Mar 18 2014

Women’s History Month: New Narratives

MorrisonThis month is National Women’s History Month, and while it is important to share stories of transformational women, this month is also a time where we think about how we tell the broader stories of humanity. In my studies at Candler and my experience as a woman I am realizing more and more that history is not merely a recitation of facts but an arranging of those facts in a particular order. Writing history also means choosing some facts over others, ignoring facts that don’t make the story sound exceptional and judging which facts of history are most consequential.

There are many amazing women who have brought this predicament of history-telling to our attention: Elizabeth Cady-Stanton, bell hooks, Audre Lorde and Wendy Farley (to name some favorites of mine).  There are scholars who are retelling women’s histories that have been painfully obscured and mutilated by men, such as that of Sarah Baartman.  There are writers who are telling new histories, giving a voice to the women who screamed, laughed, shouted and sang and yet no one wrote it down. The spirits of these women come to us through the work of writers like Toni Morrison.

There is still much work to be done to reconstitute half the world’s history, the history of women. Hillary Rodham Clinton claimed at the U.N. Fourth World Conference in China in 1995 “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.” In the same way, women’s history is human history and human history is women’s history.  How do we continue to tell the history of humanity and yet still deny this simple fact?  One example surfaced in chapel last week when the preacher referenced the famous evolutionary mantra “survival of the fittest.” This little phrase contains an entire history of human existence—a history of competition, autonomy, self-interest and an illusion of fit-ness—a history told by certain men in certain circumstances.

ClintonTo tell the history of humanity as one of competition, scarcity, autonomy, fear or an abstract notion of being “fit” is no explanation for the life-giving interdependence of a nursing mother and her baby.  Survival of the fittest is not the history of immigrants who coordinate the care of each other’s children so that they can take English classes and learn to support their refugee community. Survival of the fittest is not the history of my friends in a same-sex partnership where they daily sacrifice the world’s cookie-cutter “fittest” ideals to flourish in a relationship of love and creativity. Survival of the fittest is far from the story of Jesus whose place in history marks a unifying baptism and a common table where mutuality, welcome and love are offered as the defining story of all the children of God, men and women.

Theologian Sarah Coakley is currently working with scientists to examine the implications of cooperation and sacrifice in the history of human survival.  In a Gifford lecture she comments on the “great secret that men rarely discuss…sacrifice is being done all the time physiologically in the tiring and painful human business of pregnancy, birth-giving and lactation.” (See article: “What’s God Got to Do With Evolution?” in Times Higher Education.)

Through the work of women like Sarah Coakley, we can now offer new narratives of history during National Women’s History Month.  How we tell the story of humanity this month includes the values that women have always relied on in order to survive and flourish in this world: cooperation, care, sacrifice, interdependence and mutuality. May our history become a full reckoning with humanity’s life in this world.

–Jenelle Holmes

Jenelle is a second-year in Candler’s MTS program and a student ambassador. She graduated in 2006 with a degree in English from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA.


Mar 4 2014

If I Had Known Then…

Eric JI have a confession to make. When I made my decision to apply to and attend Candler School of Theology, it was based on the work of one professor.  I read her book, saw where she taught, and decided to apply to that school. I am lucky to have stumbled into one of the most prestigious Hebrew Bible programs in the country, but if I had known then what I know now, I would have chosen the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program at Candler one-thousand times over. Here’s why:

The Faculty

As you already know, I made my decision to attend based on a single member of the faculty, but I am leaving Candler in complete awe of the constellation of faculty and staff at Candler School of Theology. I have had unprecedented access to the world’s foremost scholars across every discipline I have worked in. They are available, helpful, encouraging, and supportive.

The Community

Because I am an introvert by nature, the Candler community was not even on my radar when I made my decision. What I had grossly underestimated in my calculations was the effect that moving so far away from my family would have on me. The students at Candler have supported me and challenged me in ways that have made me at least a better scholar, and I like to think a better person. From a friendly face on the first day of orientation, to celebrating admissions decisions over margaritas at noisy restaurants in my last weeks of my degree, my experience at Candler has been bookended by people who have changed my life.

The Opportunities

When people ask me why I chose Candler, I largely recount what I have discussed above. I caveat this by saying that if I had known how important that scholar was in her field, or what Candler’s reputation was in the scholarly community, I would have talked myself out of applying. The reputation of Emory University and Candler School of Theology are well earned and far-reaching. Whatever one’s goals happen to be for his or her degree, the outstanding reputation of Candler will help you along your journey.

