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Methodological Musings of an un-Sufi-sticated Scholar

by Zaynab Shahar
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - Jan 2019

Abstract

This article recasts comparative religions in light of queer sufi pedagogies and decolonial methods to consider the improvisatory nature of a black queer theology. By considering the resonances between the organic multi-religiousity of black queer sufi practices and what Laurel Schneider and Catherine Keller call polydoxy, this article ponders the resonances between multiple religions by decentring Christianity. Attention is given to how the alternate sensibilities and practices found in black queer sufi practices of thought ground decolonial strategies of delinking the production of knowledge from the assumed boundaries of Christian theology and secular philosophy. Instead, an embodied mode of thinking is offered as a way forward. 

Keywords

black, comparative religions, decolonial, multiplicity, multi-religious, polydoxy, queer, sufism


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.

 

Still here: The promise of complexity and lived religion

by Renée L. Hill
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - January 2019

Abstract

This article provides an examination of multi-faith practice as a method of resisting Christian hegemony. Turning to our multiple layers of identity and belonging, this essay considers how they become resources in cultivating power, solidarity, and liberation. In particular, consideration of Lukumi/Yoruba/Santeria traditions and spiritual practices provides a way forward for thinking a black queer theology.

Keywords

African religions, blackness, Lukumi, multiplicity, multi-faith, queerness, Santeria, Yoruba


 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.

Held in the Vestibule

by Ashon Crawley
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - Jan 2019

 Abstract

This article takes up the figure of the black choir director as a way of exploring what I call the “otherwise possibilities” and practices of “blackqueer” sociality that are manifest in “blackpentecostalism.” Extending Hortense Spillers’ conception of “vestibularity,” the choir director is examined here as an instance of vestibularity – a vessel in and through which the congregation is invited to have joy that is not oriented toward an end or aspiration. Rather, the queerness of this performances lies in its fleshiness – a testament to the joy of the flesh that exceeds Western theological and philosophical conceptions of practice and belief. As an a/theological and a/philosophical interrogation, then, this essay considers the uselessness of the choir director as a lesson in the imagination of otherwise possibilities that emerge amidst the blackqueer spaces and times which open in and through the choreosonic vibrations of the flesh.

Key Words

black religion, blackness, blackpentecostal, blackqueer, gender, sexuality


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.

 

Books reviewed January 2019

from Modern Believing Vol 60:4

G. A. Kaplan, René Girard, Unlikely Apologist: Mimetic Theory and Fundamental Theology. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2016. Pp. xii, 268. Hb. $50. ISBN 978-0-268-10085-8.

M. J. Kirwan and S. Treflé Hidden, eds., Mimesis and Atonement: René Girard and the Doctrine of Salvation. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. Pp. xvi, 185. Hb. £88. ISBN 978-1-5013-2542-7.

J. L. Alberg, ed., Apocalypse Deferred: Girard and Japan. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2017. Pp. x, 274. Hb. $50. ISBN 978-0-268-10016-2.

Review by Simon Taylor, Derby Cathedral


S. T. Asma, Why We Need Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. x, 256. Hb. £20. ISBN 978-0-19-046967-2.

Review by Douglas Davies, Durham University


F. F. Fleming, The Truth about Science and Religion: From the Big Bang to Neuroscience. Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2017. Pp. xviii, 221. Pb. £18.50. ISBN 978-0-7188-9471-9.

Review by Keith Eyeon, University of Cambridge


H. Joas, ed., David Martin and the Sociology of Religion. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2018. Pp. x, 215. Hb. £115. ISBN 978-0-815-39330-6.

Review by Martyn Percy, University of Oxford


S. Anderson-Faithful, Mary Sumner: Mission, Education and Motherhood: Thinking a Life with Bourdieu. Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2018. Pp. xx, 263. Hb. £65. ISBN 978-0-7188-9494-8.

Review by Cordelia Moyse, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA


J. E. Turner, The Labour Church: Religion and Politics in Britain 1890–1914. London and New York: I. B. Tauris and Co., 2018. Pp. xii, 273. Hb. ISBN 978-1-78453-943-6.

Review by Mark Dorset, King’s School, Worcester


M. D. Stark, Untruth: Musings with Kierkegaard on Christian Living in a Fractured World. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2018. Pp. viii, 157. Pb. £12.99. ISBN 978-0-232-53313-2.

Review by Steven Shakespeare, Liverpool Hope University


S. M. B. Wells, Incarnational Ministry: Being with the Church. London: Canterbury Press, 2017. Pp. xii, 233. Pb. £16.99. ISBN 978-1-848-25926-3.

