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Power, Economics, and Christian Faith from Below: An Interview with Joerg Rieger

Joerg Rieger is an internationally recognized activist and scholar who has engaged in questions of liberation, theology, and economics for over twenty years. His visionary work uses tools from cultural studies, critical theory, and religious studies to examine the relationship between theology and public life and to probe misuses of political and economic power. In this interview, Rieger discusses his recently published book on religion and the Occupy movement as well as the theological... Read More

Evil, Ethics, and the Imagination: An Interview with Richard Kearney, Part I

In this three-part interview, the illustrious Irish philosopher Richard Kearney explores the human experiences of evil. Part I of the interview considers theodicy and human responsibility for evil by contrasting Gnostic understandings of cosmological evil to St. Augustine’s understanding of evil as the privation of the good. During the course of this conversation, Kearney characterizes the human imagination as a creative capacity that can be turned to both good and evil purposes,... Read More

Religion and Its Discontents: A Review of The Myth of Religious Violence

William T. Cavanaugh. The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009. 296 pages. List price: $49.95 hardcover/$37.02 Kindle. Over the past decade and a half, theologian William T. Cavanaugh has written at the convergence of history, political philosophy, and theology with enough expertise and intelligibility to warrant public consideration within other disciplines. Cavanaugh’s most recent book is... Read More

Gods Behaving Badly: Celebrity as a “Kind of” Religion

In 1996, the pop singer Jarvis Cocker invaded the stage at the United Kingdom’s Brit Awards. Michael Jackson was performing “Earthsong.” Jackson emerged, out of a huge image of the earth, surrounded by white light. He raised his arms in the shape of a cross and started to sing about the planet. As the song continued, Jackson was joined on stage by a crowd of people in tattered clothing, and as the song came to a close the singer took off his shirt and his trousers to reveal... Read More


After resurrection, Jesus acted strange, materializing through solid wood, even though he didn’t look that different. The gashes seeped still, varnishing the tentative hand, the fingers that needed to know him new. Let me say how strange I feel, trusting this to be true—that a body can be both mortally wounded and whole enough to dodge decay, As though, half-emptied of corporeality, halfway to heaven, his hands were still bony enough to gut a couple lake fish and grill them, taking... Read More

An Ancient, Unbroken Song: A Review of Gina Oschner’s The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight

Gina Ochsner. The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight. New York, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 384 pages. $18.25 hardcover (Amazon). Click here or on the image to purchase The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight from Amazon.com and help support The Other Journal. A true fiction, he said. Always he prefaced the tale this way for his students. True because this story had been proven and lived out so many times, it didn’t require the names of actual people... Read More

“Everyone in This Room is Now Dumber for Having Listened to [Him]” : Setting Straight the Insanity of Glenn Beck on James Cone and Black Liberation Theology

Glenn Beck and his narratives are often best left ignored—his broadcasts are incendiary, and the helpful things he says are derivative and rare. However, his recent comments on liberation theology represent a particularly egregious detour from truth and authenticity, and in this case, Beck’s artful incompetency has led him to stumble into an area of my interest, an area of interest that I feel called to defend: liberation theology, specifically the liberation theology... Read More

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: An Interview with Eugene McCarraher, Part Three of Three

In the rapidly changing political and economic conditions of our time, it is important that we consider existential questions of how to live as Christians. As we seek to answer these questions, historian Eugene McCarraher offers an incisive, prophetic voice from that rare vantage point of historical competency and theological literacy. In part one of our interview with McCarraher, he talks about some salient themes emerging in the 2000s, including the credulity of the U.S.... Read More

Scalp Locks, Gaia, and the Incarnation: History and Theology in James Cameron’s Avatar

DISCLAIMERS: (1) There are spoilers ahead. (2) I am neither a well-read theologian nor a seasoned film critic, so take all of this with a grain of salt (or, as they do on Pandora, with a grain of unobtainium). There are few movies that haunt me, that move beyond entertaining, even beyond immersive, to create an experience that lingers. In these rare encounters, I walk away moved, sometimes even provoked. In a masterful stroke of filmmaking, James Cameron’s Avatar left... Read More

Crossing the Road: Jesus on Race

As a pastor’s kid, I grew up singing all of the classic Christian children’s songs. When I was in Sunday school, for instance, we sang: Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, Red and yellow, black and white, They’re all precious in his sight; Jesus loves the little children of the world. There were no red or yellow or black children in my Sunday school class, yet we were quite sure that Jesus loved them wherever they were. Now that I’m older,... Read More