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PLT Seeks Communication and Event Coordinator

Project on Lived Theology Logo

The Project on Lived Theology is a research community that convenes religion scholars and writers, students and practitioners, across diverse academic fields and confessional traditions to understand the social consequences of theological ideas and religious commitments. This position includes both administrative and outreach duties, including in-office tasks, events coordination, local and community outreach, social media and general correspondence, overseeing website content, and related duties as they arise.

Required Experience & Qualifications:

  • High school diploma, as well as one year of relevant experience is required. A degree or combination of education and training may substitute for experience.    
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and attention to detail.
  • Website experience.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Experience with social media content creation and management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to interact with Project participants and staff.
  • Experience working in academic institutions.

Preferred Experience & Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Religious Studies, English or Communications
  • Some formal training in contemporary Christian Thought is a plus.

$22 – $25/hour commensurate with experience with an excellent state benefits package.

For more information on the job, please contact Jessica Seibert, Operations Manager: jrs6dd@virginia.edu.

To apply, please use the official UVA job posting found here.

 

A Weekend of Conversation and Inspiration with John M. Perkins

February 22-23, 2020

How do we make justice and love a reality in our lives and in our communities? With wisdom born of 60 years in activism and Christian ministry, visionary leader and civil rights pioneer Dr. John M. Perkins guides the way.

A long time friend of Theological Horizons and The Project on Lived Theology nationally revered leader from Jackson, MS, Dr. John M. Perkins returns to Charlottesville for three free events over the weekend of Feb 22-23, 2020.

 

Saturday, February 22: A Morning Workshop on Community Activism & Engagement with Dr. Perkins

9:30 am coffee

10-12 am Workshop

at First Baptist Church, 632 West Main Street, Charlottesville

Questions or to RSVP? Email Anne Brown or DeTeasa Gathers.

Saturday, February 22: “Parting Words on Race and Love”: An Evening in the Rotunda with Dr. Perkins

7:30pm

in The Dome Room at the University of Virginia

Dr. Perkins will be joined onstage by Dr. Nathan Walton, a UVa PhD and Executive Director of Charlottesville’s Abundant Life Ministries, who will moderate the discussion.

This event will be live streamed and archived on Theological Horizon’s websitefacebook page.

Seating in the Dome Room will by ticket only. Seating in the Lower West Oval Room will be free, first come and first served.

Sunday, February 23: “Dream with Me”: An Afternoon of Storytelling, Music and Worship with Dr. John M. Perkins & the Charlottesville Worship Collective.

3:00pm

at The Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center at Charlottesville High School

Free and open to the community.  No tickets required All are welcome.

Sponsored by the Project on Lived Theology at UVA, the Department of Religious Studies, and Theological Horizons.

For more event details and up-to-date event listings please click here to visit the PLT Events page. We also post updates online using #PLTevents. To get these updates, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @LivedTheology.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Black Freethinkers

Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism, by Christopher CameronA History of African American Secularism

There are many histories of African-American religion, but in this new book, historian Christopher Cameron charts the largely overlooked impact of irreligion on two centuries of black intellectual life. Cameron’s work challenges the idea that atheism, agnosticism, and religious skepticism were exclusively the concerns of whites. He documents how a tradition of black freethought shaped the careers of well known figures, including Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, and James Forman. Cameron makes a compelling case that to understand the effects of religion, scholars also need to be attentive to those who rejected it.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

Cameron offers a compelling survey of African American freethought across two centuries. Rather than treating secularism as a regulatory discourse of modern statecraft, Cameron unpacks the alienations, arguments, and aspirations of black secularists themselves. He brings depth and clarity to an aspect of African American religious history rarely given the sustained attention it deserves.” —Leigh Eric Schmidt, author of Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment 

“In African American intellectual history, religious skepticism, agnosticism, atheism, and secular humanism have long been lost in the shadow of the black church. Taking a closer look at the evidence, Cameron shows that the experience of slavery and the degradations of proslavery Christianity also led some enslaved and free blacks in the nineteenth century to varieties of unbelief. This tradition laid a foundation for the next century, from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Power movement and beyond. With deft readings of a host of fascinating figures, Cameron shows how black freethinkers made important interventions in American culture.” —Christopher Grasso, author of Skepticism and American Faith: From the Revolution to the Civil War

