There is No Such Thing as “Church”…Just Us In Faithful Relation To Each Other

As some kind of Christian most, if not all, of my life  I have always taken for granted – even if at times “taking” it also meant wanting to “leave” it – something called the church. The very title of this blog, i.e., “the church and postmodern culture”, assumes there is actually something “there” (a true Aristotelian... Read More

On Conversation without Conversion: Reflections on Church Practice and Participation

Though I think a lot about church practice, I don’t write much on it. My writing, for better or worse, tends to be very intentionally philosophical and offered in the aim of inviting a broader readership into the technical debates of philosophy of religion. The one main exception to this general trajectory, though, is a piece I posted here at Church and Postmodernism a few years... Read More

“Outlaw justice” – was Paul really a political theologian?

The standard average Christian evangelical, or Reformed, reading of Paul makes him into a huckster of cheap grace. How many times have you heard a sermon on Romans, or a Christian song on the radio, or some radio plug for a new church or ministry, invoking the Reformation-revivalist message that it’s all about giving up trying to make something out of your life on your own,... Read More

Extended Review and some Possibilities for James K. A. Smith. Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works.

Introduction Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. –P.J. O’Rourke As I read and re-read Jamie Smith, P.J. O’Rourke’s quote seems rather apposite to my experience of that reading.  I consider that being found dead with one of Smith’s books open in my hands would be a great way to slip away from this life. The influence of Jamie... Read More

The exception rules, or why postmodern theology needs to think the impossible

A number of years ago when I was a department chair I asked a certain administrator at my institution why he had not followed the rules in granting certain privileges to a certain faculty member that seemed to go against the very rules he himself had laid down. The response was classic, and since the impact of his decision was entirely favorable, though not perhaps for those who... Read More

The Relevance of Philosophy of Religion to Religious Studies: Of Gaps and Gratitude

By: J. Aaron Simmons (Department of Philosophy, Furman University), In 1996, William J. Wainwright edited a book entitled God, Philosophy, and Academic Culture: A Discussion between Scholars in the AAR and the APA.  That book features contributions from some of the most influential philosophers of religion and theologians in recent history: Nicholas... Read More

Agamben and the revival of a global political theology – from an economy of resentment to an economy of glory

“Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected,” proclaimed Jonathan Edwards. It probably seems quite strange to open what can be described as a brief meditation on political theology and the global crisis with a quote from Edwards, the “new light” of Colonial America’s First Great Awakening, but that is my task here.   With the ongoing... Read More

We Are Still Them: Non-Denominationalism and the Hermeneutics of Silence

By: J. Aaron Simmons – Department of Philosophy – Furman University –  I. I was raised in the American evangelical subculture and have recently been part of several different non-denominational, generally evangelical, (mega)churches in the American South.  As a result of these experiences, I have become increasing concerned about the... Read More

Hunger and Love – The “Logic of Late Capitalism” Unwinds into the Postmodern Apocalypse

It’s another gray and misty morning here in the second district of Vienna.  The church bells toll to invite the sleepy-eyed revelers from the night before to churches that, except for Christmas tourists, will probably remain mostly empty. The second district is historically the Jewish district of Vienna, where Freud lived and hung out.  For some unfathomable reason Freud is... Read More

Genealogy, Memory, and the Danger in Political Theology

This guest post by David Horstkoetter and the previous post come from the recent panel discussion hosted by the new Political Theologies Seminar at Marquette University.  The seminar is interested in theologies that intersect with contemporary political, social, economic, and cultural life. Participating faculty are  Dr. D. Stephen Long and Emeritus Fr. Thomas Hughson and the... Read More