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Source: (consider it) Thread: Live theologians
hatless

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Which living theologians have you found most stimulating? Who, if they wrote a new book or came to speak nearby, would make you visit the bookshop or try to attend?

For me:
Jürgen Moltmann, though his best work was in the 1970s.
Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza
Phyllis Trible
John Dominic Crossan
Sallie McFague
Rowan Williams
James Alison
N T Wright
John Zizioulas
Paul Fiddes
James D G Dunn

These are all ones who have shifted my understanding significantly. Some of them are biblical scholars, but that doesn't mean they don't do theology.

Only Alison is under sixty.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Martin60
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Populist that I am, Brian McLaren and Rob Bell.

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Love wins

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Demas
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# 24

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If we include popularisers, I have at times found Spong useful though at his stage of life I wouldn't burden him with my expectations of him publishing anything I haven't read before. I would go to the bookshop like I would go to the final concert of a beloved singer past her days - for old time's sake rather than the music.

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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leo
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Love James Allison
loathe Tom Wright

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Gramps49
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Reformation Historian Timothy Wengert comes to mind, especially since this is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

My wife went to Lutheran Campus Ministry with Tim. He married my wife's best friend.

We have kept in touch, off and on over the years

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Galilit
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Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow (who just last year published an amazing new book which was like a conversation of how they developed as people and as theologians in the Olden Days (Mid 1970's) and where each one is today)

Roesmary Radford Ruether

[ 26. September 2017, 16:54: Message edited by: Galilit ]

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She who does Her Son's will in all things can rely on me to do Hers.

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Schroedinger's cat

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I think Moltmann is the only one I would go out of my way to hear.

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take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Gwai
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Years ago a friend made me go hear Gustavo Gutiérrez. I'm not a theologian and I hadn't heard of him, but I was very glad I went.

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
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Enoch
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Too many of the people whom I wish could go on this list have died in the last 10 years or so - some more recently than that. Also, there are quite a lot of people I've heard or would like to hear who are distinguished but whom shipmates probably wouldn't class as theologians. Alas I tend to be more excited b people who are experts in particular areas that interest me rather than 'theological personalities'. However, here goes, in alphabetical order to avoid being invidious:-

Of names people have mentioned whom I've already heard speak and therefore have to go on my list,
Rowan Williams,
N T Wright.

Living people I've encountered who ought to pass muster for this sort of list,
David Adam,
John Bell,
Ursula King,
Max Turner,
Esther de Waal,
Bishop Kallistos Ware,
Hugh Williamson.

Living people I'd go to hear if they were speaking nearby,
Margaret Barker,
Laurie Brink,
Sarah Coakley,
Aidan Hart,
Alastair McGrath,
John Millbank,
Jürgen Moltmann,
John Zizioulas, though I'm not sure I'd be able to understand him.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Dafyd
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Another mention for Rowan Williams.
I'd add:
Nicholas Lash
David Martin
Denys Turner.
(According to wikipedia all still alive.)

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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hatless

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How did I forget Denys Turner.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Sipech
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Have met Tom Wright a fair few times and always have time for him. Similar for Jimmy Dunn. Moltmann can be a bit long-winded in his writing, but I wouldn't turn down the chance to hear him speak. Similar for Stanley Hauerwas. I'll agree with Brian McLaren and Rob Bell. Into that group, I'd also add Greg Boyd.

If you're going to be a fly on the wall, I'd love to hear a conversation between Paula Gooder, Rowan Williams and Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Wouldn't touch JD Crossan with a bargepole. The man is a charlatan and distorter of the gospel.

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheAlethiophile

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Gamaliel
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These lists make me realise how little theology I've read ...

It ought to stop me in my tracks and stop me pontificating.

I've met Wright and Rowan Williams and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware. I've read some Zizoulas but was little the wiser afterwards.

People have suggested I'd like Hauerwas but I've not read him.

I tend to read more poetry, biographies and 'factual' or historical stuff these days as well as fiction - but ought really to read more chewy theology.

