July 11, 2017

I’m writing an article on Mary Daly for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Religion, and keep thinking of all the things I want to write about that aren’t appropriate for academic publications like that. The personal, quirky, maybe even mystical things … Like how I found an old copy of Beyond God the Father at a used bookstore when I was in high school in the 1980s, and inexplicably bought it. It was inexplicable because at that time I... Read more

June 15, 2017

I had to send regrets to two invitations to local interfaith iftars in the past week. Yet the word regret can’t fully capture the loss I feel this year at not being able to accept my Muslim neighbor’s act of inclusion and welcome as they celebrate the blessings of Ramadan. Why? I’ve been reading in preparation for a weeklong faculty seminar on “Martin Luther’s Theology and the Jews” at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum next week. In the afterword to... Read more

June 7, 2017

The following is from part of what I presented at the recent conference on Embodied Freedom: Exploring the Intersections Between Christian Freedom and Personal, Social, and Global Bodies. The event was part of the ELCA’s commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and one among many things related to it in which I am involved this year. When Sojourner Truth queried, “… and ain’t I a woman?” in 1851, she called into question the racialization of womanhood that pervaded... Read more

May 15, 2017

As someone who thinks, writes, and teaches about gender justice and religion, I am deeply familiar with the ways that religion is often central to the problem when it comes to sustaining gender injustice. And, despite generations now of women and men doing feminist and anti-racist and queer theologizing, the problems of misogyny, white supremacy, and homophobia remain. In the era of Trump, they are increasingly a threat to our communities, our neighbors, and ourselves. I’m sure I’ve said it before,... Read more

May 2, 2017

How does one adequately describe ways that gender studies has transformed the study and practice of religion in the U.S. and around the world? … in 8,000 words or less! This is a task I’ve been invited to undertake this summer for a chapter on “Religion” in the forthcoming Companion to Gender Studies to be published by Wiley-Blackwell to complement to their recent and wide-ranging Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. As I do this, I’m keenly aware of how... Read more

March 17, 2017

Five hundred years ago, an Augustinian monk drafted a disputation on indulgences wherein he detailed how corruption in human institutions threatened the heart of the gospel and the soul of the faithful. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses thus emerged as a pivotal point in the Protestant Reformation. The document wasn’t the first nor by any means the last disputation, treatise, essay, hymn, polemic or commentary that Luther would write, but its impact means that this year, Lutherans of many kinds are... Read more

March 2, 2017

In 1993, I had just finished college and was starting graduate school in theology when I heard about the Re-Imagining Conference.  I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening there, but it quickly became apparent that it was the gravitational center of feminist theology that fall. Many of the most respected feminist, womanist, and mujerista theologians I had been reading and was just getting to know had spoken there. Mercy Amba Oduyoye! Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite! Delores S. Williams! Barbara Lundblad! Ada Maria... Read more

February 28, 2017

I wrote the following piece which was first published in the Springfield State Journal-Register on February 1, 2017. People of faith should be leading the opposition to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order that bans refugees and effectively targets Muslims. They should have found his stated desire to do this during the campaign disqualifying. Yet, 81 percent of white evangelical Protestants and 60 percent of white Catholics voted for Donald Trump, 11 months after he made clear his intention to have... Read more

February 16, 2017

Late last summer, a group of Illinois pastors sued the state for their right to engage in conversion therapy, which had been outlawed months previously, in effect seeking a religious exemption to practice child abuse. They provide the latest example of literalist and exclusivist Christians who are used to having their discrimination tolerated and their abuse accepted. And now, these groups have a sympathetic Vice President in Mike Pence who is opposed to LGBTQ rights and supportive of efforts like this. Conversion... Read more

January 31, 2017

In the movie Hacksaw Ridge, Desmond Doss is perched on the edge of the ridge with his battalion of soldiers in retreat after a gory firefight and before an artillery strike is called in. A Seventh Day Adventist and conscientious objector who refused to carry a weapon in favor of saving lives as a medic, Doss pauses in the midst of fire and blood and disemboweled soldiers. “I want to do your will, but I can’t hear you …” He... Read more

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