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Annual Conference 2019

Theology in the public square - Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th July 2019 at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts.

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New editor for Modern Believing journal

Modern Church appoints Dr Karen O' Donnell as the new managing editor of our academic journal Modern Believing

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Modern Church is 120!

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Modern Believing editorial October 2016

Guest editorial by Katharine Sarah Moody
from Modern Believing Vol 57:4 - October 2016

Pyrotheology: Living the Afterlife of the Death of Theology

Peter Rollins is a Belfast-born writer and speaker, now living in the United States, whose work is important for understanding how radical theology and radical community could shape future transformations of western Christianity. He is academically trained in continental philosophy and political theory but writes for non-academic audiences and often uses parables as a form of indirect communication (see Rollins 2009). He fuses an educational background in philosophy and political thought with interests in Christian mysticism, negative theology, existentialism, story-telling and psychoanalysis. Using G.W.F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Marion, Paul Tillich, John D. Caputo, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek as principal interlocutors, Rollins offers readers a sketch of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called a ‘religionless Christianity’ (1971, p. 282).

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Let it blaze, let it blaze: Pyrotheology and the theology of the event

by John D. Caputo
from Modern Believing Vol 57:4 - October 2016

Abstract:

Taking my point of departure from Virginia Woolf’s exclamation, ‘let it blaze, let it blaze’, in reference to the destruction of the prevailing system of the education of women, which effectively excluded them from power, I advance the claim that the fire of Pyrotheology is not light but heat, not the light of Enlightenment but the heat of passion, the heart aflame, a fiery passion for the impossible, a passion of non-knowing, a passion for the unknown. Playing with fire is also dangerous; fire is also what theology prepares for the heretics. Fire is a figure of the event. The event both burns off the old and enkindles the new. The pyrotheological burns off certainty, safety, self-satisfaction in order to enkindle a more dangerous faith which keeps the future open after the death of God. I conclude with several questions for Peter Rollins about the desire of Pyrotheology.

Keywords:

DEATH OF GOD, DECONSTRUCTION, EVENT, NONES, PYROTHEOLOGY, PETER ROLLINS, RADICAL THEOLOGY, RELIGION WITHOUT RELIGION, VIRGINIA WOOLF


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

(Not your) Grandpa’s church service: Pyrotheology’s familial resemblance to liberal theology and the possibilities for political liturgy

by Keegan Osinski
from Modern Believing Vol 57:4 - October 2016

Abstract:

This article explores the relationship between the liberal theology of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and Peter Rollins’s Pyrotheology, which I present here as a theological methodology that encourages the questioning of beliefs and the embracing of doubt. I highlight the family resemblances between these two theologies, focusing on their emphasis on individual experience and their engagement with society and culture. I explore how liberal theology might be emboldened by the deconstructive spark of Pyrotheology, and how Pyrotheology might be enriched by the social justice torch of liberal theology. I argue that the pyrotheological liturgical practice of Transformance Art could be the site of a more constructive engagement between Pyrotheology and liberal theology, serving to move the former’s often inward focus toward more outward work for justice in the world.

Keywords:

LIBERAL THEOLOGY, LITURGY, PETER ROLLINS, PYROTHEOLOGY, RADICAL THEOLOGY, RITUAL, SOCIAL GOSPEL, SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION, TRANSFORMANCE ART


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

How (not) to speak of the other: Pyrotheology and psychoanalysis

by Tad DeLay
from Modern Believing Vol 57:4 - October 2016

Abstract:

This article examines the relationship between Peter Rollins’s Pyrotheology and the psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan. A clear question thereby emerges relating to the role of anxiety and doubt in theology.

Keywords:

ANXIETY, EMERGING CHURCH, SIGMUND FREUD, JACQUES LACAN, PSYCHOANALYSIS, PYROTHEOLOGY, PETER ROLLINS


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

Pyrotheology, post-evangelicalism and the logic of the ‘One’

by Xochitl Alvizo
from Modern Believing Vol 57:4 - October 2016

Abstract:

This article highlights a particular thread in Peter Rollins’s work that affirms a different quality of life is possible, shows how it constructively connects to the Evangelical/Post-Evangelical communities represented by the Emerging Church, and raises a feminist challenge to it, arguing that a more explicit critique of the aspects of ‘religion’ that create and preserve rigid and stifling forms of church is needed. Rollins centres the enactment of what he calls the magic trick (the transition from ‘religion’ to ‘faith’) around a singular subversive leader, even while calling for his or her disappearance. A postcolonial feminist perspective would charge that it is, rather, in the process of collectively navigating the radical participation of all within the body, when the habit of elevating a particular individual’s role or participation above all others is eliminated, that the magic trick is actually enacted, religion’s patriarchal logic undone, and true faith discovered.

Keywords:

EMERGING CHURCH, EVANGELICALISM, EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY, PETER ROLLINS, POST-EVANGELICAL, PYROTHEOLOGY, FEMINISM, FEMINIST THEOLOGY, INTERCULTURAL FEMINISM


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.