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

Theology after Colonization

Bediako, Barth, and the Future of Theological Reflection

Tim Hartman’s Theology after Colonization (Notre Dame Press, 2019) uses a comparative approach to examine two theologians, one from Europe and one from Africa, to gain insight into our contemporary theological situation. Hartman examines how the loss of cultural hegemony through rising pluralism and secularization has undermined the interconnection of the Christian faith with political power and how globalization undermined the expansive mindset of colonialization. Hartman engages Swiss-German theologian Karl Barth, whose work responded to the challenges of Christendom and the increasing secularization of Europe by articulating an early post-Christendom theology based on God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ, not on official institutional structures or societal consensus. In a similar way, Ghanaian theologian Kwame Bediako offered a post-colonial theology. He wrote from the perspective of the global South while the Christian faith was growing exponentially following the departure of Western missionaries from Africa. For Bediako, the infinite translatability of the gospel of Jesus Christ leads to the renewal of Christianity as a non-Western religion, not a product of colonialization.

Many Western theologies find themselves unable to respond to increasing secularization and intensifying globalization because they are based on the very assumptions of uniformity and parochialism that are being challenged. Hartman claims Bediako and Barth can serve as helpful guides for contemporary theological reflection as the consensus surrounding this theological complex disintegrates further. Collectively, their work points the way toward contemporary theological reflection that is Christological, contextual, cultural, constructive, and collaborative.

“Tim Hartman presents one of the strongest texts, from the perspective of Western theology, that argues for the wider world appeal of contextual African theology; one of the best and perhaps the only courageous proposition I have ever read that presents Karl Barth as a contextual Western (Swiss) theologian without diminishing Barth’s influence.”

—Elochukwu Uzukwu, Duquesne University

“This is the first significant comparison of Kwame Bediako and Karl Barth and one of the few treatments of Bediako. Tim Hartman’s volume is very rare in the fields of theology and mission studies”

—Willie Jennings, Yale Divinity School

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more resources from our Fellow Travelers, click here. For more news from PLT, click here. Engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology. To sign up for the Lived Theology newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Following of Jesus

The Following of Jesus: A Reply to the Imitation of Christ, by Leonardo BoffA Reply to the Imitation of Christ

The Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff has been a leading advocate for liberation theology for decades, urging believers to prioritize the poor. In Boff’s The Following of Jesus, he offers a reflection on Thomas à Kempis’s fifteenth century Christian classic, The Imitation of Christ, and a gentle correction to that renowned work. Rather than simply prioritize spiritual contemplation and devotion, Boff envisions a Christianity that calls on the faithful to imitate Jesus’s commitments to the socially marginalized and to care for the earth. This translation from Dinah Livingstone makes Boff’s clear and concise prose accessible to English-language readers.

Here is an excerpt from a 2016 interview with Boff about liberation theology:

Liberation theology is not a discipline. It is a different way of practicing theology. It does not start from existing theological traditions and then focus on the poor and excluded populations of society. Its core is the struggle of the poor to free themselves from the conditions of poverty. Liberation theology does not seek to act for the poor via welfarism or paternalism. Instead, it seeks to act with the poor to tap their wisdom in changing their life and livelihood.

How, then, do we act with them? By seeing the poor and oppressed through their own eyes, not with those of an outsider. We must discover and understand their values, such as solidarity and the joy of living, which to some extent have been lost by society’s privileged… Seeing the reality of the poor firsthand awakens an outsider to the inadequacy of his perceptions and doctrines for judging it and how to change it. This occurs in two ways: first, through understanding the mechanisms that generate poverty and, second, by awakening to the fact that poverty and oppression contradict God’s plan and that actions must thus be taken to eliminate them.”

For more information on the publication, click here.

For the full interview with Boff, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Color of Compromise

The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, by Jemar TisbyThe Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism

In The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racismauthor Jemar Tisby uncovers the roots of sustained injustice in the American church, highlighting the cultural and institutional tables that need to be turned in order to bring about real and lasting progress between black and white people. Tisby walks the reader through a historical journey, starting at  America’s early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War, covering the tragedy of Jim Crow laws and the victories of the Civil Rights era, and ending at today’s Black Lives Matter movement. Through these time periods, he reveals the subtle and not-so-subtle ways the American church has compromised what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality.

