Issue 25.5: Encounter

From the hypostatic union to imperial missiology, Christianity has always been about encounter—about the unexpected, tense, and sometimes redemptive collision of persons and possibilities. At the second annual Duke Graduate Conference in Theology, participants reflected on how the idea of an encounter shapes our Christology, pneumatology, theological anthropology, ecclesiology, and sacraments, as well as our engagements with race, gender and sexuality, geopolitics, ecology, the interreligious, and so on. The Other Journal, in collaboration with the conference committee, has invited several participants to adapt their essays here as a way for the larger public to see how a new generation of theologians is approaching contemporary questions in theology.

The Encounter conference was held at Duke University Divinity School from September 25 to September 26, 2015. This text is adapted from the original call for papers.

Amaryah Armstrong

James Cone and the Blackness of God

This essay considers James Cone’s affect on thought through messing up and messing with the conceptual field of theology.

James Cone
Gabriel J. Catanus

Bonhoeffer in the Boondocks

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was only twenty-one when he wrote Sanctorum Communio, a text hailed by Karl Barth as a theological miracle. And yet, perhaps because it was translated and printed much later than his other work, most students of Bonhoeffer miss out on this foundational work of ecclesiology. To simplify the miraculous: traditional ecclesiologies begin with […]

David Berka

Disability, Vulnerability, and the Problem of Providence

I have a friend—I will him call John—who has lived with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) for many years. A man in his early seventies, John moves and communicates very slowly but laughs easily and loudly. He loves making artwork and walking outdoors. John also suffers from a form of mental illness called intermittent explosive […]

Justin Ashworth

Healing the Open Wound: Imagining Christian Border Ethics with Gloria Anzaldúa

Border encounters occur every day in our global and globalizing cities.[1] We consume food touched by people born outside the United States; we purchase things from non-citizens, brush shoulders with them as we go to work. Some of us kiss immigrants goodbye as we head out the door for the day, while others of us […]