Dag Hammarskjold and the Importance of Reflection by Micah Wimmer

This post is written in conjunction with the “Becoming a Public Scholar-Activist” course and is directed by Monica A. Coleman. In the United States, the tortured artist has become an idealized archetype of sorts for many, taking on a bizarre type of cultural cache. Sylvia Plath’s suicide is construed as romantic, Ernest Hemingway’s as a masculine revolt against existence, and Kurt Cobain’s as adding a new sense of earnestness to his band’s frequently hopeless music. Dag Hammarskjold was not an… Read more

Public Scholarship and Activism in Today’s World – Monica A. Coleman

I went to divinity school with a calling to ministry, but unsure if that meant being the lead pastor of a local church or … something else. A couple years later, I was a minister and survivor of sexual violence and I found myself with a show-string budget leading an effort that offered a church response to sexual violence. I was on the ground with survivors, police, pastors, social workers and rape crisis centers trying to break silences about how rape, incest and sexual abuse affect our faith. Years later, I wrote a book about this work with the hope that other churches and crisis centers could learn from the experiences I had in Nashville, Tennessee. Before I knew it, I was speaking and teaching about this work and the book in churches and conferences around the country. As a young religious scholar, I hoped to write books that would transform how people understood faith and theology. I had no preparation for what it meant to be this public with my activism or scholarship. Read more

Displaying the Ten Commandments in the Public Sphere: Even When it is Unconstitutional it is Constitutional (by Matt Bussell)

This post is written in conjunction with the “Religion and Law in the U.S.” course dialogue project and is directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao. On June 27, 2005 the United States Supreme Court ruled on two court cases dealing with displays of the Ten Commandments: McCreary County v. ACLU (http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/545/03-1693/) and Van Orden v. Perry (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1500.ZS.html).  Instead of resolving the debate about the constitutionality of Ten Commandments displays, the Supreme Court complicated the discussion even more as they found display… Read more

Skiing With Jesus May Not Be Illegal – But Could It Be Unconstitutional? (by Saul Barcelo)

This post is written in conjunction with the “Religion and Law in the U.S.” course dialogue project and is directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao. For the last  59 years, skiers in the Whitehead Ski Resort in Montana have had the privilege of skiing along Jesus Christ for no extra cost.  However, that could change in the near future, thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation who filed a lawsuit asking for the removal of the statue of Jesus (Freedom From… Read more

ACLU Hopes to Draw “Bright Line” Between Religion & Secular, Charter Schools (by Katie Kubitskey)

This post is written in conjunction with the “Religion and Law in the U.S.” course dialogue project and is directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao. It’s not often that one sees a conservative Christian journalist and a church-state watchdog organization playing for the same team. However, the two joined forces in 2009 to raise a case against the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, a public charter school that both parties accused of promoting Islam. The accusation was brought to the public eye… Read more

Easter: A Reflection by John Cobb

John B. Cobb, Jr., Ph.D., has held many positions including Ingraham Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology, Avery Professor at the Claremont Graduate School, Fullbright Professor at the University of Mainz, Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Chicago Divinity Schools. His writings include: Christ in a Pluralistic Age; God and the World; and co-author with Herman Daly of For the Common Good which was co-winner of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. This post originally… Read more

The Inherent Tension in Law and Religion (by William H. Floyd)

This post is written in conjunction with the “Religion and Law in the U.S.” course dialogue project and is directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao. There’s an old saw about prayer in schools which seems to have originated among liberal politicians in the 1980s: As long as there are final exams, there will be prayer in schools.  Apart from its sly attempt at humor, the line also reveals distinct understandings about prayer.  The form of prayer brought on by exams is… Read more

Pushing the Edges: New Media and Religious Communities (by Hannah Heinzekehr)

This post is written in conjunction with the “Becoming a Public Scholar” course and is directed by Monica A. Coleman. In February, Goshen College, a Mennonite-affiliated liberal arts school, announced that it was going to be launching its new iCore Technology initiative by offering a new IPad 3 to every incoming freshman in fall 2012. The college believes that this initiative will help new students learn to integrate “cutting edge” technology with education, and will also help the college in… Read more

Endorsing Religion? Obama Administration argues for Cross on Public Land (by Katrina Myers)

This post is written in conjunction with the “Religion and Law in the U.S.” course dialogue project and is directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao. Last week the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to allow a 43-foot-tall cross that serves as a war memorial on public land to remain atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego.  The administration reasoned that the cross has been there since 1954 and does not endorse religion. This request follows last year’s ruling in Trunk v…. Read more

Does Your Mom Get It? (by Sheri Kling)

This post is written in conjunction with the “Becoming a Public Scholar” course and is directed by Monica A. Coleman. Just the other day, during a panel discussion on “Creating Women’s Theology,” Dr. Monica A. Coleman (who co-authored a book by the same name) said this was the first of her texts that her mother really understood.  After all, Dr. Coleman is typically writing about things related to process theology and philosophy, and anyone who’s read Alfred North Whitehead can… Read more




Browse Our Archives