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Failing to Get It: Feminist Chickens, a Hebrew Asparagus, and a Halberstamian Political Theology

In The Queer Art of Failure Jack Halberstam asks us “to be underachievers, to fall short, to get distracted, to take a detour, to find a limit, to lose our way, to avoid mastery, and with Walter Benjamin, to recognize that ‘empathy with the victor invariably benefits the rulers.’”[1] To empathize with the loser is a call familiar to theologians who understand God to be on the side of “the least of these” (Matt 25:40, NRSV).  But to underachieve? To avoid mastery?... Read More

The Transfigured Earth: Jubilee and the Transformation of Watersheds

Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you. —Wendell Berry   The World and the Earth On a July evening, I sat in a hotel outside the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. Mahmoud Abu Eid, a Palestinian Muslim and family friend, told his story to a group of American travelers. He talked about checkpoints and home demolitions, about color-coded ID cards that classified him as a resident alien with ephemeral rights. He talked about seven generations... Read More

The Blame Lies with the Christians: Helmut Gollwitzer’s Engagement with Marxist Criticism of Religion

The most important question to answer in the English-speaking theological world when writing about Helmut Gollwitzer is, unfortunately, who is (or was) Helmut Gollwitzer? Even more unfortunately, however, this relative obscurity also seems to be the state of Gollwitzer’s legacy in Germany. Reflecting on the unavailability of Gollwitzer’s writings in German bookstores merely a year after his death, Friedrich-Wilhelm Marquardt attributed Gollwitzer’s rapid disappearance to... Read More

Reversèd Thunder: The Significance of Prayer for Political Theology

Prayer and theology are not two entirely different things.1 To be sure, one can draw a distinction between them: prayer would involve discourse with God and theology would involve discourse about God. But however clear-cut this distinction may be, it does not actually settle the question of how these two types of conversation are related. Close historical study reveals a wide range of highly complicated combinations of prayer and theology, some of which are more integrated and... Read More

Whither Global Civil Society? A Review of A World for All?

William F. Storrar, Peter J. Casarella, and Paul Louis Metzger, editors. A World for All? Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2011. 346 pages.   A Scottish, Reformed pastor, a Latino Catholic, and an American evangelical walk into a bar. The punch line? They walk out with an ecumenical, multidisciplinary collection of essays exploring the relationship of global civil society and Christian theology. (Or, at... Read More

Race, Theology, and the Politics of Abjection: An Interview with J. Kameron Carter, Part II

In this two-part interview, the theologian J. Kameron Carter discusses his current work regarding political theology and the construction of the modern racialized world, speaks about the Obama presidency and the recent Occupy movement, and reflects on theology’s ongoing work in the wake of colonialism. In part II of the interview, Carter addresses the Obama presidency and the so-called post-racial moment, considers the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and frames theological education... Read More

Race, Theology, and the Politics of Abjection: An Interview with J. Kameron Carter, Part I

In this two-part interview, the theologian J. Kameron Carter discusses his current work regarding political theology and the construction of the modern racialized world, speaks about the Obama presidency and the recent Occupy movement, and reflects on theology’s ongoing work in the wake of colonialism. Part I of the interview addresses Carter’s current work as it relates to his first book, Race: A Theological Account, and presses into the nature of political theology within... Read More

Criticism, Commitment, and Cultural Engagement: A Review of James K.A. Smith’s The Devil Reads Derrida

James K. A. Smith, The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009. 163 pages. $12.24 paperback (Amazon). Click here or on the image to purchase The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays from Amazon.com and help support The Other Journal. It has become all too common these days for discussions of North American evangelicalism to transpire solely in terms of disdain, so much so that the very... 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

Clement, Badious, and Prometheus: On Christianity as Mediated Revolution

The transition of power in a major world government poses a good opportunity for Christians to pause and consider what we truly want for the governance of our cities and nations. What are we theologically entitled to hope for as a projection of a common good? What do Christian creeds, habits, and ideals tell us about the sort of political spaces we ought to desire? The coincidence of this political period in the United States with the Incarnation cycle in the Western liturgical... Read More