S. M. B. Wells, Incarnational Mission: Being with the World. London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2018. Pp. x, 254. Pb. £14.99. ISBN 978-1-78622-036-3.

Review by Michael Brierley, Worcester Cathedral


P. W. Shepherd, Questioning the Incarnation: Formulating a Meaningful Christology. Alresford: Christian Alternative Books, 2018. Pp. viii, 499. Pb. £24.99. ISBN 978-1-78535-633-9.

Review by Adrian Thatcher, University of Exeter


M. F. Bird, An Anomalous Jew: Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2016. Pp. xii, 310. Pb. £18.99. ISBN 978-0-8028-6769-8.

Review by Doug Chaplin, Diocese of Worcester


J. L. González, A Brief History of Sunday: From the New Testament to the New Creation. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2017. Pp. x, 166. Pb. £12.99. ISBN 978-0-8028-7471-9

Review by Richard Higginson, Cambridge


J. T. Billings, Remembrance, Communion, and Hope: Rediscovering the Gospel at the Lord’s Table. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xx, 217. Pb. £20.99. ISBN 978-0-8028-6233-4.

Review by David Grumett, University of Edinburgh


N. Wolterstorff, Acting Liturgically: Philosophical Reflections on Religious Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. x, 306. Hb. £45. ISBN 978-0-19-880538-0.

Review by Bridget Nichols, Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Dublin


R. D. Nelson and C. D. Raith, Ecumenism: A Guide for the Perplexed. London and New York: Bloomsbury T. and T. Clark, 2017. Pp. x, 194. Pb. £16.99. ISBN 978-0-567-57346-9.

Review by Richard Clutterbuck, Wesley House, Cambridge


K. W. Clements, Look Back in Hope: An Ecumenical Life. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2017. Pp. xxii, 423. Pb. ISBN 978-1-5326-1855-0.

Review by Jeremy Worthen, Council for Christian Unity, London


D. Reynolds, The Doubled Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Women, Sexuality, and Nazi Germany. Cambridge: James Clarke and Co., 2017. Pp. xvi, 449. Pb. £35. ISBN 978-0-227-17632-0.

Review by Ann Nickson, Mortlake, London


R. Hudson, The Monk’s Record Player: Thomas Merton, Bob Dylan, and the Perilous Summer of 1966. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018. Pp. xiv, 249. Hb. $23.99. ISBN 978-0-8028-7520-4

Review by Gary Hall, Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham


Books reviewed April 2019

from Modern Believing Vol 60:2

C. E. Keller, Political Theology of the Earth: Our Planetary Emergency and the Struggle for a New Public.
New York and Chichester: Columbia University Press, 2018. Pp. xii, 229. Pb. £17.99. ISBN 978-0-231-18991-0.

Review by John Reader, Ironstone Benefice, William Temple Foundation and University of Worcester


J. Thacker, Global Poverty: A Theological Guide.
London: SCM Press, 2017. Pp. viii, 277. Pb. £25. ISBN 978-0-334-05515-0.

Review by Richard Higginson, Cambridge


J. W.-B. Lin, The Nature of Environmental Stewardship: Understanding Creation Care Solutions to Environmental Problems.
Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2016. Pp. xviii, 307. Pb. £24.95. ISBN 978-0-7188-9467-2

Review by Jennifer Brown, Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford


M. E. Tucker and J. A. Grim, eds., Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2016. Pp. xiv, 338. Pb. £19.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-178-2.

C. R. Bell and R. S. White, eds., Creation Care and the Gospel: Reconsidering the Mission of the Church.
Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2016. Pp. xii, 353. Pb. £19.99. ISBN 978-1-61970-725-2.

Review by Frances Ward, Workington, Cumbria


D. O’Murchu, Incarnation: A New Evolutionary Threshold.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2017. Pp. viii, 240. Pb. £20.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-235-2.

T. E. Hosinski, The Image of the Unseen God: Catholicity, Science, and Our Evolving Understanding of God.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2017. Pp. xviii, 206. Pb. £22.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-259-8.

Review by Catherine Wright, Wingate University, NC


A. A. Buckareff and Y. Nagasawa, eds., Alternative Concepts of God: Essays on the Metaphysics of the Divine.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. x, 299. Hb. £58. ISBN 978-0-19-872225-0.

Review by Michael Brierley, Worcester Cathedral


M. G. Karris, Divine Echoes: Reconciling Prayer with the Uncontrolling Love of God.
Orange, CA: Quoir, 2018. Pp. 259. Pb. ISBN 978-1-938480-25-6.

