One of the first sermons that I remember preaching was about identity. How each of us carry these multiple layers of meaning by which we relate to the world and the world relates to us. Some of these layers we have inherited or have been given to us by others, while others are ones that we have worked for and strive to maintain. Some are harmful and some are helpful, some speak to the truth of who we are while others perpetuate a false self.
Religion provides adequate reasons for suspicion for activists to consider them allies. Within the United States, Christian theology and scriptures have been used to support policies and social structures which run counter to the goals of Liberation, Autonomy, and Self-Determination. In countries where another religion possesses the majority, similar forms of fundamentalism and tacit (or overt) theocracy exist as well. If, in our quest for realized justice, we are addressing elements ingrained in the fabric of society, institutional partners must also be included and changed.
The history of Christianity is notoriously lacking in its recognition of female leaders as well as in acknowledgment of the influence that they may have had upon other well-known figures in the development of the faith. By intentionally seeking out these underrepresented figures, we can see that not only were they present but they contributed in major ways despite social constraints.
This morning, I came across a quote from Paul Tillich that caught my attention. It made me think of the influences that have shaped me into the person who I am today. Usually, we think of teachers, pastors, friends, family members, or authors who have contributed to our development, but Tillich’s quote reminded me of the environmental influences that may, more subtly, effect our perspective. My formative years were spent at Winema Christian Camp, located along
Last year, I taught a series on Christology and Whiteness in which we discussed the various ways that Euroamerican assumptions become the default in the ways that we understand the Christian faith, scripture, and the Church. Additionally, we looked at Black Theology as a necessary critique for this dominant perspective (More on Black Theology here and here) and the need to enculturate the gospel with diversity for its full embodiment. One of the illustrating points of how a community reclaims Jesus
After a trip into Los Angeles with the kids, I decided to take a detour through Pasadena and stop at one of my favorite bookstores- Archives Books. They specialize in academic religious material, theology, biblical studies, commentaries and the like. There is no fluff here- no pop Christianity, no self-help, no self-published rants.