Blogs by Female Theologians

Michael L. Westmoreland-White, Ph.D., at Levellers–Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers, has started compiling an annotated list of women that blog about theology.

He comments on “the dearth of women who have theology blogs. Female pastors with broadly pastoral blogs can be found in the blog-ring RevGalPals. And Christian (and Jewish, etc.) women with personal blogs that sometimes or regularly speak to broadly religious themes are far more common. But academically-oriented theology blogs run by women are fairly rare–despite the growth of feminist theology and female theologians in both ecclesial and academic posts. In some Ivy League divinity schools the number of female students is actually larger than male students and this has been true for over a decade. So, I am not entirely certain why this is not reflected in the “blogosphere”–unless it just means that the women are (a) too busy having real lives, (b) too busy writing BOOKS instead of blogging.

Here are the few female-run theology blogs of which I am aware. If you know of others, let me know.

Cynthia Nielsen, an adjunct instructor in philosophy and graduate student in philosophy, has a great blog called Per Caritatem. The focus is usually on Medieval theology and philosophy of religion–and the synthesis in the Middle Ages was so close that the line between those disciplines was very blurred.

Parables is the personal blog of a Mennonite theology student (and subject of an upcoming Peace Blogger interview), Abigail Miller, using the nom de blog, “espiritu paz,” or Spirit of Peace. She blogs on many subjects, but theology is definitely in the mix.

Pam Garrud (Pam BG) is a British Methodist “probationer minister,” originally from the U.S. PamBG’s Blog often contains theological reflections. She also has a separate book blog where she is currently blogging through Stephen Sykes’ The Story of Atonement. (Pam will also be interviewed in the Peace Blogger interviews as soon as I can get them going again.)”

For the rest of the list–

Victoria Bresee

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A Used Bullet

From Nathan Brown

It’s a small, rusty piece of metal, but it gives me a chill when I look at it. While visiting Cambodia last year, my wife picked up this used bullet-not the casing, the actual pointed projectile-amid the gravel on a road through an area that was known as a “blood field,” a place of mass killing and mass burial.

It’s a sobering thing to hold in one’s hand and contemplate its probable history. Given its location and the gruesome modern history of Cambodia, it may well have been the means by which someone was killed. This tiny piece of metal tearing through his or her body with horrific speed and shattering impact probably destroyed the life of a unique person, someone who had a family, who had hopes, dreams, and fears; someone who was loved immeasurably by God. All this was ripped away– –extinguished–with the crack of a gun and the sickening thud of this bullet, another nameless victim among the millions in the evil and tragic madness of our world.

Still more disturbing is the realization that this act of brutal and evil destruction is at the heart of the many wars, conflicts, and assorted violence taking place in the world at this moment. This lethal fragment of metal and the many, more diabolical, military “technologies” are the means by which the grand causes of the day are “advanced.” This is the currency-we are told-with which our freedom and prosperity are bought. Contemplating the cold reality of this artifact of a forgotten and horrifying death, we must ask ourselves whether the soul-destroying and life-smashing price is worth the too often self-centered result. Add a single used Cambodian bullet, and the arguments for “just war” seem even more hollow.

At our various days of war remembrance we ostensibly honor those who have died for their respective countries, and this is valid-if that is what we are really doing. But these days are marked most enthusiastically by those in the “victorious” nations. The commemorations would be more awkward if we would label them as days honoring those who have killed for their countries. That is what we have asked and continue to ask the young people of our various nations to do. With political-speak, media spin, denial, and ignorance, we gloss over the stark reality of one group of people using high-powered pieces of metal to tear to shreds another group of people, and vice versa. War is death.

Albert Camus summed it up well: “There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.” He was borrowing heavily from a teacher named Jesus. Jesus said-and showed-there are causes worth dying for. He told His disciples that “the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends” (John 15:13).

Jesus was not interested in His disciples killing to protect Him from arrest and death (see Matt. 26:51-54). In Jesus’ teaching, not only did He affirm the commandment against killing; He said we should not be angry or hold a grudge (see Matt. 5:21-26) and that we should love our enemies (see verses 43-48), meaning that we should take active steps to seek their good. This world-changing command was echoed by Paul’s instruction that we should “conquer evil by doing good” (Rom. 12:21).

If we are to take Jesus seriously, we need to recognize the power of goodness, the strength of weakness, and the force of humility. It seems, ironically, that if more people were prepared to die for goodness, there would be less need for killing in the name of the various causes employed to justify armed conflicts.

Holding the cold Cambodian bullet brings a fresh understanding as to why “those who work for peace . . . will be called the children of God” (Matt. 5:9).

Immigration Update

From Carrie Patrick

“The US Senate set its sights on passing a bill granting legal status to 12 million illegal immigrants, despite claims by opponents that the move is tantamount to a mass amnesty.

The fragile coalition of lawmakers behind the deal hopes to cling together despite an expected flurry of amendments designed to kill a measure that would form a key plank of President George W Bush’s legacy. The bill, agreed last month with the White House, would also establish a merit-based points system for future immigrants and institute a low-wage temporary worker programme. It includes a border security crackdown, punishments for employers who hire illegal immigrants and an attempt to wipe out a backlog of visa applications from those who have gone through legal immigration channels.”  MORE