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Posts from the ‘Festschrift’ Category

[Matt Morin] Whammy Bars and Ovaries: Forming Christian Disciples with Rage Against the Machine

Matt Morin makes a very, very welcome return appearance to the blog with his contribution to the festschrift.  If you’ve read Matt’s work before, you already know you’re in for a treat.  If you haven’t, read on, as Matt combines RATM, the writings of Subcomandante Marcos, and the bit in “Conceiving Parenthood” related to Lysol and feminine hygiene.  Best wishes to each of you for a safe and restful Thanksgiving holiday, from KNS and ALH.


We in wit the wind below

Flip this capital eclipse
Them bury life wit IMF shifts, and poison lips
Yo they talk it, while slicin’ our veins yo so mark it
From the FINCAS overseers, to them vultures playin’ markets

She ain’t got nothin’ but weapon and shawl

She is Chol, Tzotzil, Tojolobal, Tzeltal
The tools are her tools, ejidos and ovaries
She is the wind below

-Rage Against the Machine, “Wind Below”

 In his 1992 essay titled “A Storm and a Prophecy,”[1] the anonymous EZLN rebel known as Subcomandante Marcos tells of a powerful “wind from above.” This wind—neoliberal economic and governmental policy—with its strong gusts of foreign tourism, harsh penal code, police brutality, and corruption among high-ranking officials, has swept through Mexico, leaving a trail of destruction throughout the communities of indigenous campesinos. Every day, “Pemex [the national oil company]… sucks outs 92,000 barrels of petroleum and 517,000,000,000 cubic feet of gas,” Marcos writes mournfully. And as the company ravages Chiapas’s Lacandona Jungle with impunity, the starving “campesinos are not allowed to cut down trees to cultivate. Every tree that is cut down costs them a fine that is 10 times the minimum wage, and a jail sentence.”[2]

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[Kara Slade] A Sermon for the Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

There were several sermons contributed to the festschrift for Dr. Hall, one of which was by me (Kara Slade).  It was preached at Church of the Nativity, Raleigh, NC, and at Durham Resurrection Community on October 23, 2011.

Matthew 22:34-46

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’

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[Shannon Craigo-Snell] The Goodhousekeeping Panopticon, or Why I Don’t Do Yoga

Today’s guest post, another contribution to the recent festschrift, comes from Shannon Craigo-Snell, who is currently serving as Professor of Theology at  Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  Many thanks again to Shannon for her wit and wisdom.

At this point in my life, my aversion to yoga has become visceral. When someone extols the virtues of daily yoga practice, both my stomach and my fists quietly clench.  Yoga itself isn’t the problem; I have taken yoga classes in the past, practiced at home, and found the experience wonderful. My adverse reaction is more complex than simple dislike for yoga, and I came to understand it through Amy Laura Hall’s evocative phrase: “the good housekeeping panopticon.”[1]

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[Russell Johnson] Walt Disney Presents “Martyr’s Mirror, or The Bloody Theater”

Another essay from the festschrift, from the co-editor, Russell Johnson.  Russell is a 2nd-year MTS student at Duke Divinity School

And They Died Happily Ever After, Or: Walt Disney Presents “Martyr’s Mirror, or The Bloody Theater” 

Russell Johnson

This essay is inspired by Amy Laura Hall in four ways. First, it stems from an insight that formed the backbone of the class “Love in the Christian Tradition,” namely, the fact that our imaginations are fed much more by stories than by arguments. Thus, if we want to think about ethics, that we have to look critically at the narratives that have shaped and continue to shape us. Second, the essay treats on some “Hallian” subject matter: Disney movies, the raising of children, and the complicated relationship between happiness and brokenness. Third, this project began as an essay and ended as a sermon, reflecting the blurring of those two categories that Professor Hall encourages and in some ways embodies. Fourth, the essay is exploratory rather than authoritative. When her students write essays, Professor Hall encourages them to begin not with a thesis statement, but with a burning question. The way to write theology is like the recommended way to see Venice: get yourself horribly lost and then try to find your way around, taking the time to soak in everything you encounter. There’s a conclusion, but it’s far from conclusive. Interestingly enough, the same could be said about the lives of martyrs…

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[Austin Rivera] What the Church Could Learn From Frank Herbert

We’re going to continue posting essays from the festschrift (with the authors’ permissions.)  This time it is a pleasure to introduce Austin RIvera, a 3rd year MDiv  student at Duke Divinity School and candidate for elder’s orders in the UMC.

What the Church Could Learn From Frank Herbert:Reflections on Heretics of Dune

 I am not usually a reader of novels, but just recently, feeling again the urge to indulge myself in some classic science fiction, I decided to read Frank Herbert’s Heretics of Dune, the fifth novel in his “Dune Chronicles.”  I had read the fourth novel, God Emperor of Dune, in my first year of college, and picked up Heretics of Dune a little while ago at a used book store, thinking I would probably enjoy some time continuing the series.  Herbert is an author whose art as a novelist is not equal to the ideas he engages, but that does not make those ideas any less fascinating.  I suppose I should warn you at this point that there will be spoilers in the rest of this.

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