Monthly Archives: March 2016

Origins: God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos

Origins: God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos by Philip A. Rolnick

Origins: God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos
by Philip A. Rolnick

Rather than seeing science and religion as oppositional, in Origins: God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos Philip Rolnick demonstrates the remarkable compatibility of contemporary science and traditional Christian theology.

Rolnick directly engages the challenges of evolutionary biology—its questions about design, natural selection, human uniqueness, and suffering, pain, and death. In doing so, he reveals how biological challenges can be turned to theological advantages, not by disputing scientific data and theory, but by inviting evolutionary biology into the Christian conversation about creation.

Rolnick then lets the vastly expanded time and macroscopic beauty of big bang cosmology cast new and benign light on both biology and theology. The discovery of a big bang beginning, fine-tuning, and a 3.45 billion year evolutionary process brings new ways to think about the creativity of creation. From the tiny to the tremendous, there is an intelligent generosity built into the features of the cosmos and its living creatures, a spectrum of interconnected phenomena that seems tinged with grace. By recognizing the gifts of creation that have been scientifically uncovered, Origins presents a new way to understand this universe of grace and reason.

For more information regarding Origins, visit the book’s page on MUSE.

A Theology of Political Vocation: Christian Life and Public Office

A Theology of Political Vocation: Christian Life and Public Office by John E. Senior

A Theology of Political Vocation: Christian Life and Public Office
by John E. Senior

Power, money, endless competition. A zero-sum game. Politics as usual. Only the hearty or craven need apply. The political actors have lost sight of the politics of a common good.

A Theology of Political Vocation takes up the question of public life precisely where most discussions end. Proving that moral ambiguity does not exclude moral possibility, author John Senior crafts a theology of political vocation not satisfied simply by theologies of sin and grace and philosophical theories of power. For Senior, political theology moves beyond merely staking a claim within a public conversation, a move that prizes discursive skills and aims at consensus concerning shared norms and values. Political theology must offer an account of a political vocation.

Senior connects political deliberation to moral judgment, explores use and consequence of power, analyzes political conflict and competition, and limns the ethics of negotiation and compromise. In light of this richer understanding of political vocation, Senior develops theological resources appropriate to a variety of ecologies—ordinary citizens, political activists, and elected officials. A Theology of Political Vocation shows how Christian politicians can work faithfully within the moral ambiguity of political life to orient their work—and indeed, their very selves—toward the common good.

For more information regarding A Theology of Political Vocation, visit the book’s page on MUSE.

Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity

Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity by Sheldon George

Trauma and Race: A Lacanian Study of African American Racial Identity
by Sheldon George

African American identity is racialized. And this racialized identity has animated and shaped political resistance to racism. Hidden, though, are the psychological implications of rooting identity in race, especially because American history is inseparable from the trauma of slavery.

In Trauma and Race author Sheldon George begins with the fact that African American racial identity is shaped by factors both historical and psychical. Employing the work of Jacques Lacan, George demonstrates how slavery is a psychic event repeated through the agencies of racism and inscribed in racial identity itself. The trauma of this past confronts the psychic lack that African American racial identity both conceals and traumatically unveils for the African American subject.

Trauma and Race investigates the vexed, ambivalent attachment of African Americans to their racial identity, exploring the ways in which such attachment is driven by traumatic, psychical urgencies that often compound or even exceed the political exigencies called forth by racism.

For more information regarding Trauma and Race, visit the book’s page on MUSE.