Political Theologies Seminar at Marquette University

Spring 2012 Calendar

by d. w. horstkoetter

Working Project Presentation:
Rebecca Meier Rao, “The Power of Spirituality In Creating a Better Earth: the Eco-Spiritualities of Sallie McFague and Leonardo Boff,” February 2, 3:30-5 in Seminar Room 301 (Raynor).

Book Discussion:
Paul Kahn’s book Political Theology: Four New Chapters on Sovereignty. March 30, 2-3:30 in Seminar Room 301 (Raynor).

– What the Seminar has covered on Schmitt and sovereignty is here.
– Review of Political Theology: Four New Chapters on Sovereignty by Adam Thurschwell is here.
– Also, the SSRC did quite an engagement with Kahn’s book here, and within that, there is a helpful response by Kahn here.

“Thinking Aloud and Discussion with Fr. Fredrick Brenk on Late Antiquity and Modern Political Life: Church and State as Revealed in The Acts of the Apostles”
April 19, 3:30-5 in Seminar Room 301 (Raynor).

Frederick E. Brenk, S.J., is emeritus ordinarius professor for New Testament History (the Greek and Roman background of the Hellenistic books of the Old Testament, and the New Testament) of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome. He is the author and co-editor of numerous books and the author of a large number of articles in in this area, in particular on Plutarch, on Middle Platonism, on Greek Religion, and on the Isis Cult. At the present time he is preparing an article on Plutarch for the Oxford Handbook to the Second Sophistic. He has been a visiting fellow at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, and was the Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn visiting professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem during the month of November, 2011.

Project Presentation:
Josh Davis is visiting professor of Catholic Studies at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He will present on the place of theological education (catechesis) in the development of new political and social movements in Chiapas, Mexico. He will look at how the pastoral emphasis of this pedagogical practice combined empirical and theoretical viewpoints in a way that led to an indigenous “ressourcement.” While his ‘return to the sources’ shares much with its European and North American expressions, it departs from them in important and decisively political ways. We will explore the reasons for these differences and consider the nature of the movement’s continued suppression. We also will give special consideration to talking concretely about the potential for forming parallel forms of ecclesial life in the US.
May 3, 3:30-5 in Seminar Room 301 (Raynor).

Working Project Presentation:
David Horstkoetter, “Gary Dorrien, Stanley Hauerwas, Rowan Williams, and the Theological Transformation of Sovereignty.”
May 10, 3:30-5 in Seminar Room 301 (Raynor).

Time Change for Discussion on Gillespie’s Book

by d. w. horstkoetter

Book discussion on Michael Gillespie’s Theological Origins of Modernity will be November 10, 12:30-2:00pm in Raynor Conference Room 301. Not 3:30-5:00 as previously scheduled.

Also Nathan Willowby will be giving a short presentation on the book, titled “We Found Modernity’s Family Tree, Should We Cut it Down or Build an Embassy?” and following will be a discussion of the book.

Two Papers from the “Sampling Political Theology” Panel

by d. w. horstkoetter

The panel on “Sampling Political Theology” went well. Two of the working papers you can download here:

Geoff Holsclasw, Against ‘Political’ Theology

David Horstkoetter, Genealogy, Memory, and the Danger in Political Theology

The Church and Postmodern Culture,” now at The Other Journal, has begun discussing the two papers. The discussion for Geoff’s is here and for David’s is here. So go over there if you would like to participate in a discussion about the issues that the papers raise.

Fall 2011 Calendar

by d. w. horstkoetter

A panel called “Sampling Political Theology”:
Geoff Holsclasw, Against ‘Political’ Theology
David Horstkoetter, Genealogy, Memory, and the Danger in Political Theology
Rebecca Meier-Rao, The Role of the Political in Ecofeminist Theology
Thomas Bridges, Liturgical Diaspora as the Church’s Political Witness
September 15th, 3:30-5 in Raynor Seminar Room 301.

“Aquinas and Barth,” with Fr. Hughson and Dr. Long. October 13th, 3:30-5 at the Arrupe House with reception.

Book symposium on Michael Allen Gillespie’s Theological Origins of Modernity. November 10th, 3:30-5 in Raynor Seminar Room 301.

Presentation on a working project by Ben Suriano tentatively titled “Resurrection and Emancipatory Ethics.” December 8, 3:30-5 in Raynor Seminar Room 301.

These are free and open to the public.

About the Seminar

by d. w. horstkoetter

We are graduate students and current faculty in the Theology Department at Marquette University interested in theologies that intersect with contemporary political, social, economic, and cultural life.

We are conducting this seminar to deepen our projects, broaden our interests, and provide a public, scholarly forum in the theology department where people of similar interests can exchange ideas. Therefore the title, “Political Theologies,” invokes a broad frame of reference and does not limit further discussions to the school of thought known as “Political Theology.” Nonetheless we share with it a meaning of “Political” more common in Europe than in the US, and that includes economic and cultural dimensions of contemporary societies.

We also look outside the theology faculty for involvement from various, expert voices theological and not explicitly theological. Political theology is inherently interdisciplinary, and thus we see ourselves oriented toward engagement with other disciplines while retaining our theological core of exploring the implications of Christian life for what it means to be human and live together.

We are diverse but seek to cross the lines of denominations, churches, and movements in order to learn theological perspectives that have emerged and that are developing in each tradition, yet without necessarily focusing on a search for unity. Some notable sources and discussions we find helpful or worth engaging:

1. Documents by traditions, like Lumen Gentium, Gaudium et Spes, and Dignitatis Humanae from Vatican II.

2. Major thinkers in the field, like John Courtney Murray, Stanley Hauerwas, John Howard Yoder, D. Stephen Long, William Cavanaugh, Rowan Williams, John Milbank, Sally McFague, Kathryn Tanner, Johannes Baptist Metz, James Cone, Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Jon Sobrino, Ignacio Ellacuría, Dolores Williams, Dorothy Sölle, Elizabeth Johnson, M. Shawn Copeland, Duncan Forrester, John Atherton, Elaine Graham, Graham Ward, George Newlands, John de Gruchy, Peter Scott, Oliver O’Donovan, Gregory Baum, and more.

3. Bibliography on select topics, for instance: ecofeminism and ecotheology, public theology, theological critiques of American exceptionalism, the turn from medieval to modern, and more.

As of now we are focused on sponsoring very specific contributions to intellectual life at Marquette and beyond: events at Marquette like book symposiums, forums, and presentations, and the seminar’s own website to house resources like bibliographies and network with those of similar interests outside of Marquette.