The Program

The flexibility of the MTS program is such that it allows its students the freedom to explore and shape their research interests. I was allowed to pursue a highly specified course load consisting mainly of languages and biblical studies. At the same time, the program is designed to provide the structure and faculty support to make that exploration focused and productive. The fortunate outcome of this dichotomy is a well-rounded training that prepared me thoroughly for doctoral studies.

–Eric Jarrard

Eric Jarrard is a second-year Master of Theological Studies student in Hebrew Bible. He will be pursuing a doctorate at Harvard Divinity School this fall.


Nov 4 2013

Candler is as Intercultural and Interdisciplinary as You

Lullwater Park

Lullwater Park at Emory

Candler is an intercultural and interdisciplinary center where students engage with a wide variety of people and ideas. In the past month, I wrote a midterm about how theology can internalize the findings of ecology and quantum physics to give an adequate account of God’s goodness in a world where evil is so common. I visited two Muslim Friday prayers, one on campus and one at a mosque, learning about how people with different beliefs than me understand purity, social justice, and worship. I shook hands with the Dalai Lama, an affiliate of Emory University, when he came to Emory’s campus to speak about ethics in a secular age.

My time at Candler has been as interdisciplinary as it has been intercultural. As a dual-degree candidate at the Emory University School of Law, I have selected courses so that I can consider similar topics from the different lenses theology and law bring to bear. This semester, I am studying the doctrine of creation at the same time as I am taking environmental law. I have studied the histories of both canon law and American law to see where our ideas of justice and order come from. My Candler course on Thomas Aquinas’ ethics has prepared me well for the jurisprudence class I’m now taking at the Law School.

To return to the idea of ecology I started this post with, our location matters a lot for how we think about things. Candler, Emory University, and Atlanta are a good environment for theological thinking. Candler’s faculty has many different backgrounds—there are sociologists and medievalists, Eastern Catholics and black Baptists ready to help students think about God, and understand God’s children throughout the world. Emory University’s nationally-prestigious programs in public health, business, medicine, and of course, law, offer Candler students access to experts and ideas that deepen theological inquiry. And Atlanta, with its rich history from the Civil Rights Era and many religious ministries committed to serving the least of our sisters and brothers, is a great home for a future minister or religious scholar. It’s also simply a great home: green, sunny, and full of young transplants from throughout the South and the United States.

Come join us here at Candler. Every new person who arrives contributes to the environment, just as every new tree gives shade so more things can grow. This school is as intercultural and interdisciplinary as its students: whatever background and goals you bring with you makes the whole school’s thinking that much sharper. Go out and experience cultures and academic fields you never knew before, bring what you learn to your fellow students in the classroom, and make the Candler experience we share in that much better.

Matt Cavedon is a third-year dual-degree student pursuing a JD and an MTS. Originally from Connecticut, he is Catholic and plans to practice law with a higher perspective on justice and society after he graduates in 2015.


Oct 8 2013

Risky Business

Jenelle HolmesSeminary is risky business. It is risky financially, spiritually, and let’s just get this out there, ideologically.  Defined loosely, ideology concerns the manner in which a group thinks.  So often we tie ideologies to an ideal or statement of a specific group, but for this post, I will use ideology to mean the manner or way people think about their lives and the lives of those around them.

Because we are in seminary, our manner of thinking about God, others, and ourselves often abides in faith-talk. We write about faith, claim to live by faith, seek a definition of faith, and attempt not to destroy each other’s faith. Our ideologies cannot help but operate as a living out of faith.  The mixing of ideology, faith, and seminary, what a risky business!

In the recent conversations over the last few weeks involving the LGBTQ community, the risk that Candler students embody has been quite palpable.  But risk is not foreign ground for the besieged faithful. As Candler students think about living out faith in the walls of an open and accepting school of theology, let us consider other situations where danger and faith abide together. I want to take us back to the siege of Jerusalem.

Walls are peeling back before the eyes of Zion’s residents. No family is untouched by hunger, illness, bloodshed, tears and death on the city streets, or whatever is left of them.  The people within the walls of Jerusalem, once a city for the dwelling of YHWH, not only question the goodness of God but the very existence of God as rocks and spears daily fall from the sky.