My reading matter has become increasingly 'secularised' over the last 20 years.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Crœsos
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For some reason I'm picturing a wooden crate with air holes and a warning painted on the side "Caution! Live Theologians", probably with one of the helpful arrows to indicate which end is up. Perhaps I'm a bad person for this.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
For some reason I'm picturing a wooden crate with air holes and a warning painted on the side "Caution! Live Theologians", probably with one of the helpful arrows to indicate which end is up. Perhaps I'm a bad person for this.

[Killing me]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Ohher
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I was hoping to read about some test which sorts the live ones from the rest.

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
For some reason I'm picturing a wooden crate with air holes and a warning painted on the side "Caution! Live Theologians", probably with one of the helpful arrows to indicate which end is up. Perhaps I'm a bad person for this.

LOL.

I'm generally not inclined to academic theology. IMVHO, academic theologians are no more qualified to figure out things about God than anyone else. I think it's a basic right of everyone who's ever lived to figure out Who or Not, why, how, etc.; what any of that means; and what (if anything) to do about that.

I tend to pick up my theology where I find it (religious books, novels, TV, movies, random overheard comments), and make up some of my own. My profile has a list of books I've found helpful at various times, in various stages.

I don't know if Buber's "I and Thou" qualifies as academic theology. I read at least part of it, probably in my late teens or early twenties. I like the basic concept a lot. However, I tried it again, maybe 15 years ago. In the meantime, I'd gotten rather...sensitive...to books that act like women don't even exist. So I only managed a few pages.


My current fave "theologians":

Anne Lamott
Madeleine L'Engle
Terry Pratchett.

Particularly Terry Prachett, in his Disc World novels. Agnostic that he was, he understood just about *everything* about *everything*.

Oh, and the Fox broadcast series "Lucifer" is proving thought-provoking. He's three-dimensional, and capable of growth.
[Cool]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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cliffdweller
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Many of my favorites have been mentioned already. But the one I will--and have-- traveled out of my way just to hear is Greg Boyd

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
For some reason I'm picturing a wooden crate with air holes and a warning painted on the side "Caution! Live Theologians", probably with one of the helpful arrows to indicate which end is up. Perhaps I'm a bad person for this.

On the contrary, I for one am pleased you posted!! If I went to hear one speak, I would ask an awkwardquestion or two, but, recalling RD's questioning of Rowan Williams some years ago, I am aware there would not be a clear answer.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Pangolin Guerre
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# 18686

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I heard Stanley Hauerwas preach at St James Cathedral Toronto two years ago, and it was rather short of the mark. I had expected a more sharply honed sermon from him, but he was unable to decide what his subject should be, and what he did say was not especially penetrating. I left uninspired.

(Tangentially, this occasion is memorialised in MW2954. It's a rather crusty review which seems to misunderstand a number of things, not least that because of Hauerwas being the man of the hour, it was not a typical Sunday at all. I also skipped the coffee.)

[ 27. September 2017, 06:28: Message edited by: Pangolin Guerre ]

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
For some reason I'm picturing a wooden crate with air holes and a warning painted on the side "Caution! Live Theologians", probably with one of the helpful arrows to indicate which end is up. Perhaps I'm a bad person for this.

On the contrary, I for one am pleased you posted!! If I went to hear one speak, I would ask an awkwardquestion or two, but, recalling RD's questioning of Rowan Williams some years ago, I am aware there would not be a clear answer.
I'm not aware of any awkward questions. Or of an imbalance of them. That wouldn't be just as awkward for physicalists.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
I heard Stanley Hauerwas preach at St James Cathedral Toronto two years ago, and it was rather short of the mark. I had expected a more sharply honed sermon from him, but he was unable to decide what his subject should be, and what he did say was not especially penetrating. I left uninspired.

I don't think I have ever seen Hauerwas as a preacher. His presentations make sense if you are looking for academic point B to lead on from point A and to move towards point C - but they often seem to lack passion and the kind of "buzzphrases"* which people can pick up even if they've zoned out of the rest of the talk.

Contrast Hauerwas to Cornel West. West is a passionate preacher and takes the audience because he usually riffs on a theme (and if you watch him doing it enough times it isn't long before you recognise the same phrases and thought processes throughout what he is saying) and has clearly thought about the way he is delivering the message so that individual phrases will stand out after the event.

