Category: Theology and Practice

“Biopolitics” Are Unavoidable

In the struggle to fight COVID-19, terms like “public health” and “community health” have been bandied about in an attempt to describe the ways in which our health as individuals is not dependent on ourselves alone. Wendell Berry says: “I...

/ September 28, 2021

Laughter and Simplicity: Why Didn’t the Monad Cross the Road?

Q. Why didn’t the monad cross the road? A. Because it lacks spatial location.

/ August 23, 2021

Starfish Stories

At the climax of the recent wannabe-blockbuster film The Suicide Squad[1], a giant mind-controlling starfish is wreaking havoc across a nondescript non-American city when the team of super-villains (who are, from a story perspective, the heroes of the movie) must...

/ August 18, 2021

Vengeance is the Lord’s

In the Song of Moses, the dying leader of Israel preaches the word of God to God’s people. In Deuteronomy 32:35, God declares in this song, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” God’s vengeance is deadly: “I put...

/ August 2, 2021

Fragility, Heroism, and the Conditions of Modern Masculinity

Near the end of the 2009 movie Zombieland, Woody Harrelson’s character shares his deep grief at losing his three-year-old son. Tallahassee, the gun-slinging warrior who kills zombies by opening his car door into their faces while driving, is distraught. A...

/ July 28, 2021

Government: Ally or Antagonist?

In years past, Christians were an ascendant force in culture. More recently, they have become a forgotten relic. Whether cultural force or relic, governing authorities rarely had cause to make Christians uncomfortable. But the coronavirus pandemic led to regional lockdowns...

/ July 22, 2021

An Unresolved and Perilous Ambiguity

Recently, the 48th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America convened in St. Louis, Missouri. While much important business was conducted in the span of a few days, considerable attention was directed to the issue of ordination standards, particularly...

/ July 12, 2021

Mary’s Visitation in the Present Tense

For the church in the West, July 2nd has traditionally marked the church’s remembrance of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. Both were with child under fearful and threatening circumstances. And in Elizabeth’s womb John the Baptist leaped...

/ July 2, 2021

Thin Discipleship

We are experiencing a crisis in American evangelicalism. Responses to issues such as partisan politics, police brutality, or the pandemic demonstrate deep “fault lines” — as one author has recently argued. One explanation argues that these fault lines have developed...

A Conversation with Lydia Dugdale, MD: “The Lost Art of Dying”

How are we supposed to die? As a resident physician and fellow of Duke’s Theology, Medicine, & Culture Initiative, I’m convinced that this question will only become more pressing for Christians. Medicine is among the most powerful forces shaping how...

/ May 10, 2021