Rites of Passage: Sabbatical as Sabbath

sabbatical

The first spring I spent in Chicago after two years of living in southern California was magical. Do you know how brilliant the first green grass is after a long snowy winter? Having grown up in South Dakota I was and am intimately familiar with dramatic season changes.  But something about having been out of [Read More...]

Christian Privilege & the Religion Professor

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Today is Better Together Day!  The designation comes from the Interfaith Youth Core, lifting up the day to encourage more people to have one conversation with a person of a different religious or non-religious background.  It’s an effort to combat some of the basic ignorance about other religious views that pervades our culture, and religious [Read More...]

When Religious Freedom Only Protects Heteropatriarchy

Gay_Marriage

It’s not really religious freedom. Conservative politicians have been on a roll for the past couple of years coopting the idea of religious freedom, itself an important element of our pluralistic democracy.  The version they are trumpeting and carving into law, however, is anything but religious, free, pluralistic, or democratic.  Indiana’s new law is only [Read More...]

At the Intersections: On Being Black and Queer at a Black Baptist Church

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Many good people live and work at the intersections, and I occasionally invite someone to tell a story from where they stand. Today’s piece comes from Brittany Spaulding, a Chicagoan who will graduate from Illinois College this May.  Brittany looks forward to starting work on her MFA in Poetry at Columbia College Chicago in the fall.  She is [Read More...]

Feminist Theology of the Cross and the Eucharist

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My first book, Coram Deo: Human Life in the Vision of God (Pickwick 2006), is newly available for Kindle starting this week.  It originated as my dissertation at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  Here’s an excerpt: A commitment to feminist theological criticism grounds what I identify to be the problem of atonement as [Read More...]

A Feminist Religion Professor’s Valentine’s Weekend

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What’s a great way to spend a heteronormative greeting-card holiday? At conference for gay and lesbian college student activists? Yesss! A couple of years ago, it so happened that I was teaching an essay by bell hooks on the patriarchal construct of romantic love on February 14. A key idea in “Romance: Sweet Love” is [Read More...]

Disciplining the Spirit With Jack Levison

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One of the richest, most complicated, and ineffable topics in theology is the Spirit. Some Christians call it the Holy Ghost, though I much prefer the Hebrew term ruach. Breath. Wind. Air. When I have the opportunity to do a little Hebrew vocabulary with my students, I have them hold one hand in front of [Read More...]

For Damaged Girls

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“No matter your age, you have rights to your own body.” “Churches are a community, but your body is not community property.” “You, and only you, have the ability to say yes or no for yourself.” “Your feelings are valid: It’s OK to be who you are.” “You are loved.” Dianna Anderson is crystal clear [Read More...]

Faith Leaders Issue Statement Opposing 20-Week Abortion Ban Bill

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I have written here before about my involvement in the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute at the Center for American Progress, and have written to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in previous years. Today, I am proud to be one of the signers of a public statement opposing legislation in the House of Representatives [Read More...]

Feminist or Faithful? Big Eyes and a Woman’s True Awakening

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Some people have written about how Tim Burton’s film, Big Eyes, portrays the feminist journey of Margaret Keane, played by Amy Adams. Yet no one is talking much about the role of religion in her tale of eventual empowerment. I certainly think there are feminist critiques of patriarchy embedded in the film. From the voiceover narration [Read More...]


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