CliffLast week Dr. Scheib preached on Jeremiah 32 where in a confounding move, Jeremiah, prophet to the besieged city, buys land.  He purchases land in the middle of what seems the death of that very ground. As an owner myself of undesirable property resulting from the economic collapse of 2008, I can name countless reasons why Jeremiah is crazy for making this purchase.  Will he ever be able to live there? Reap the economic benefits of that land? Rest and restore himself on the land? Sell it if the investment proves a faulty one?  Ah, the risk of such a purchase amidst a time of utter chaos! What would drive Jeremiah to do such a thing? Is it that despite the risk, he hopes for a break from the violence around him? Violence to the people, by the people, and even violence to the very land in which the people dwell? Is the uncertainty of Jeremiah’s action more than simply a desperate grasp at a fading hope of feeling at home?

Thanks to Hebrews 11, we often consider faith as the “certainty of things not seen.”  How we think about faith (our ideologies of faith) frequently operates with a seeking after certainty, regardless of the commotion around us.  While faith might call upon us to act in a risky manner, we often associate faith with the assurance we feel despite that risk.

But what, for Jeremiah, is assured? Money? No. Peace? No. Land? Not while the Babylonians knock on the gates of the city.  Risk, in a town besieged, is the only privilege Jeremiah can afford.  I think too often, especially amidst people who have not had to risk much in their lives, risk gets a bad reputation or is considered something to be avoided. But in Jeremiah’s circumstances, risk is a way to show his agency, to act, to have faith. A faith not experienced in certainty or assurance, but in risk.

In a preaching lecture from the spring of 2012 Eddie Glaude talks about witnessing “God’s love in the very act of risk.” At seminary, students act out their faith through risk by reading challenging authors, by listening to peers who experience life, let alone God, in entirely different manners of thinking, by sitting in lectures that make them squirm or better yet, forget to breath. At seminary, we risk our very conceptions of love, God, self, and others. Seminary embodies an ideology of faith that encourages risk.

But some risk more than others at seminary.  In the last few weeks with the upheaval surrounding the Eddie Fox award we are reminded of those in the LGBTQ community who often find themselves in a besieged institution; be it the church, school, or other places where they live out their lives.  We are reminded that voices, statements, and awards are little ramparts that weaken the bastions of Christian ministry being built here at Candler. Like other marginalized communities, they live in a besieged city.

But they too, like Jeremiah, have purchased land here at Candler (seriously, tuition is $19,800 this year). They have, amidst the tumult of marginalization, tokenism, and oppression, purchased the opportunity of learning, growing, and loving at this school of theology. What a courageous and faith-full way of thinking.

While we are occasionally a community besieged by the echoes of invasions elsewhere, we can see the tilling of God’s risky love in our ministries, sacred personhoods, and our experiences of community as we continually purchase land here at Candler.  May our living in risk during this time and this space honor and enable each student with the hope of a future healed landscape inside these walls and beyond.

–Jenelle Holmes

Jenelle is a second-year in Candler’s MTS program and a student ambassador. She graduated in 2006 with a degree in English from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA.


Sep 10 2013

Brooks Was Here, So Was Red

Many of you may recognize the title of this post as the defining moment in The Shawshank Redemption.  Underneath this etching in a halfway house, Morgan Freeman (Red), an ex-con of 40 years, confronts fear and despair and chooses hope in the very spot where Brooks, a similar man in a similar situation, chose to take his own life.  It is the tipping point of the film; a dramatic moment where the promise of hope triumphant outweighs the danger and futility of losing hope.  It is both moving and powerful to watch and I quickly find myself conjuring up my own stories of hope triumphant, including and especially the Christian idea that though troubles may fill the night, joy comes in the morning.

However, bringing this metaphor out of the script and into the present causes me great trouble.  Certainly there are times in our collective, societal memory that we can recall such real-life stories of hope triumphing over despair.  This past week, as we honored the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington, we were served a wonderful reminder of such an account of hope overcoming overwhelmingly negative odds.  However, as Syrian children are gassed in senseless acts of violence, broken systems of democracy exclude the rights and voices of the poor and hungry, and Bangladeshi buildings crash to the ground claiming the lives of thousands and declaring the ultimate reign of horrific and inhumane forms of global capitalism, I find the metaphor to be broken, or at least, misleading.  It is not the fact that hope cannot overcome injustice that gives me trouble, for I suppose, in certain times it can and does.  Rather it is the perceived simplicity of the choice and subsequent nullification of circumstance and complexity that causes a gag reflex to well up inside of me.

