This summer seems to be the summer of guest voices at MereO. Either we are going through a major identity crisis and are desperately reaching for others to bring us a voice and thesis that we can’t find ourselves…or, we’ve finally hit that delightful stage in an ongoing conversation when you suddenly discover that other people have great things to say and you want to really engage with them rather than use them as a sounding board for your own ideas. I think the later has been taking place for some time here in our conversational on-line digs, and it’s exciting to benefit from the thoughtful engagement with other evangelicals who are good writers, great thinkers, and eminently charitable in sharing their time and talents with us.
Along those lines, it is my pleasure to introduce another guest writer at MereO. Two years ago the Acton Institute invited us to send a blogger to their annual summer conference, Acton University, to cover the week-long conversation on the intersection of Christianity and economics. I covered the event and am deeply grateful to Father Sirico, Jordan Ballor, and others who patiently allowed me to cut my blogging teeth at the conference. This year, MereO is sending a new correspondent to do the same and we hope you enjoy the fruits of her labors over the next few days. Rebecca Elizabeth is smart, funny, down-to-earth, and one of the most generous and compassionate people I know (the proof of her last two characteristics being her decision to marry me) and I heartily recommend her to you as she will bring her common sense perspective as a middle school teacher and amateur writer to bear on the topics up for discussion at Acton: market economics and the family, globalization and capitalism, evangelical social thought, and entrepreneurs in the Muslim world.
REBECCA ELIZABETH: “I’m not really what you call the blogger type (I actually don’t know the type, but whatever it is, that’s not me). I love physical things like flowers and dirt, pen and paper, a hardback book, nature walks and most especially food. Computers seem to me to be something of a necessary evil, even when they are helpful, so I try to spend as little time on them as possible. But if your idea of a blogger includes the nerd, then I guess I would be something of the blogger type. I love ideas and arguing about them. History, theology, anthropology and philosophy are my particular favorites (if those can be called “particulars” – Plato is rolling over in his grave). I blame this nerdy tendency on my father, of course, at whose dinner table I received not only great food, but an appetite for pursing the truth through dialogue (Plato’s at peace once more). It was hardly a coincidence when my future husband (MereO’s own Tex) showed up at our dinner table, possessed of those same two loves and we fell in love and eventually got married. That was also my introduction to this blog, which though it lacks the great food of our dinner table, nonetheless presents fascinating, worthwhile ideas and encourages rigorous thinking about them. So its my privilege to be a guest blogger for a couple of days. I’ll be covering the Acton Institute’s conference on integrating Christian theology, philosophy and sound economics.”
REBECCA ELIZABETH: Wow . . . . I just looked over the schedule for the summer conference at Acton University. As a humanities guy, I’m not interested in economics––but the course offerings are very attractive. What’s your personal motivation for attending the conference? Because you get to build your own curriculum, which courses are you selecting? Besides the Foundation Sessions, I’d choose the following if I was there:
* Alexis de Tocqueville: Philosopher of Civil Society
* Natural Law and Protestant Public Theology
* Evangelical Social Thought: Justice Grounded in Love
* Rousseau, Equality and Modernity
* Bonhoeffer’s Social Ethics
I noticed that one of the Foundation Sessions concerns “Christianity and the Idea of Limited Government.” I’m curious about this topic, so I hope you’ll share with Mere O readers about whether Christianity commits us to a certain size of government (limited or large) and, if so, why.
[…] be doing a running update of coverage by those here at AU: Mere Orthodoxy sends a new voice, Rebecca Elizabeth, to AU. She covers Rev. Robert Sirico’s opening night talk in “The […]