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Hospitality and Domesticity: Where Can These Black Women Live?

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 2013 surprise album, Beyoncé, she has made audible the voice of African women, a voice that is ever-present... Read More

The Enduring World of Dr. Schultz: James Baldwin, Django Unchained, and the Crisis of Whiteness

Yes: we lived through avalanches of tokens and concessions but white power remains white. And what it appears to surrender with one hand it obsessively clutches in the other. —James Baldwin, Introduction: The Price of the Ticket1   On the one hand, I despise slavery. On the other hand, I need your help, and if you’re not in a position to refuse, all the better. —Dr. Schultz, Django Unchained2   One Django’s shivering, exhausted back is painted by a whip. We follow... Read More

Burning Peak Oil

My friends Andy and Alice recently bought a new car. This is a big deal. Not because of the ride itself—a mature, utility Saab with a few clunks and quirks—but because they are not what you would call “car people. Andy hikes the Olympic peninsula and rides a bicycle to his job at a local high school. Alice comes home from giving music lessons to tend the plants in their small apartment. When I met Andy he sported a bandana and a long beard (he still has the beard). Alice... Read More

Out to Lunch: A Response to Stephen Webb’s “Against the Gourmands”

The film Babette’s Feast has perhaps done more service in teaching undergraduates and seminarians about the Eucharist than any other work of art over the last twenty-five years. It is the tale of an austere Danish Christian sect that carefully shuns the sensual delights of this world. Babette, a star chef and a refugee from counterrevolutionary violence in Paris, comes to live among the dwindling congregation. After winning 10,000 francs in the French lottery, Babette decides... Read More

Against the Gourmands: In Praise of Fast Food as a Form of Fasting

Food is fuel much the same way that wood is fuel. The fact that you can build a house with wood alters its combustible properties no more than the fact that you can create a banquet with food alters its digestible properties. Even in the form of a house, wood remains fuel, which is why houses can burn down, just as food remains fuel even in the form of fancy hors d’oeuvres and haute cuisine, which is why eating too much can make your gut burn up. Food is a form of energy, and... Read More

Race and Hospitality: Pursuing Racial Reconciliation through Derrida’s Understanding of Hospitality

With the historic 2008 presidential campaign in the United States, the question of race again came to the fore of the American consciousness.1 In this campaign, we saw a number of racially charged news stories–Bill Clinton likened Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson during the South Carolina primary, Rev. Jeremiah Wright riled the nation up with his controversial words, and many in the Republican Party wondered aloud if Barack Obama might be a Muslim or Arab, to name but a few.... Read More

Reclaiming Metaphysics and Truth: How D. Stephen Long Speaks of God

D. Stephen Long. Speaking of God: Theology, Language, and Truth. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009. 352 pages.$21.12 paperback. Click on the image to purchase Speaking of God from Amazon.com and help support The Other Journal. Modern philosophers and historians were convinced of the death of metaphysics; they buried questions of existence and being deep in the grave. But according to D. Stephen Long, author of Speaking of God, even their proofs for this death... Read More

Telling the Truth about Ourselves: Torture and Eucharist in the U.S. Popular Imagination

Recently, I picked up a newspaper to find an article on page four about a secret Red Cross report detailing U.S. torture of terrorism suspects. On page three, there was an article about Dick Cheney, who did not use the word “torture,” but said that the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” had kept the country safe, and that Obama’s policies would not.1 The recently released memos detailing the justification of torture under the Bush administration... Read More

Lessons from My Daughter: Reflections on Life, Death, the Church, and Utilitarian Ethics

On November 23, 1993, my wife and I were suddenly thrown into an unknown country, the one of people with disabilities and their families.1 Our daughter Karis was born with cerebral palsy. All four hemispheres of her body suffered significant movement damage; she could not eat, get dressed, brush her teeth, comb her hair, or touch her nose without our assistance. She never talked, only cried and smiled. We never knew her favorite food, her dreams or feelings, her likes or... Read More

Virtual Insanity: Christian Ethics, Biotechnology, and Posthuman Evolution

he earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. —Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra Ours is a world of our own making. The emergence of technologies that were once the subjects of science fiction has given us a “freedom” of choice that is unparalleled when compared to any other time in history. In mall-like fashion, we now continually encounter a vast assortment of products and services designed to elicit our desire. But what... Read More