Tumblr Vimeo Feed

Pilgrimage, Geography, and Mischievous Theology

Durham Cathedral - Pilgrimage

One hundred years ago, the Scottish poet Edwin Muir mourned that Christianity had apostatized by abandoning its incarnate, embodied grounding. In his poem “The Incarnate One,” he laments that “The Word-made-flesh here is made word again.”[1] In our generation, Charles Taylor coined the problem even more succinctly: excarnation. This inclination to strip Christianity of its... Read More

The African Woman’s Suffering: Hermeneutics, Geography, and Liberation Theology


When it comes to suffering, geography matters.[1] Where we live determines how we suffer and how we respond to that suffering, how we search for healing and hope. It is unsurprising, therefore, that the collective suffering wrought by colonization has molded indigenous theologies toward a hermeneutic of liberation. In many ways, African women’s theology arose as a direct response... Read More

On the Possibility of Death in Advent


In the face of death we cannot simply speak in some fatalistic way, “God wills it”; but we must juxtapose it with the other reality, “God does not will it.” Death reveals that the world is not as it should be but that it stands in need of redemption. Christ alone is the conquering of death. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Circular Letter to the Confessing Churches,” 1941   They... Read More

Desire and Its Inversions: On the Roots of White Racial Terror(ism)


That moment . . . between the release of the trigger and the fall of another black body, of another brown body, and another . . . haunts this book. What is there to do? To capture, to resignify as one remembers, reconfigures, and disassembles what lies before those elusive moments. —Denise Ferreira da Silva, Toward a Global Idea of Race   Throw a rock any direction and it’ll... Read More

On Hollowed Ground? The Ambivalent Territoriality of Saint Justin’s Interpretation of the Kingdom of God and Its Implications for Contemporary Christian Theological Reflection


One of the trends to emerge in recent theological discourse is a renewed focus on Jesus’s proclamation of the kingdom of God. In particular, leading scholars have argued that Jesus’s kingdom vision was steeped within the first-century Jewish hope for Israel’s national restoration.[1] At the same time, however, several scholars have also argued that Jesus deterritorialized... Read More

Reclaiming Christian Marriage: What the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Needs to Learn from the Southern Baptists


On June 19, 2014, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to allow their pastors to perform “same-gender marriages in civil jurisdictions where such marriages are legal.”[1] As expected, this has caused no small hubbub among American Christians. While gay rights advocates and Christians on the left have lauded this progressive decision and praised the denomination for changing... Read More

Recycled Images, Relational Aesthetics, and the Sound of Music


As Bruce Ellis Benson’s recent book Liturgy as a Way of Life reminds us, “in making art, we always start with something.”[1] To be an artist is not to create ex nihilo but to creatively reinterpret and rework the preexisting forms of art, nature, and culture—including the stories and images that shape and direct our lives—into new, often radically different shapes and... Read More

Between Two Trees: A Review of Peter Leithart’s Shining Glory


Peter J. Leithart. Shining Glory: Theological Reflections on Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013.   It’s not your average big-budget, Brad Pitt–starring movie that receives a book response from a systematic theologian. But Peter Leithart is not your average systematic theologian. And Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is not your average... Read More

Reinhabiting Place: The Work of Bioregional Discipleship

The estuary of the Little Campbell River, the author's place

Tell me the landscape in which you live and I will tell you who you are. —Ortega Y Gasset   Alan Durning, founder of the Seattle-based Sightline Institute, recounts the story of a trip he took to the Philippines. After interviewing several elders as part of the trip, he was introduced to a frail old priestess who, through a translator, turned one of his questions back on... Read More

Hospitality and Domesticity: Where Can These Black Women Live?

my mother

One’s neighbor is often not even the people next door but the people of one’s home, household, workplace and religious community. One’s neighbor is the person of the opposite gender. —Mercy Oduyoye, Beads and Strands   Flawless Execution Beyoncé Knowles has done myself, and many like me, a huge favor. Through the popularity of her hit single “Flawless,” from her... Read More