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Navigating the Crisis of Movement: Rupture, Repetition, and New Life

To speak of trauma is always to speak too late. Trauma is something we do not see coming. Consider philosopher of neuroplasticity Catherine Malabou’s definition: “The word ‘trauma’ in Greek means ‘wound’ and derives from titrosko, which means ‘to pierce.’ Trauma thus designates the wound that results from an effraction—an ‘effraction’ that can be physical (a ‘patent’ wound) or psychical. In either case, trauma names a shock that forces open or pierces... Read More

What’s Love Got to Do with It? Theodicy, Trauma, and Divine Love

Recently, I sat in a circle of students who had just read Eleanor Stump’s chapter on the book of Job in her seminal work on theodicy, Wandering in Darkness. In that chapter, Stump walks the reader through each trying moment of the story, including the conversation between God and Satan that paves the way to Job’s distress. She presents a compelling interpretation in which every one of God’s words and actions is motivated by unfailing love. As most of the students engaged... Read More

The “Righteous Rich” in the Old Testament

Much is written and preached about the problem of poverty from a biblical perspective, and much of what is written and preached acknowledges the fact that most poverty does not just happen—it is caused. There are, of course, those who are poor for reasons that have little or no human or moral causation (e.g., as a result of devastating weather, disabling illness, disastrous bereavement, or the aftermath of locusts or blight), but it is still the case, and probably always... Read More

Gird Up Your Loins, Haiti: A Lesson in Theodicy from Job

One cannot evade the question of God, especially in matters such as the earthquake in Haiti or Chile and the devastation that has followed. Disasters, both natural and unnatural, have a way of opening the human to epistemological crises, and if Alasdair MacIntyre is right, such crises are the essential element of any viable system of thought.1 Pat Robertson, on the other hand, the media’s poster-boy (and whipping-boy) for American evangelicalism, has revealed most recently the... Read More

O God, Where Art Thou? A Review of A Serious Man

In the song “Placebo Headwound,” from the Flaming Lips 1995 album Clouds Taste Metallic, Wayne Coyne sings, “If God hears all my questions / how come there’s never an answer?” This question seemed so subversive that I felt compelled to hide the record from my parents. Yet perhaps my fears were unwarranted, because by the time they were teenagers in the early ‘60s, the modernist grip on culture had all but disintegrated; theirs was already a culture of postmodern... 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