Review by John Saxbee, Haverfordwest


P. Ward, Introducing Practical Theology: Mission, Ministry, and the Life of the Church.
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017. Pp. iv, 188. Pb. $21.99. ISBN 978-0-8010-9819-2.

Review by James Woodward, Sarum College, Salisbury, and University of Winchester


G. C. Meilaender, Not by Nature but by Grace: Forming Families through Adoption.
Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2016. Pp. viii, 128. Hb. $25. ISBN 978-0-268-10068-1.

K. Nikondeha, Adopted: The Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World.
Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2017. Pp. xii, 185. Pb. £13.99. ISBN 978-0-8028-7425-2.

J. Swinton and B. R. Brock, eds., A Graceful Embrace: Theological Reflections on Adopting Children, Theology in Practice 4.
Leiden: Brill, 2018. Pp. xvi, 248. Pb. ISBN 978-90-04-35289-6.

Review by John Inge, Diocese of Worcester


J. N. Goh, Living Out Sexuality and Faith: Body Admissions of Malaysian Gay and Bisexual Men.
Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2018. Pp. xiv, 191. Hb. £105. ISBN 978-1-138-30544-1.

Review by Susannah Cornwall, University of Exeter


D. T. Ngong, ed., A New History of African Christian Thought: From Cape to Cairo.
New York and Abingdon: Routledge, 2017. Pp. xii, 225. Pb. £26.99. ISBN 978-0-415-85756-7.

Review by Adriaan van Klinken, University of Leeds


J. J. McInerney, The Greatness of Humility: St Augustine on Moral Excellence.
Cambridge: James Clarke and Co., 2017. Pp. xvi, 197. Pb. £17.50. ISBN 978-0-227-17600-9.

Review by Rowena Pailing, Blackburn Cathedral


J. S. Ramirez, Julian of Norwich: A Very Brief History.
London: SPCK, 2016. Pp. xiv, 97. Hb. £12.99. ISBN 978-0-281-07737-3.

R. G. Fruehwirth, The Drawing of This Love.
London: Canterbury Press, 2016. Pp. xvi, 159. Pb. ISBN 978-1-84825-836-5.

Review by Emma Pennington, Canterbury Cathedral


B. A. Cummings, The Book of Common Prayer: A Very Short Introduction.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. xviii, 139. Pb. £7.99. ISBN 978-0-19-880392-8.

Review by Bridget Nichols, Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Dublin


D. M. Greenwood, Art and Spiritual Experience: Exploring the Romantic Period.
Leominster: Gracewing, 2018. Pp. xvi, 246. Pb. £14.99. ISBN 978-0-85244-925-7.

Review by Richard Harries, King's College, London


D. I. Kertzer, The Pope Who Would Be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. xxx, 474. Hb. £25. ISBN 978-0-19-882749-8.

Review by Kristin Colberg, College of St Benedict / St John’s University, MN


S. Brewitt-Taylor, Christian Radicalism in the Church of England and the Invention of the British Sixties, 1957–1970: The Hope of a World Transformed.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. xiv, 272. Hb. £65. ISBN 978-0-19-882700-9.

Review by Hugh McLeod, University of Birmingham


T. E. Dowley, Christian Music: A Global History, 2nd edn.
London: SPCK, 2018. Pp. viii, 328. Pb. £14.99. ISBN 978-0-281-07926-1.

Review by June Boyce-Tillman, University of Winchester


J. B. Boyce-Tillman, Freedom Song: Faith, Abuse, Music and Spirituality: A Lived Experience of Celebration.
Oxford: Peter Lang, 2018. Pp. xxiv, 528. Pb. £50. ISBN 978-1-78874-219-1.

K. S. Hendricks and J. B. Boyce-Tillman, eds., Queering Freedom: Music, Identity, and Spirituality.
Oxford: Peter Lang, 2018. Pp. xx, 374. Pb. £44. ISBN 978-1-78874-508-6.

Review by Ian Bradley, University of St Andrews


B. A. Harvey, Taking Hold of the Real: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Profound Worldliness of Christianity.
Cambridge: James Clarke and Co., 2016. Pp. xii, 342. Pb. £21.50. ISBN 978-0-227-17597-2.

Review by Claire Hein Blanton, University of Aberdeen


R. Rohr, Essential Teachings on Love, ed. J. Chase and J. Traeger.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018. Pp. xxii, 263. Pb. £17.99. ISBN 978-1-62698-269-7.

Review by Gordon Mursell, Kirkcudbright