As theologians and citizens of the world in the twenty-first century, it is our responsibility to introduce a third character into the room, one that meticulously and responsibly presents hope while also being accountable to the devastating particularities of modern circumstances.  This character must stand firmly at the same crossroads of hope and despair, where Brooks and Red once stood, and reject the futility of blindly embarking down either road.  And in doing such, this character must creatively re-shape and re-imagine faith, hope, and love.

However, as I write this post, I do not pretend to know what this character might look like, say, or do.  Nor do I imagine that I am, in some way or another, this character.  But, I do know this:  today, many Syrian parents will be reminded that their precious young children are never coming home to them again.  No more family dinners.  No more nighttime prayers.  No more innocent, precious smiles.  Not today, not tonight, and not in the morning.

As the leaders of America meet on Capitol Hill this very minute to discuss the use of force in Syria, this metaphor deserves at least a moment of thought, especially from those who follow the way and example of Jesus Christ.  Surely Christianity has more to offer the world than bombs, which only lead to the perpetuation of violence, and flimsy hymns of metaphorical hope which only fall flat as tears pour onto breathless children.

But then again, for some things, I imagine, there are no words.

–George Kernodle

George is a second-year student in the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program and a Student Ambassador at Candler. A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, George has traveled to China as part of a language learning exchange program and to El Salvador with the Global Health Organization. After Candler he hopes to pursue his interest in health policy and management.

Photo credits:

(Top) Movie still from The Shawshank Redemption with Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins;

(Bottom) Photo by Craig Ruttle, a Syrian child at a refugee camp in Yayladagi, Turkey, April 4, 2012.


Feb 1 2013

Inhabiting the “Early Phase”

“Real people, real possibilities, real world,” our slogan declares. Come to the Candler School of Theology and discover real commitment, real change, and a real story. Some may find all this talk of “real” cheesy. But make no mistake—the human capacity for self-deception is infinite. Very often do we mistake our own inauthentic existence for real being. The question of what is real, we insist here at Candler, must be held ever before us. Only a relentless commitment to rigorous self-examination and to critical engagement with those around us can keep such deceit in check. The same is true in our classrooms, in our pews, and in our offices.

Perhaps now more than ever is critical reflection on what is real so urgently needed. The world is changing rapidly. New technologies are presenting unprecedented ethical and existential dilemmas. The not-too-distant arrival of molecular nanotechnology, super-intelligence, cryonics, genetic engineering, and uploading[1] will soon put our understanding of what constitutes a real human being to the test. We are slowly but steadily merging with our technology; some are already predicting that by the time our children are in college they will know people who are hybrids of the organic and inorganic. In these uncertain times it will grow progressively more difficult to look to the past for guidance in the future. It will be tough (but not impossible) to see how Paul, Augustine, Luther, or Barth can help us chart a faithful and responsible course. But this is not to say we are doomed to drift rudderless into a dystopian future.[2] There is still time to prepare. Enter MTS600T: Transhumanism/Posthumanism, a course devoted to identifying and dissecting some of the challenges that await us.

What is transhumanism/posthumanism? According to Humanity Plus, a leading transhumanist group, transhumanism is “a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase.” Those of us inhabiting this “early phase,” they reason, are in dire need of improvement. The telos of all transhumanist thinking is to overcome or transcend fundamental human limitations, including susceptibility to disease, limited intelligence, physical weakness, and even death itself. Now, before you dismiss these people to the lunatic fringe, know that great progress is being made on each of these fronts.[3] What is being accomplished in laboratories today borders on the miraculous. Scientists, computer programmers, and theorists of great repute are among the transhumanist ranks. It is now only a matter of time before people of all faiths will have to come to grips with a technological existence unlike anything we have ever known.

David RanzolinThe religious implications of such technological advances are obviously enormous. What or where is the imago dei in this future? Does this technology represent a fundamental breach in the created order? Or perhaps its fulfillment? If we become fundamentally different beings than those originally addressed in Scripture, how do we appropriate and embody it? Again, crafting a faithful and intelligent response to such awesome technological power will be every seminarian’s duty. To that end, MTS600T: Transhumanism/Posthumanism is giving us a head start. Rest assured that there are astute, capable, and real people already thinking about these matters at the Candler School of Theology.      