Both are long-winded. Both are very intelligent and well-read. But they clearly see the purpose of giving talks differently.

*bad term but I can't think of what else to call it at the moment

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Golden Key
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mr cheesy--

Is this Dr. Cornell West, the African-American minister?

He's buddies with Tavis Smiley, an African-American host of his own talk show on PBS. (Ethnicity matters both for identification and for certain aspects of their work.) CW is sometimes on TS's TV show, and they did a road trip, years ago, to focus on certain things. They also have a radio show together.

CW kind of preaches as he talks. Haven't seen him before an audience/congregation, but I'm guessing that might sometimes be pretty intense.

FWIW, YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Love James Allison
loathe Tom Wright

I forgot the Walters - Brugemann and Wink - boh very relevant.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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ExclamationMark
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The best ones are those all around us
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
mr cheesy--

Is this Dr. Cornell West, the African-American minister?

That's Dr Cornel West (note the spelling), distinguished Professor of Public Philosophy at Harvard and with a long academic career at Princeton and Union Theological Seminary.

quote:
He's buddies with Tavis Smiley, an African-American host of his own talk show on PBS. (Ethnicity matters both for identification and for certain aspects of their work.) CW is sometimes on TS's TV show, and they did a road trip, years ago, to focus on certain things. They also have a radio show together.
Not quite sure why this is relevant.

quote:
CW kind of preaches as he talks. Haven't seen him before an audience/congregation, but I'm guessing that might sometimes be pretty intense.

FWIW, YMMV.

I think he's fairly well known as a prominent and public intellectual, philosopher and theologian. That's why I mentioned him in contrast to other academics mentioned above.

[ 27. September 2017, 14:43: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Gramps49
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Mark Allen Powell from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus OH. New Testament Scholar, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. Also a music critic.
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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:
Have met Tom Wright a fair few times and always have time for him. Similar for Jimmy Dunn. Moltmann can be a bit long-winded in his writing, but I wouldn't turn down the chance to hear him speak. Similar for Stanley Hauerwas. I'll agree with Brian McLaren and Rob Bell. Into that group, I'd also add Greg Boyd.

If you're going to be a fly on the wall, I'd love to hear a conversation between Paula Gooder, Rowan Williams and Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Wouldn't touch JD Crossan with a bargepole. The man is a charlatan and distorter of the gospel.

Hah! Agree on Crossan. Used to sneer at Rowan and then flipped. A good man. Nadia, a good woman!

But Greg flamin' Boyd?! The man's a dualist nutter. He cannot admit he's talking complete and utter bollocks about evil.

Just read the Wiki back of an envelope on long dead Tillich. LOVE HIM! He lives for me. Anybody about which The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology states, "At best Tillich was a pantheist, but his thought borders on atheism." has to be great and good.

I did get to see John Polkinghorne KBE, FRS captivate a full lecture theatre at Northampton University. I could listen to him all day long for many days.

[ 27. September 2017, 16:28: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Martin60
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Boyd: "Recall that in Genesis 6 we’re taught that angelic beings materialized and had sex with “the daughters of men” (Gen. 6:2,4). Their offspring were apparently hybrid creatures who were abnormally large. Hence they were called “Nephilim.” If that isn’t messing with the natural order of things, what is?"

Just one appallingly anti-intellectual example of his helplessly pig ignorant wooden fundamentalism in Satan and the Corruption of Nature: Seven Arguments.

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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mr cheesy--

I really only know of Dr. West in the context I mentioned. That's why I wondered if you were talking about the same person, and wondered that someone outside the US would know him. I think I'd heard of his academic background, but had no idea about the rest of it.

No disrespect to him or you. I just didn't know.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
mr cheesy--

I really only know of Dr. West in the context I mentioned. That's why I wondered if you were talking about the same person, and wondered that someone outside the US would know him. I think I'd heard of his academic background, but had no idea about the rest of it.

No disrespect to him or you. I just didn't know.

OK - you didn't seem to know, so I told you.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Just read the Wiki back of an envelope on long dead Tillich. LOVE HIM! He lives for me. Anybody about which The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology states, "At best Tillich was a pantheist, but his thought borders on atheism." has to be great and good.

