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Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 | 0 comments

Only (Male) Geniuses Need Apply

Only (Male) Geniuses Need Apply

Recently on public radio’s Science Friday, host Ira Flatow interviewed psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck. The interview was centered on a recent study exploring “innate genius” and the impact that emphasis on genius has on the gender ratio in certain academic fields.[1] Innate genius is the raw talent, the “it” factor, that one possesses for a particular field of study (e.g. in the fictional world Flatow references TV’s Gregory House or Sherlock Holmes). An alternative to emphasis on “innate genius” would be an emphasis on sustained hard work that over time allows someone to excel in their field of study. The study that Flatow and Dweck reference is “Expectations of Brilliance Underlie Gender Distributions across Academic Disciplines.”[2] In this study, the researches pose the question: is there a relationship between fields that emphasize innate genius and the ratio of women that are found in those fields? The results of this study suggest that in fields that emphasize genius—philosophy is the most genius-focused discipline they studied—a considerably smaller number of women are found completing PhD’s, whereas in fields that...

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Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 | 0 comments

Our Favorite Reads of 2014

Our Favorite Reads of 2014

With the end of 2014 right around the corner, we thought it might be fun to post some of our favourite reads of the year. One thing you’ll notice from the list: fiction is important! No one can read too much fiction. As a lot of these write ups clearly imply, fiction can have very important theological implications. But still, a few of us found non-fiction the most interesting this year, not necessarily academic abstraction, however. Perhaps this is a simple reminder that we need to be connecting with people who think differently than us; whether that shows up in their preferred bibliography, opinions, or overall worldview, nothing but good can come from engaging with difference. Feel free to post your own favorite reads in the comment section, or share you thoughts about one of the titles below if you have already read them. Caroline: In Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor leads us through the pitch-black grounds of her North Georgia farm and the seedy night club where she worked in...

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Posted by on May 2, 2014 | 1 comment

No Going Back: Considering the Future of Theological Interpretation

No Going Back: Considering the Future of Theological Interpretation

Origen of Alexandria (c.185–c.243 CE) is the most influential allegorical reader of Scripture in the early church tradition. He read the entirety of the Christian Scriptures—Old and New Testaments—as containing the reality of Jesus Christ, which is fully revealed in the Gospels. Even in the most problematic of Old Testaments texts, like the conquest narratives of Joshua, Origen read with a conviction that Christ was embedded, at times hidden and at other times revealed, in the very fabric of the Bible. When the plain sense of the text—what we refer to as the literal or historical meaning—was not harmonious with the Gospel of Christ, Origen would look only to “higher,” spiritual levels of meaning. So, for example, when Origen writes his commentary on Joshua he equates Joshua with Jesus. He immediately “spiritualizes” a morally problematic text.[1] As Barney mentioned in his last post, over the past few centuries there has been a shift in biblical studies toward understanding the historical nature of the text. This shift has resulted in a rejection by...

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Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 | 1 comment

Does God Watch While You Have Sex?

Does God Watch While You Have Sex?

How do you imagine God engaging your world? Does he answer your prayers? Does he stand back and watch? Does he hide himself behind natural law and science? Does he perform miracles? Does he wait for the end times? What does he do? For centuries, God was imagined to be active in all the mundane aspects of life. He was there when we harvested and cooked and ate, he was there when we built our houses or forged our tools, and he was most certainly there when we had sex. Most of us don’t feel that way anymore. Most of us think that God stands at a distance looking down on the creation – that he rarely, if ever, intervenes – much like a Victorian English matron, certainly not interested in sex. Even those of us who don’t believe this at a cognitive level live as though it were gospel. For instance, where does your food come from? We all understand the life of the vegetable: there is a...

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Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 | 2 comments

Lenten Love

Lenten Love

Lent: forty days of fasting. Jesus’s forty days in the wilderness, Noah’s forty days of rain, Moses’s forty days on Sinai, Elijah’s forty day walk to Horeb, Goliath’s forty days of challenge before the nation of Israel: all of them are forty days of trial building up to an encounter with God’s grace. Yet, the greatest of these is Lent. Lent is the annual enactment of the cost of the love that lies at the foundation of all creation. These are some big claims. In a world where Lent is often no more than the “giving up” of chocolate, coffee, beer, meat, or the internet, it hardly seems fair to compare it to the forty days of rain that annihilated the entire population of the Earth or with Elijah’s forty days without food or water as he hiked through the desert. But, where Elijah ends his forty days with the still small voice, and Goliath’s forty days end with his being slain, and Jesus’s forty days end with his...

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