Religion and Spirituality
Monday, 13 July 2015
I am committed to the belief that a just world is possible, and that religion’s role is to help usher in that world, abandoning exclusionary theology, oppressive regimes, and violence done in God’s name. For me, spirituality is not about magical thinking or the supernatural; I feel very strongly that religion is to be about listening to God's call to move into strong, healthy, and inclusive communities in the here-and-now.
The Arts play a large role in my sense of all things, perhaps especially those things which are spiritual-centered. Throughout my work run themes addressing practices of creativity, embodiment, and (re)imagining the Divine, all of which are addressedin my work with theopoetics. I am the founder of The Association for Theopoetics Research and Exploration as well as the managing editor of THEOPOETICS, an online journal and the largest online hub for information related to the topic. The Image of Fish is a more general blogging site at which I post a variety of things, almost all related to my studies, reflection, and practice of religion. In addition to these online sources, I periodically publish in academic journals, denominational resources, and speak at various venues either as preacher or lecturer.
My wife and I serve in the ministry within the Religious Society of Friends: I carry a concern for the power of language to guide our lives and dreams and travel under the oversight of a support committee of Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting of New England Yearly Meeting. With my wife Kristina, I have taught Quaker Faith and Practice at Pendle Hill, and have created a series of adult religious education videos for use in Quaker Meetings. In the ministry I travel widely and have co-lead retreats in Michigan, Ottawa, Vermont, and various venues in New York state. I was a plenary speaker for the National conference on Quaker Leadings and Discernment, and have been the invited leader of Bible Study for both Farmington-Scipio Regional Meeting, and New York Yearly Meeting's Annual Sessions. I am interested in the practices of Early Friends and issues of discipline and transformation within Monthly Meetings.
Academically, I am a theologian and my work focuses primarily on the development of a public theology of public education, though I do juggle a number of side projects relating to creative and liberation approaches to Adult Religious Education. I work in the disciplines of Practical Theology and Religious Education, and am a huge adovacte for making theology accessible to folks. Technical academic langauge certainly does have its place, but I think that as a scholar I should make sure that at least periodically I check in to make sure my work still matters to folks who are not in the academy. Because of this committment I also am a co-host on the progressive Christian podcast, Homebrewed Christianity, which is all about making theology accessible.