- David Ranzolin

David is a second year MTS student from California and a Student Ambassador.


[1] For a more optimistic overview of these technologies see http://humanityplus.org/philosophy/transhumanist-faq/

[2] Theorists are divided on whether the advent of these technologies will usher in an eschatological utopia or cataclysmic dystopia. Based on what little I know, I side with the latter.

[3] For an informative overview of the current pace of technology see the documentary Transcendent Man: The Life and Ideas of Ray Kurzweil.


Oct 26 2012

The God Variable

I find the question, how did I get here? utterly fascinating. As a person of faith, tracing the myriad trajectories of my past becomes a theologically important exercise. How can I make sense of my life thus far? Where do I see God’s hand? See, we Christians are not free to believe that our lives are merely the sum of our choices. We really believe we worship a God that intervenes, even intrudes into our lives in subtle, unexpected ways. I cannot answer how did I get here? with, “because I as a free, moral agent willed it.” Sometimes, the chief culprit is most likely “the God Variable.” I recently became acutely aware of its influence, but only in hindsight. Let me explain.

How did I get here? The question comes rushing at me. I scan the classroom of uniformed women and glance at James, my teaching partner, dear friend, and fellow MTS student at Candler. We are in prison. Namely, the Arrendale State Prison about an hour’s drive from familiar, cosmopolitan Atlanta. Coming from California, living in the South is strange enough; teaching at a women’s prison in rural Georgia only compounds the strangeness. We’re also reading a strange story. “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson. It’s a story about a pleasant, homey town that holds an annual “lottery” in which the “winner” is immediately stoned to death. The reader doesn’t find out until the end of the story—which is now rapidly approaching. I chuckle nervously. The story suddenly seems inappropriate. I’m not entirely sure how the women will react to the story’s bizarre, violent denouement. Seriously, how did I get here?

See, being here at Candler is unsurprising. My father is a religion teacher, I majored in religious studies, Candler is a good school, I didn’t want to find a real job after college, etc., etc. But teaching here in prison—that is unprecedented. I just don’t do things that interesting. I came to Candler to get on the fast-track to a Ph.D; dusty scholarship was in my future. But something happened, or better yet, somethings happened, and the future is suddenly more mysterious than if I had been left to my own devices.

As it turned out my worry was entirely misplaced. The women in our class attacked “The Lottery” with gusto, incisively assessing the text from all angles. But still, how did I get here? The question lingered. I could point to a few things I remember: the women’s choir performance from the prison at chapel last year, James and I excitedly discussing classes we would want to co-teach some day in the future, seeing the ad soliciting teachers in the Candler Chronicle—none of these adequately explains how we got here. Only something as radical, as wonderful, as grace-filled as “the God Variable” can account for our presence here in this prison. The truth is, about a million different coincidences had to occur to lead me to this very moment. And like Jesus’ signs, if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Mathematicians may insist that attempting to detect patterns of divine prescience is absurd—what I imagine I’m seeing is merely the unraveling of an infinite series. Ergo, an unlikely event (even one as unlikely as a California boy teaming up with a North Carolina mountain man to teach literature at a women’s prison) is actually likely to occur. This illogical habit of theological retrospection is what makes me an “innumerate,” colloquially and pejoratively speaking. As the great Plutarch observes, “It is no great wonder if, in the long process of time, while fortune takes her course hither and thither, numerous coincidences should spontaneously occur.” I respectfully disagree. The God Variable is always present.

- David Ranzolin

David is a second year MTS student from the Bay Area of California and a Student Ambassador.


Feb 27 2012

Transitions

Jung Won AnIt’s crazy to think that in a couple of months, I will be facing yet another transition in my life. It seems like only yesterday that I hopped on a plane to fly across the country (literally – from California) to start my graduate education. Personally, coming to Candler was a HUGE decision. In so many ways, it was out of character for me to choose to invest so much time and money into an education that could not guarantee me a set career. And to get up and leave my family, friends and comfort zone to go to the South! What could the South possibly offer me that LA couldn’t? However, I knew that if I chose to ignore the opportunity set before me and refused to take that leap of faith, I would be left wondering “what if…”

Many people have told me that you need to be really intentional about spending time with God in seminary. Doesn’t seem to make much sense right? Shouldn’t it be easier since I will be reading, writing, breathing and living everything God? But it’s true–the academic demand does cause a spiritual disconnect at times. However, my studies here at Candler have also enriched my relationship with God in so many ways. I have been introduced to so many great thinkers, writers, theologians, preachers and the like. The readings that I actually got around to really challenged me to go deeper in my understanding of God and His Word. Similarly, the discussions with which I engaged during classes have also stretched me to look at things in new and different ways. Even though I know that God isn’t calling me vocationally to ministry (whew!), the skills that I have found and honed here at Candler will be an asset wherever I go.

