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"How many of Cone's books have you read?"

Ever since Jeremiah Wright posed that question to Sean Hannity eight years ago, I've been meaning to write a diary on James Cone, the premier figure of Black Liberation Theology.  I've promised many times to do it, but have been held back by a sense that I had to do it perfectly.  I've started to revisit Cone in light of #BlackLivesMatter - his writings are so pertinent to the conversation about racist police brutality that has been going on for decades but is just beginning to gain traction beyond the spaces one could always expect it.  Instead of providing an overview and summary of all of Cone's ideas, I'm just going to reflect a little on re-reading his first major book, Black Theology and Black Power.

Poll

Cone changes my sense of theology.

14%3 votes
52%11 votes
23%5 votes
9%2 votes

| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 09:05 AM PDT

MininstryOfTruth Needs Help (NYC)

by dirkster42

I just saw this tweet and received MinistryOfTruth's permission to post something:

Jesse has done terrific work with raising awareness of class inequality and hopefully someone can help him out with a lead for a place or even a couch.  

He's been a valued member of this community for years.  Please add your thoughts on his contributions and presence in the comments - he could use a reminder of how wonderful he is.

You can find him on Twitter or leave comments here - he is having trouble with Daily Kos access, so I will pass info along to him at Twitter.  If people need more specific information to contact him directly, I will DM him on Twitter.

Update - thanks from Jesse:

Update 2:  People have requested a link to Jesse's PayPal account:  You can find it in this comment from Eileen B.

Discuss

I've spent the weekend feeling fairly depressed, much of which I think is a reaction to recent news about how imminent a real global warming catastrophe is, about the fact that for Brazil, it's already here.  I think of my students, the future I am hoping to help them create, and everything that's coalescing to deny them that future.  

Of course, depression is not going to do anything to stop this.  And I think back to the wisdom of one of my teachers:

What we need is neither optimism nor pessimism ... but committed love.  This means we remain committed to a vision and to concrete communities of life no matter what the "trends" may be.  Whether we are immediately "winning" or "losing" cannot shake our rooted understandings of what biophilic life is and should be.
These words come from Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing, by Rosemary Radford Ruether.  Published in 1992, her argument followed the World Conference on Environment and Development in expecting that the trends of modern society give us until about 2030 to make major changes in how we live before a series of disasters forces changes on us..  In the meantime, the news from climate scientists has only grown more alarming.  I reviewed this book some years back, but it's still pertinent.  More on the flip.
Poll

The world is in crisis, but polls are fun.

19%19 votes
35%34 votes
44%43 votes

| 96 votes | Vote | Results

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One of the classic strategies of Western colonialism is "white men protecting brown women from brown men," in the words of post-colonial theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.  (Handy discussion on PDF.)  This strategy also is a staple of Islamophobic discourse.

One salient fact that flies in the face of the idea that Islam is a one-way ticket to women's oppression is that several Muslim majority countries have higher levels of female representation in national legislatures than the United States does.

The Interparliamentary Union has compiled the data.

Let's take a closer look on the flip.

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"Relational theology" is a line of thought in contemporary theology.  It has gone in a direction I am not very happy with.  Steering the conversation back to one of its original voices, Carter Heyward, is one little thing I can do to resist things going in a wrong direction.  I've published this diary in the past, but new people on the site might get something out of it.

Heyward was one of a group of eleven women who broke the barrier to women’s ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church in 1974.  Rather than wait for the church to “be ready” for women priests, these eleven women and three bishops proceeded with an “irregular” ordination that forced the issue.  Heyward continued to take radical stands in the Episcopal Church, coming out as a lesbian in 1979.  If you are going to read one, and only one, book of hers, I would recommend the collection of essays, Our Passion for Justice: Images of Power, Sexuality, and Liberation.

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Centering: Meredith Monk, Gotham Lullaby

Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
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Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:59 AM PST

RIP Beverly Wildung Harrison

by dirkster42

I have been meaning to write a diary on Beverly Wildung Harrison's breathtaking - and inexcusably out-of-print - book Our Right to Choose: Toward a New Ethic of Abortion for some time now.  I just learned that Harrison died on December 15.

Harrison was a Presbyterian feminist ethicist, who taught at Union Theologial Seminary for many years.  Along with her life partner, Carter Heyward, Harrison forged a distinctly relational understanding of religious ethics.  Harrison learned much of her relational approach from the works of the Reformed theologian H. Richard Niebuhr, on whom she wrote her dissertation.  Harrison moved into more radical directions - embracing a socialist feminism as a necessary starting point for any adequate ethics - but always maintained a dialogue with her liberal Protestant roots.  Her collection of essays Making the Connections: Essays in Feminist Social Ethics (also out of print), should be required reading for those who want to pursue a progressive political and ethical vision.

I do not have time this morning to lay out the details of her thought, but some links are here:
Mourning the Loss of Beverly Wildung Harrison
"God Bless the Revolution"

Discuss

Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
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Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM PST

Look, Everyone! I published a book!

by dirkster42

Today is the release date of Voices of Feminist Liberation: Writings in Celebration of Rosemary Radford Ruether, which I co-edited with Emily Silverman and Whitney Bauman.  It was very much a labor of love.  It was released at a price meant for institutional buyers, so if you could ask your library to order a copy, I would be eternally grateful.

I've written previously about Ruether in my first diary in The Religious Left series, in a book review of her book of ecological theology and ethics Gaia and God, and for the My Favorite Authors/Books series.  Cassiodorus reviewed her book America, Amerikkka: Elect Nation and Imperial Violence.  A little overview of the contents of the book in her honor on the flip.

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Several months back, I tried to bash the historical reality of a pervasive theological affirmation of evolutionary theory into the oversimplified narrative of religion against science.  I've seen little evidence that my efforts did much to change the discussion.  Today, I came across another example that reminded me that this history can't be repeated enough - and maybe it's not a bad idea to reflect just a tiny bit on WHY this constellation of historical data doesn't make into the overall picture of the science/religion dialogue as generally seen in 2012.

The journey continues past the sqiggle.

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Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT

Sisters and Brothers

by dirkster42

         Sunset Pictures, Images and Photos

Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
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Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 09:38 AM PDT

Ph.D. to Food Stamps

by dirkster42

In 2010, I earned a Ph.D. in theology.  Within a year, I was on food stamps.    I'm not alone.  According to the latest records, there are 33, 655 people in my position.

In my case, the issue has been one of trying to break into a teaching profession.  I recently signed up for a sequence of classes in professional editing because I'm not seeing it as a wise move to keep putting off work that actually pays to do the things I need to do to get a teaching job (I've been doing informal editing work to keep a roof over my head, which I'm now supplementing with petsitting - in the meantime, I have a few research projects to finish up).  I've applied to private high schools and community colleges, everywhere the door is shut.

But, let's say I get that teaching position.  The likelihood is that my financial situation would not change....

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