#JesseWilliamsSyllabus

I was going to write about the liberation theology of Jesse Williams. I immediately zoned in on this piece of his speech when I watched it Sunday night on the BET Awards: “But freedom is somehow always conditional here. ‘You’re free,’ they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted [Read More…]

An Interfaith Leader’s Twelve-Step Response to the Pulse Massacre

In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education today, Eboo Patel says: “An interfaith leader is someone with the vision, knowledge base, and skill set to create the spaces, organize the social processes, and craft the conversations such that people of different religions can share a common life together.” While the essay doesn’t talk [Read More…]

Fighting Religious Prejudice with Conversation & Information

How often do you have conversations with someone of a different faith than your own? Could you ever convert to a different religion? What would you miss if you did? What are the exclusive truth claims that you hold to in your religion? What’s more important: A book about interfaith dialogue for adults or a [Read More…]

A Big Magic Believer

Some people would say that because I’m a theologian I already embrace magical thinking (i.e., all religion = magical thinking). Elizabeth Gilbert has me embracing big magic in a whole new way this year. I got her newest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, for Christmas and have made it part of my morning [Read More…]

Must Interfaith Solidarity Cost a Woman Her Job?

Apparently, at Wheaton College, a tenured political science professor who decides to wear hijab as an expression of her Christian solidarity with Muslim neighbors and quotes Pope Francis in support of that decision, is failing to “faithfully represent the College’s evangelical Statement of Faith.” In part of a December 10 public post on Facebook, Dr. Larycia [Read More…]

“Where God Is” :: Writing and Teaching in Public as Lutheran and Feminist

As I prepare to present at one workshop at the University of Chicago on Friday and attend a writing workshop in downtown Chicago on Sunday, I’m sharing excerpts of what I presented recently at the Lutheran Women in Theological and Religious Studies annual meeting at the American Academy of Religion. (For more on the two [Read More…]

Engaging & Navigating #AARSBL15

Today I’m in Atlanta for the American Academy of Religion annual meeting. When I was a graduate student first attending the gathering of 10,000-ish scholars in religion and biblical studies, the experience was a lot like a carnival. So much to see. So many rides to go on. Sightings of famous authors and receptions with [Read More…]

If Trump Was My Student: So You Just Don’t Know About Seventh-day Adventist?

Last Saturday, Donald Trump talked about his and Ben Carson’s religions at a rally in Florida: “I’m Presbyterian,” he said. “Boy, that’s down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about. I just don’t know about.” Think Progress has already done a great job debunking the [Read More…]

Fractures & Hope: Reflections on Religious Higher Ed

Today I’m at Belmont University in Nashville for the National Conference of the Lilly Fellows Program national network of church-related colleges and universities. Having served on the National Board for the LFP since 2011, I have been paying attention to many of the headlines about shifting alliances in religious higher education this year. The impetus [Read More…]

Guns, Masculinity, a Culture of Life, & Educators on the Front Line

One day about two years ago I walked into the building where I teach two of my classes and found this picture. The juxtaposition of the “no smoking” and “no guns” decals is appropriate. These are things that will kill you, kids. And our job as an educational institution is to make your life better. [Read More…]