Atlanta Sky

So. Was it worth it? Was it worth getting past my fears and insecurities, of trusting that God will somehow make everything work? Most definitely. This of course does not mean that I have all the answers. Graduation is in 3 months and I still have no answer to where I will be going next. But that leap of faith has brought me to trust in God at a different level. He not only met me here in s-l-o-w Atlanta, but He revealed different parts of Himself to me in the green trees and the curvy one-lane roads and even on the MARTA bus. He answered my prayers for real community and good people in a way that I didn’t think possible. I am astonished at how much God has grown me and stretched me in the past two years. Not only have I learned new things about myself but I have started a journey in finding parts of me that I have lost along the way. To think that I would’ve missed out on all of that…

- Jung Won An

Jung Won is a second year MTS student from Los Angeles, CA and a Student Ambassador.


Dec 9 2011

How the Parables of Jesus Taught Me How to Read Theological Training

A ParabolaIt’s the other way around, isn’t it? A school of theology should teach the aspiring biblical scholar how to read the parables of Jesus with the correct exegetical tools and provide the necessary skills for aptitude in interpretation. While this has been the case for me via a number of exegesis courses at Candler School of Theology, I would also like to use this space to illustrate in broad strokes how my experience with New Testament parabolic literature has trained me to read (perceive, examine, and indeed, exegete) the form, function, and nature of my seminary/theological training.

If the reader will forgive some generalizations, I’ll begin by commenting on a few things that characterize Jesus’ parables before demonstrating their application to my experience at CST. I have gleaned much of this from Steven Kraftchick’s Parables of Jesus course during this semester. First of all, parables are perhaps the best locus for seeing one of the foundational elements of language, namely metaphor. As is indicated in the term itself, a parable casts one (imagined or innovated) reality alongside another. In the case of Jesus’ parables, metaphoricity creates, via fictive (and often extended) analogy, another way of seeing a present reality like the Kingdom of God. Parables also often take the form of a narrative. A story is constructed with particular narrative dynamics, grounded in modes of being and thinking not unfamiliar to the intended audience, and with certain parameters that act to focus attention on one thing or another. An effective parable will meet the requisite cognitive and affective conditions so that the reader/hearer will at first find herself comfortable in the world constructed by the narrative analogy. It will then, either in the body or conclusion, shift typical cultural evaluations of meaning, most often by proffering unanticipated behavior by one or several of the parable’s characters. This shift allows (or perhaps forces) the audience to rethink their present reality in light of the slanted perspective of the parable. This is similar to Kierkegaard’s notion of “wounding from behind.”

The aforementioned characteristics of Jesus’ parables and my meditation on them in and outside of Dr. Kraftchick’s course have helped me to rethink precisely what I am doing and, more importantly, what is happening to me at CST. I have come to see that my training here is more than a 2-year data acquisition program. My relationships here, the coursework, the reading assignments, the papers and projects all cast alongside my vision of life an alternative and fictive account of reality. Furthermore, it is cast in the structure of a narrative. I don’t think in binary. Rather, I recount and contemplate my experiences in the form of story. My participation in Timothy Jackson’s Christian Ethics course begins with a relative feeling of ease concerning my certainty about morality, the ethics of war, Christian character, etc. But it is not long before I find myself “thinking it slant,” being cognitively coerced into reformulating the ethical boundaries of the Christian life. The conversations I have with friends after a day of class take me to the liminal spaces of my theological imagination and I am given a glimpse of an alternative world, wherein the life-destroying and oppressive systems of violent domination have lost their dominion. In short, reading parables has taught me how to read my time at Candler School of Theology and, for that, I am indeed grateful.

- Justin Rose

Justin is a 2nd year MTS student from Florida and a Student Ambassador.


Sep 9 2011

Higher

As we begin another year at Candler and welcome 177 new students to this incredible community, a few second year students offer this deep reflection.

- Patrick Littlefield, Kristoffer Park, & Alex Thompson