“There is nothing inherently good about gathering people together,” writes Willie James Jennings, a professor at Yale Divinity School, “but there is something inherently powerful.” His new book After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging names the distorted powers at work in Western theological education (and Western education more broadly). More than naming the distorted powers, he tries to describe a way, a vision, a hope for a theological education healed from this distortion.
Jennings has written a book the academy and the church need right now.
Welcome to the weekend! Each week, we like to offer a few quick highlights from our week that we think will give you something worthwhile to think about over the weekend. Enjoy this week’s Weekender and add to it in the comments below!
Quote Worth Repeating: “As long as even a poor theologian is capable of astonishment, s/he is not lost to the fulfillment of her/his task. S/he remains serviceable as long as the possibility is left open that astonishment may seize her/him like an armed man.” From Evangelical Theology: An Outline by Karl Barth.
Blog Post to Read: Robert Jenson’s “How the World Lost Its Story” is over two decades old. Yet, in the past year, I’ve read it numerous times. Its relevance for today is striking.
Watch this: In this video, Yale professor Willie Jennings reflects on a theology of Joy. “I look at joy,” Jennings says, “as an act of resistance against despair and its forces. And joy in that regard is a work that become a state that can become a way of life.”
Questions to Ponder: Following the conversation between Jennings and Volf in the video:
- What do you think joy is? Is it resistance to despair? Is it a gift? Is joy a virtue?
- How do you cultivate joy? As a community? As an individual? As a pastor? A theologian?
- How do we resist the commercialization of joy?
- How is your joy shaped by your space, and the elements that make your space unique? And how does joy act as a unifier across spatial, and perhaps other, divisions?