World War I, the Supreme Court, and a cross in the Mojave desert: what does this mean?

World War I, the Supreme Court, and a cross in the Mojave desert: what does this mean?


World War I, the Supreme Court, and a cross in the Mojave desert: what does this mean?

So, I’ll pick up a hot potato: In what seems like it is becoming a typical 5-to-4 decision last week , the Supreme Court decided in Salazar v. Buono that the World War I memorial—or more precisely, the cross that is part of the memorial—that stands in the Mojave National Preserve is not unconstitutional and does not advance a particular religion…

How one seminary celebrated Earth Day

How one seminary celebrated Earth Day


How one seminary celebrated Earth Day

Getting ready to plant 75 trees at Concordia Seminary. Credit: Diane Meyer/Respublica “Christ is risen! Christ will come again! Let’s go plant some trees!” Which is exactly what we did at Concordia Seminary today. 75 of them. Our chapel preacher, Chuck Arand , summoned us to the stewardship of creation with the words above


The Medart is dead


The Medart is dead

John's Town Hall, RIP My good friend and colleague Chris Born and I walked a few blocks from Concordia Seminary today to have lunch at one of our regular haunts, John’s Town Hall , on Skinker in the Dorchester. The place was empty. Closed

Seeing God in the movies

Seeing God in the movies


Seeing God in the movies

“The Dude abides.” It’s a topic that, in one way or another, we’ve talked about numerous times in this blog, like here , here , here , or here . Or you could just see them all in the movies category. It’s also the name of a seminar I will be team-teaching on the four Tuesday nights of April. The course carries this premise: “Even if God isn’t mentioned, nearly every film contains an implied theology.” And we’ll look at plenty of examples to prove that thesis: “Citizen Kane,” Ingmar Bergman, “Star Wars,” Woody Allen, Spike Lee, “Toy Story,” the Coen brothers…you name it


Dante’s Inferno and the simulacrum of hell


Dante’s Inferno and the simulacrum of hell

I haven’t owned a video gaming system since my parents got my brother and me the original Nintendo. But I’ve seen the commercials for “Dante’s Inferno” a number of times now, and I confess I’m captivated. Not that I intend to buy it. The real Dante’s Inferno is one of the great works of world literature, and still defines much of our visual mythology of hell. (This despite the fact that, for Dante, hell was freezing cold rather than burning hot.)..


Latina ethics scholar to speak at Concordia Seminary


Latina ethics scholar to speak at Concordia Seminary

María Teresa Dávila Noted ethics scholar Dr. María Teresa Dávila will speak at Concordia Seminary tomorrow night, Thursday, March 18, at 7:00PM. A professor at Andover Newton Theological School, she will be giving the fifth Annual Lecture in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Missions of Concordia’s Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS). The theme for Dr. Dávila’s lecture is “ Unión, Reunión y Comunión : Latino/a Religious Diversity and the Wager of Ecumenical Communion.”..


Yelp for churches


Yelp for churches

So I just ran across this from another blog : ChurchRater.com . Evidently, founder Jim Henderson decided to start the Web site to rate churches–in the same way that TripAdvisor rates hotels or Yelp rates everything else–to help people find local faith communities. And in case you were wondering, Jim owns a consulting business to help churches “see themselves through the eyes of Outsiders.” Yeah, I’m not surprised either. I’m curious to see how high this gets off the ground. I have found myself using Yelp or AroundMe on my iPhone to check out churches when I’m out of town. The pickings are slim. Perhaps this will fill a void. As to what it says about the commodification of American religion, there’s a long line in that check-out lane

The Velvet Revolution, Vaclav Havel, and Stanley Hauerwas – 20 years later

The Velvet Revolution, Vaclav Havel, and Stanley Hauerwas – 20 years later


The Velvet Revolution, Vaclav Havel, and Stanley Hauerwas – 20 years later

Vaclav Havel, center in red scarf, placing a candle at a Prague commemoration of the Velvet Revolution (Petr David Josek/AP) The New York Times did a nice retrospective yesterday on Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution on its 20th anniversary. I was 15 years old when the Berlin Wall fell along with all the other Eastern European dominoes that fell in its wake