Thoughts on Low Sunday

Today being the second Sunday of Easter, sometimes called ‘Low Sunday’, I suppose it makes sense to start thinking a bit more about what the resurrection. Today’s sermon on the Resurrection account in John 20 was very much an extortion to consider what the resurrection means to those of us seated in the pews – is Jesus alive to us or not?

One of the things I learned about my faith when the whole New Atheism thing launched the online careers of a thousand amateur theologians and apologists, was that I really was not one to talk. The topic that made me realise this was that of the afterlife.

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Many ordinands haven’t had their imagination informed deeply by Scripture or by the experience of life within a worshipping community for a long period of time. Even fewer have grown up in the Church. So, while they may have tremendous faith — and it takes a great deal of faith to put oneself forward for the ministry in the Church of England these days — they often aren’t native to the Church. Their way of understanding themselves and the world is typically formed within the same culture as everybody else: late modern consumerism. Through no fault of their own, they operate largely out of a secular social imaginary.

Schools for the Imagination: Reflections of a Former Theological Educator

As a simple layperson, this certainly explains a lot. A shame really, because maybe if there was serious attention paid to this, we’d have a better class of discussion. So tired of priests who don’t know a bit of Hebrew going off on some subtly anti-Semitic tangent during sermons, or those without any understanding of Thomistic theology shallowly opining on science/technology and respective ethical and interpretive concerns. It’s really… kind of embarrassing to be honest!


But *is it* decline theology?

This just in from the church side of things (how ironic – I’m trying to do more posts on critical theory of tech and the first blog post I write is online church stuff), I’ve been seeing this article by Revd. Goodhew make the rounds via a couple of priest-y friends on twitter. It’s yet another of those posts that make me realise there’s a whole other world the priests/vicars/etc. are living in to those of us in the laity.

Or just me. Yeah, maybe just me.

So anyway, Goodhew’s main argument in the article is that a key factor to the CofE semi-existential crisis is what he calls a theology of decline, or at least an organised spirit of suspicion from broad (so basically any non ‘Evangelical’) Anglicanism when it comes to the issue of church growth, where one finds – according to Goodhew – ‘hostility to talking of growing churches is widely shared, at least in the Global North’.

Continue reading “But *is it* decline theology?”

So… there was an actual fuss about this?

How Is Sarah Silverman Right About Jesus Being Gender Fluid? – Honestly people (mostly Christians, or ‘Christian-aligned’ shall we say. Yes yes, Christian hegemony and yet… why is it so decidedly basic, infantile and factually/creedally wrong Christianity…) are so silly and unimaginative when it comes to Christianity. Not that I’m a ‘truther’ but didn’t the analysis of the Turin Shroud* come out with some XXY results in the chromosomal analysis?

*I KNOW, my point is more for the kind of people that that means something to. I don’t believe believe, that the Turin shroud is real although obviously I have my biases.

No country for young women: Honour crimes and infanticide in Ireland

Women of colour, and Muslim women, are constructed as the “other;” we are told these women are given in marriage at a young age by controlling fathers who pass on the responsibility for controlling them to husbands. “Protection” of women is maintained through a rigid sytem of controlling their sexuality in a framework of honour and shame. When these women transgress the boundaries of acceptable femininity they are abused and shunned by their community. Punishments range from lashing to death, but include physical beatings, kidnappings and imprisonment.

Imprisoning women in the Magdalene Laundries deserves to be named as an honour crime because of a cultural obsession that believed the family’s good name rested upon a woman’s (perceived) sexual activity that either her father or husband or oldest brother was the caretaker of. Her sentence to the Laundry was to restore the family honour.

No country for young women: Honour crimes and infanticide in Ireland

Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny in the Caribbean

I’m always fascinated by orders of predominantly black women, probably due to all the brightly robed Nigerian nuns who could become impromptu traffic conductors at the drop of a hat. Anyway, here’s the website of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny in the Caribbean.

Pursuing a neo-Aristotelian model of gender?

Gender uniessentialism is important because it intersects with questions of the self and identity and also because of the connection it draws between what we are, gendered individuals, and, as a consequence, what we ought to do. In other words, gender uniessentialism is, among other things, a theory about our social agency and the gendered norms that govern and shape it.

–Charlotte Witt


Interesting essay of the week

‘What these countervailing powers have brought about in postmodern society is the wrong kind of scepticism. A large element of rationalist doubt certainly accompanies the decline of interest in the paranormal, driven primarily by these cultural and, latterly, technological factors. Yet underlying that doubt itself is the growing incredulity with which people evaluate anything. Supermarket discounts appear to offer wines at half-price; products for smearing on your face purport to make you look younger — these are the all-too-evident mendacities. The homilies of party politicians at election time sound like the exclamatory drivel of PR companies. And the way this stuff has permeated culture as a whole has bred a widespread incurious scepticism.’

Why have we stopped seeing UFOs in the skies?