May 17, 2012

Ada Maria Isasi-Díaz passed away this past weekend, on Mothers’ Day, after a struggle with cancer. She was a significant feminist, Latina theologian who taught theology for many years at Drew University. She coined a new discourse in feminist theology, mujerista theology, which sought to synthesize and put forward the voices of grassroots Latinas. This theology was oriented around their experience of La Lucha, or “the struggle.” Mujerista theology assumes that in the coldness and harshness of life, this side of… Read more

May 16, 2012

Visiting with my grandmother in North Carolina, she bemoaned the decrease of her small Quaker church, fretting like many in her generation over the dearth of younger people in attendance. Without them, her little congregation is destined to wither away. It reminded me of an interesting idea I heard recently. What if churches were started with expiration dates? New churches would plan for both their ground-breaking and grave-digging. Set an expiration date just far enough in the future to accomplish… Read more

May 15, 2012

Last week I took the opportunity of the record sale at auction of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, The Scream (1895) to reflect on Munch and his work from a theological perspective. But the auctions themselves, which achieved record prices for several artists, raise their own set of theological questions that are more productive and interesting than most media commentary, which cites the disconnect between the art world and the so-called real world, or questions whether a work of art is worth $120… Read more

May 14, 2012

I am reading a book I am interested in using for a class in the Fall:  Mission After Christendom:  Emergent Themes in Contemporary Mission, edited by Ogbu Kalu, Peter Vethanayagamony, and Edmund Kee-Fook Chia (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010).  It is common to  take shots today at the notion of  Christendom brought about by Constantine’s “conversion” in 312. “Christendom” tends to denote a politico-social alliance between church and state, and Christianity and nation, producing what we often refer to as… Read more

May 10, 2012

I’ve been thinking about breath lately. Michelle Voss Roberts, in her fascinating book, Dualities: A Theology of Difference, spotlights the female, medieval spiritual writer, Mechthild of Magdeburg. Mechtild was fascinated by fluidity. Water flows. Blood flows. Air flows. God flows. Everything flows. Mechthild wrote, “Lord, between you and me there goes unceasingly an imperceptible breath in which I come to know and see many marvels” (Voss Roberts, 112). Air is a foundational element of human life. Without oxygen, no life.  In medieval… Read more

May 9, 2012

As a kid and a cartoonist, I drew quite a few superheros, the most fun part of which was coming up with the cool costumes. Now that The Avengers is out and grossing its expected millions, it made me wonder what kind of costume I might draw for Jesus as an Avenger (1 Thess 4:6). Unfortunately, the Bible offers little by way of visual description of Jesus. We get a good description of John the Baptist, decked out to remind… Read more

May 8, 2012

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1895 Last week one of Edvard Munch’s four versions of The Scream (1895) sold at auction for a record price of $120 million. An icon of modernism, The Scream was made by a truly great but complicated artist whose remarkable body of work produced throughout his sixty-year career put a sizable dent in the twentieth century artistic universe. This enigmatic Norwegian artist and his work will play an important role in my theological reflections on artistic… Read more

May 7, 2012

My husband (Mike) and I went to the Rembrandt exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art last week.  I am always intrigued when looking at great masters of art.  This was particularly so at this exhibit, where there were side-by-side comparisons of Rembrandt’s originals with artists who were schooled by Rembrandt.   Some differences were quite subtle, others very noticeable.   As I walked through and viewed the exhibit, I found myself asking, “what did Rembrandt see?”   I know what I saw:  beautiful… Read more

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