Testimony in the Old Testament

Scot posted a review of Anathea Portier-Young’s book, Apocalypse against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism, last Saturday. I got to work with Thea a couple summers ago, when I taught at Sewanee Summer School. She’s great — one of the shining lights of the future of biblical studies.

Here’s a great video of her talking, passionately, about the Hebrew Scripture:

America: Getting Dumber

PRINCETON, NJ — Forty-six percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. The prevalence of this creationist view of the origin of humans is essentially unchanged from 30 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question. About a third of Americans believe that humans evolved, but with God’s guidance; 15% say humans evolved, but that God had no part in the process.

Read the rest of the depressing stats: In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins.

Every Catholic You Know Is “Intrinsically and Gravely Disordered”

Sister Margaret Farley, however, does not think you're disordered.

Don’t take my word for it. Just ask the Vatican, which, in its condemnation of Margaret Farley’s book, Just Love, reminded its flock that masturbation is an “intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” Which means that about 95% of the Catholics in the pews this Sunday will be guilty of the heinous sin of self abuse.

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Monday sharply criticized a book on sexuality written by a prominent American nun, saying it contradicted church teaching on issues like masturbation, homosexuality and marriage and that its author had a “defective understanding” of Catholic theology.

The Vatican’s orthodoxy office said the book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics by Sister Margaret Farley, a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order and emeritus professor of Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, posed “grave harm” to the faithful.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that in the 2006 book, Farley either ignored church teaching on core issues of human sexuality or treated it as merely one opinion among many.

Farley said Monday she never intended the book to reflect current official Catholic teaching. Rather, she said, she wrote it to explore sexuality via various religious traditions, theological resources and human experience.


The Farley critique, signed by the American head of the congregation, Cardinal William Levada, comes amid the Vatican’s recent crackdown on the largest umbrella group of American sisters. The Vatican last month essentially imposed martial law on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, accusing it of undermining church teaching and imposing certain “radical feminist themes” that were incompatible with Catholicism.

It ordered a full-scale overhaul of the group and appointed three bishops to carry it out.

The crackdown on Farley, a top American theologian, will likely fuel greater resentment at Rome among more liberal-minded American sisters.

The Vatican examination of the book began in 2010 and involved seeking Farley’s responses to its concerns. After her replies failed to satisfy the Congregation, it moved to a full-fledged “examination in cases of urgency” that concluded Dec. 14.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the decision last March and ordered the decision published.

In its statement, the Vatican singled out specific problems in Farley’s book which it said “affirms positions that are in direct contradiction with Catholic teaching in the field of sexual morality.”

Farley, for example, writes that masturbation doesn’t raise any moral problems and can actually help relationships rather than hinder them. The Vatican asserted that according to church teaching “masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”

[Read more...]

A Free Theology Book

For one day only, Brazos Press is offering Death and Afterlife: A Theological Introduction for free on the Kindle.

Plus, they’ve got a bunch of other books at 55-65% off.


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