However, Tisby does not just diagnose the persistent problem of racism within the church, he proposes a way to solve it. Through The Color of Compromise, he charts a path forward with intriguing ideas that further the conversation as he challenges us to reverse these patterns and systems of complicity with bold, courageous, and immediate action.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“In giving us a history of America and the Protestant Church, Jemar Tisby has given us a survey of ourselves-the racial meanings and stratagems that define our negotiations with one another. He points courageously toward the open sore of racism-not with the resigned pessimism of the defeated but with the resilient hope of Christian faith. The reader will have their minds and hearts pricked as they consider just how complicit the Church has been in America’s original sin and how weak a word ‘complicit’ is for describing the actions and inactions of those who claim the name of Christ!”—Thabiti Anyabwile, Pastor, Anacostia River Church

“With the incision of a prophet, the rigor of a professor, and the heart of a pastor, Jemar Tisby offers a defining examination of the history of race and the church in America. Comprehensive in its scope of American history, Tisby presents data that provides the full truth and not a sanitized version that most American Christians have embraced. Read this book. Share this book. Teach this book. The church in America will be better for it.”Soong Chan Rah, North Park Theological Seminary


For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

Call for Applications: Summer Internship in Lived Theology 2020

2020 InternshipNow Accepting Applications for Summer 2020

The Project on Lived Theology is now accepting applications for the 2020 Summer Internship in Lived Theology, a service learning immersion that offers undergraduates an opportunity to think and to write theologically about social justice and human rights in the context of community service in North America. To download an application, click here.

The internship is open to UVA undergraduate students in any field of study. Selected participants spend the summer interning with the partnering institution of their choice. Each intern works directly with a UVA faculty member who acts as a theological mentor, offering guidance in reading, discussing, and writing about selected texts. Each intern also has a site mentor who shapes his/her work experience and may act as a conversation partner in the intern’s academic and theological exploration. Throughout the summer, interns blog for the Project on Lived Theology website; at the end of the internship, interns complete a final project and present their work at a public event.

The deadline for application submission is February 21, 2020.

For more information on the internship and to read blog posts and biographies from past interns, click here.

For online updates about the PLT Summer Internship, please use #PLTinterns, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @LivedTheology.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Martin’s Dream

Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., by Clayborne CarsonMy Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

In Martin’s Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.author Clayborne Carson chronicles a decades long quest to understand Martin Luther King, Jr. the man, delves into the construction of his legacy, and tries to understand how King’s “dream” has evolved. This all began on August 28, 1963, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flocked to the nation’s capital for the March on Washington.

Carson was only 19 at the time, and had hitched a ride to Washington to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. As a black student from a working-class family in New Mexico, this speech was a life-changing occasion for Carson, and it launched him on a career to become one of the most important chroniclers of the civil rights era. Two decades later, as a distinguished professor of African American History at Stanford University, Mrs. King picked Dr. Carson to edit her late husband’s papers. In this book, Carson draws on new archives as well as unpublished letters to take the reader on a journey of rediscovery of the King legend.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“Clay Carson’s compelling personal story confirms Coretta King’s wisdom in entrusting the Martin Luther King papers to his care. We owe Clay a tremendous debt of gratitude for bringing us a richer understanding of Martin King and the philosophy of creative non-violence to which he gave his life. We are still on a journey to Martin’s ‘Beloved Community’ and we are fortunate Clay Carson has shared his own journey with us.” ―Andrew Young, author of Walk In My Shoes

“A remarkably candid memoir. . . No matter how much you may think you know about the Civil Rights Movement, you will learn from Carson’s journey and will likely be surprised by the many challenges he faced as he struggled to define and to preserve Dr. King’s many contributions for posterity.” ―Michelle Alexander, author of the bestselling The New Jim Crow

“Clayborne Carson’s compelling memoir is full of meaningful insights. This book is a must-read!” ―Clarence Jones, author of Behind the Dream

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Laughter of the Oppressed

The Laughter of the Oppressed: Ethical and Theological Resistance in Wiesel, Morrison, and Endo, by Jacqueline BussieEthical and Theological Resistance in Wiesel, Morrison, and Endo

In The Laughter of the Oppressed: Ethical and Theological Resistance in Wiesel, Morrison, and Endo, author Jacqueline Bussie attempts to tackle the following unanswered questions: What is the theological and ethical significance of the laughter of the oppressed? And what does it mean to laugh at the horrible–to laugh while one suffers? While the majority of ethical philosophical theory and western theology maintains that laughter is nihilistic and irresponsible, especially if occurring within tragic circumstance, Bussie argues that the dominant social location of these theologians and theorists has led to a gap in inquiry, to a failure to consider laughter “from below.”

