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#25: Trauma

Since its inception, psychology has struggled with understanding and treating trauma. Freud was one of the first to become particularly interested in trauma in the wake of World War I, observing the psychological illness present in veterans returning home. The overwhelming experiences of intense dread and horror the soldiers endured created invisible scars, and he attempted to develop a framework for understanding those symptoms and behaviors. The American Psychiatric Association... Read More

Issue #24: Geography

Land is of central concern to the people of God. Indeed, the whole of the Hebrew scriptures would be nearly unintelligible were this theme removed. To inhabit a particular place and to identify with that place constitutes something of the basis of the Jewish way of life from which the Christian church emerged. Yet the role of place is also complicated within the narrative of the scriptures as individuals, at times, are asked to sacrifice their locatedness for mission or are disconnected... Read More

Issue 23.5: Tradition and Traditions

At the beginning of his essay “Contract and Birthright,” the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin revisits the story in Genesis where Esau sells his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of stew. As Wolin sees it, Esau “bartered what was unique and irreplaceable for a material good for which there was a number of available substitutes.”1 Esau divests himself of his inheritance, of the unique and historical identity that has been passed down through his family for generations;... Read More

#23: The Body Issue

Since the time of the early Greeks, Western thought has tended to downplay the importance of the body. By emphasizing the existence of an eternal realm of ideal forms above and beyond the material world, we have indirectly transformed the body into little more than a vessel for our true immortal souls. We may say we love our bodies, but too often our philosophical and theological commitments lead us to believe that they are things we need to reject, denigrate, and overcome. We... Read More

Issue #22: Marxism

We live in a world shaped by capitalism, an economic model that (we’re told) provides the very best opportunity for economic and social mobility, the very best economic system to promote human flourishing. It’s a narrative the Western church has dogmatically adopted and, as a result, the good news of Christianity has become fused with the creed of capitalism. In this our twenty-second issue of The Other Journal, we seek to challenge these norms by bringing theology... Read More

Issue #21: Prayer

At its most basic level, the Christian life is about prayer. Prayer is the font of all theology and the mode of being that constitutes faith. And yet, no activity seems more elusive and, at times, vague. What do we mean by prayer? How do we practice it? Where have we described and practiced it wrongly? How does it shape a life of faith? These are just some of the questions we will pursue in this issue of The Other Journal. Our hope is that not only will these pieces help... Read More

Relocating the Body of Christ: Parish Collective and the Twenty-First Century Church

In the tenth chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews, the writer admonishes the church, saying, “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25, NRSV). Simply meeting together, the author writes, is integral to maintaining the confessed hope of those who have believed the gospel of Jesus Christ (v. 23).... Read More

Issue #20: Evil

That pain, suffering, oppression, and violence occur in the world is all too obvious. To grasp that the destructive forces we face are evil is not so obvious. This is not because the effects of evil are merely illusions, but because to know something as evil, that is, to recognize it as a force in rebellion to God, requires that we know who this God is and what it means to live in fellowship with this God. In this our twentieth issue of The Other Journal, the essays, interviews,... Read More

The Advent Issue

As we move into the darkest season of the calendar year, daylight runs in short supply, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, where The Other Journal makes its home. By the time the winter solstice arrives, we’ll experience about eight and a half hours of daylight, with plenty of thick, low-hanging clouds to obscure our rare chances of sunshine. It is a darkness with which many in the Northern hemisphere are familiar. And yet in the midst of this, the church across the world... Read More

Introducing Issue #19: Food & Flourishing

When we come to the communion table, we participate in the literal and symbolic culmination of our worship and our lives as Christians. It is an occasion of remembrance and reflection and mystery that both brings us a foretaste of our future communion with God and brings us together as a people. It was at this table where kings and queens, otherwise separated from their people, would worship together as equals. And it is here that people of differing histories, cultures, and classes... Read More