I did get to see John Polkinghorne KBE, FRS captivate a full lecture theatre at Northampton University. I could listen to him all day long for many days.

Fundies think of Tillich as near to atheism beccause he didn't belive in THEIR kind of God - which doesn't mean that he didn't believe in God.

Polkinhorne is good on science but a bit of a plod when it comes to theology.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Sipech:
If you're going to be a fly on the wall, I'd love to hear a conversation between Paula Gooder, Rowan Williams and Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Paula Gooder gets everywhere these days but she is really second-rate.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Baptist Trainfan
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I heard Tina Beattie a few years ago and was impressed. Conversely I heard Spong and was exceedingly anti-impressed. I've never heard him, but read a little of Miroslav Wolf and liked it (and quoted him in a recent sermon).
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cliffdweller
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Went to a symposium/ panel discussion between Volf and NT Wright about 2 years ago which I remember as being excellent although for the life of me can't rember the topic :

Went to book reading by Nadia Boltz-Weber locally and it was just downright FUN

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Anselmina
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Heard Brueggemann years ago, lecturing on the Old Testament and its relevance to modern prophecy. Must say, I found it authoritative and inspiring. Never forgot it.

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

Posts: 9930 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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Probably of little surprise to anyone, but I'm enjoying the theology of Pete Rollins at the moment.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I heard Tina Beattie a few years ago and was impressed. C

I know her, she lives near me and she is loyal to the magisterium as she can be.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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hatless

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# 3365

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Probably of little surprise to anyone, but I'm enjoying the theology of Pete Rollins at the moment.

I've enjoyed some of his stuff, too. And enjoy is the word. Cliffdweller said Nadia Bolz-Weber was fun (she is) and why not? Theology doesn't need to be dry. Rowan Williams is a ponderous guy, but his lighter stuff, like Being Disciples is a delight to read.

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My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4483 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
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# 17175

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I saw Nadia Bolz-Weber at Greenbelt last year and loved her. I would also happily go to see:

Tina Beattie
Rowan Williams
Susannah Cornwall
Cornel West
Teresa Forcades (heard her at Greenbelt this year, and she was wonderful)

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Garasu
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# 17152

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Might I throw Andrew Shanks into the mix?

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"Could I believe in the doctrine without believing in the deity?". - Modesitt, L. E., Jr., 1943- Imager.

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Martin60
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# 368

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As long as he's the author of "A Neo-Hegelian Theology: The God of Greatest Hospitality" and not "Echoes of the Messiah: Finding Our Story in God’s Story".

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Love wins

Posts: 16582 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Probably of little surprise to anyone, but I'm enjoying the theology of Pete Rollins at the moment.

I've enjoyed some of his stuff, too. And enjoy is the word. Cliffdweller said Nadia Bolz-Weber was fun (she is) and why not? Theology doesn't need to be dry. Rowan Williams is a ponderous guy, but his lighter stuff, like Being Disciples is a delight to read.
Rowan Williams is always both a bard and a theologian. Even when he fails, he tends to do so "in stereo". I'm thinking there particularly of "Lost Icons", which I found both leaden and intellectually incredibly frustrating. The warning bells started to sound for me when I found the poetic voice dying: when that dies, the theology tends also to ring hollow to me.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Probably of little surprise to anyone, but I'm enjoying the theology of Pete Rollins at the moment.

A surprise to me at least, as I've never heard of him.
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irreverend tod
Apprentice
# 18773

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Susannah Cornwall - I got taught by her, well worth hearing more
John Bell
Rowan Williams
Richard Rohr

but I'll give anyone a hearing if they are prepared to get up and argue their case - I'm always prepared to be proved wrong or have my assumptions/prejudices challenged.

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Diocesan Arsonist and Lead thief to the Church of England.

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Probably of little surprise to anyone, but I'm enjoying the theology of Pete Rollins at the moment.

A surprise to me at least, as I've never heard of him.
He's awesome. Just his background and transcendence of it is unique. A backstreet existential theological poet.

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Love wins

Posts: 16582 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
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