In this book, Bussie broadens the Judeo-Christian theological lens to examine the multicultural, modern historical fiction of Elie Wiesel, Toni Morrison, and Shusaku Endo as case studies. These authors’ well-respected texts, in dialogue with voices from within and beyond their traditions, help us construct a theology of laughter. The Laughter of the Oppressed not only interrupts the banality of evil and the dualism of faith and doubt, but also deconstructs the dominant consciousness. Such laughter challenges theology to rearticulate the relationships between God and evil, theology and theodicy, theology and language, paradox and faith, tragedy and hope, and oppression and resistance.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

Jacqueline Bussie reads familiar texts with a keen theological eye and provides fresh and innovative insights into these literary classics. With exquisite literary sensibility and bold theological imagination she helps her readers to understand how genuine laughter emerges from the depths of suffering. This is theological writing of the highest order — intelligent, faithful, and deeply moving.” —Ronald F. Thiemann, Bussey Professor of Theology, Harvard Divinity School

“Bussie listens deeply to the voices of people traditionally marginalized to discover how they have given expression to the paradox of ‘colliding narratives’ and responded creatively to tragic suffering…The Laughter of the Oppressed…is indispensable for those concerned with theodicy and the problem of suffering, the theology of the cross, liberation theologies, and the use of fiction as a theological resource.”Karen Teel, Catholic Books Review

“Political jokes arise in dictatorships and their laughter is liberating oppressed and silenced people. They are nothing less than a resonance of the laughing God in heaven. “The Lord shall have them in derision.” (Ps 2,4). The arrogance of power is ridiculous because God is God. I read this fascinating study with growing admiration. It is a masterpiece and a great contribution to every liberating theology.” Jurgen Moltmann

For more information on the publication, click here.

Dr. Jacqueline Bussie is an award-winning author, professor, and theologian. An active servant-leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Jacqueline teaches religion, theology and interfaith studies classes at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she also serves as the Director of the Forum on Faith and Life.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Dear Church

Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US, by Lenny DuncanA Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US

In Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US, Reverend Lenny Duncan uses his unique background and perspective to point out the problems he sees in his denomination, and in the Christian community at large. Formerly incarcerated, Duncan is now a black preacher in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which is the whitest denomination in the United States. Although many people may blame shifting demographics and shrinking congregations for a less vibrant community, Duncan sees something else at work, and draws a direct line between the church’s lack of diversity and the church’s lack of vitality.

Dear Church is a book that is part manifesto, part confession, and all love letter, and encourages the church to rise up, dust itself off, and take on forces of this world that act against God: whiteness, misogyny, nationalism, homophobia, and economic injustice. Duncan calls everyone—leaders and laity alike—to the front lines of the church’s renewal through racial equality and justice.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

Rev. Lenny Duncan is a voice calling in the wilderness. I am deeply grateful for the comfort and the discomfort his book brought me. I dare you to read this book, church. I dare you to be open to the repentance it calls for, to the grace it manifests, to the pain it witnesses to. I dare you to be changed by the truth in its pages. I dare you to not look away. It’s time.” Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastor and New York Times bestselling author of Shameless: A Sexual Revolution

“Our brother Lenny Duncan has crafted a masterful and heartbroken indictment of where the Lutheran Church could be and where it is instead. He stands fiercely grounded in the Lutheran tradition of revealing our own brokenness, proclaiming our hope in Christ, and challenging us to live into love of neighbor. His individual experiences and our churchwide practices are woven together in an unsettling illustration of how the American idol of white supremacy has laid the foundation for a wide array of vitriol, from Dylann Roof to transphobia to the election of the forty-fifth president. Prepare yourself, church. This is a love letter you have to read–and a proclamation that will leave you convicted.” Emmy Kegler ELCA Pastor and author of One Coin Found

“Lenny Duncan has given us a bold and fearless book filled with unsettling but indispensable insights into the stranglehold white supremacy inflicts upon our churches. At the same time, we feel a holy, ferocious love radiating from every page. This book should be required reading for all who love our church and lament our failures. If you don’t come away breathless, hope-struck, and fired up for revolution, check your pulse.” Heidi Neumark, Trinity Lutheran Church Manhattan

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our fellow travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers. To sign up for the Lived Theology monthly newsletter, click here.