Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

The Piety of Quitting

In Theology on May 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm

One vivid memory comes from my days as a Master’s student, when my professor walked into the room with such a look of serenity on his face. He told us that the president of the university had just replaced the chair of the religion department with someone whom I knew to be an unqualified hack. So why the serenity? He described it as confirmation. What reservations he had about leaving the university vanished with that move. A year later, he was at a new university out West, where he finished his career and recently retired.  Read the rest of this entry »

Is Hauerwas’s Ecclesiology Sectarian?

In Book Progress, Theology on March 25, 2016 at 7:43 am

I have been struggling with a question for some time now: Is Stanley Hauerwas’s ecclesiology sectarian? Or more precisely, Should I call Stanley Hauerwas’s ecclesiology sectarian?

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Fasting is My Frenemy

In Theology on March 18, 2016 at 5:58 am

Well, it’s Great Lent again in the Orthodox Church (I rant about our stupid inability to get on the same calendrical page here). This is a period of more focused spiritual reflection, of “fasting, confession, and prayer,” all three of which I suck at.  Read the rest of this entry »

Facing Forgiveness

In Theology on March 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm
It is forgiveness Sunday in the Orthodox Church. This is how we begin Great Lent. I missed Forgiveness Vespers because of car problems. I could offer a blanket, “Please forgive me.” There is nothing wrong with that. Still, there is something about looking into the eyes of the person you may or may not have wronged, of asking forgiveness for wrongs you may not know you have committed. Forgiveness Sunday reminds me of Fr. Zossima in The Brothers Karamazov. Each of us needs to see ourselves as responsible for all the wrongs done to all people, and thus infinitely obligated to make things right. Forgiveness is not easy. It should not be easy. It is about facing the fact that in what we have done, and perhaps most in what we have failed to do, we have broken the world, and we are obligated to make things right.

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