transformation in the here-and-now. Nowadays when we hear about solidarity, we probably tend to think about specific struggles for economic, social and political justice, and such commitments certainly are a defining feature of his project to renew and transform theology and ethics. Certainly, for example, in his classic manifesto Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907), Rauschenbusch draws upon early socialist critiques of industrial capitalism, arguing that socialism g

What does it mean to say “Jesus is Lord”? Paul M. van Buren on Christianity and Nationalism

I’ve been on a kick about reading theology from about 50 or 60 years ago. (Gollwitzer is likely to blame for this . . . ) One nice consequence of this is that I can get my reading materials used for a couple dollars + shipping. But I digress . . . I’ve posted about Paul M. van Buren at DET before , so regular readers should be at least passingly familiar with him. The short version is that he was the teacher of my teacher, Ellen Charry, and his teacher was Karl Barth (whose name regular readers may perhaps also recognize). In any case, I was reading van Buren this morning and the following jumped out at me. Paul M. van Buren, The Secular Meaning of the Gospel (MacMillan, 1963), 141–42. The man who says, “Jesus is Lord,” is saying that the history of Jesus and of what happened on Easter has exercised a liberating effect upon him, and that he has been so grasped by it that it has become the historical norm of his perspective upon life. His confession is a notification of this per

To my deconverted friend – A guest post by Collin Pae Cornell

[Ed. note: Collin Pae Cornell writes the always interesting blog Kaleidobible , as well as semi-regular guest posts here at DET.] The story of your faith – and non-faith – is, of course, uniquely your own. Yet some parts of your experience are widely shared. You were raised in the American South. Christianity, in all of its predictable Southern dimensions – hokey roadside signage, Sunday finery, hollering preachers, a buttery layer of civil religion – was, to you as to many, as familiar as family. You along with thousands of other evangelical children across the country – like me – opted to attend a Christian undergraduate. And as with many of us, much of your life after graduation has consisted, in one way or another, of making sense out of that decision and its legacy. Other chapters of your life are less common. That you along with numerous high-school friends and acquaintances would simultaneously have renounced various addictions and “made a personal decision of faith” is su