On July 13, 2010, Glenn Beck made liberation theology—and especially Black Theology—the subject of his televised program. The real subject of his complaint was twofold: liberation theology is “a perversion of God” that mistakes Marxism for the plain meaning of the Gospels, which, for Beck, are self-evidently about individual salvation, and liberation theology does away with the language of merit, convincing the down-and-out that they are victims deserving of a handout instead of hard work. The inconsistencies of this message, along with Beck’s misreading and simplification of the various complex traditions of Christian liberation theology have not gone unnoticed in rebuttals and reprisals.Read the rest of Au contraire, Mr. Beck.
Kathryn Reklis is a regular contributor to here & there, a Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies at Yale University, and the Director of Theological Initiatives at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Her academic research focuses on the formation of kinesthetic imagination in North American Christianity, theological aesthetics, and the intersection of performance theory and constructive theology. She holds degrees in English literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and historical theology from Yale University Divinity School. She also writes regularly on popular culture and religion at her co-authored blog The Moth Chase.
Posts by Kathryn Reklis:
Michael Jerryson discusses his new book Buddhist Warfare, co-edited with Mark Juergensmeyer, at Religion Dispatches, explaining “how the notion of a purely mystical and otherworldly Buddhism—promoted by some of the great interpreters of the tradition—denies its adherents’ humanity.”Read the rest of Exploring Buddhist violence.
Courtney Bender explores the criss-crossing lines of gender, power, and spirituality in the controversy surrounding Hasbro’s release of a hot pink ouija board, marketed for young girls, explaining the centuries old link between spiritual mediums, their devices, and gendered spirituality.Read the rest of Pink ouija board targets young girls as spiritists or spiritual victims.
After claiming two of the big prizes at this year’s Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director – Motion Picture), James Cameron’s Avatar is on a fast track to Oscar glory, hoping to prove it has more to offer than fancy special effects and groundbreaking digital technology. Heavy-handed and lacking in originality—almost every review compares it to Dances with Wolves in space—the political overtones of the well-worn “outsider goes native in order to protect the aboriginals and regain his own spiritual equanimity” storyline have garnered less debate than its palatable pantheism and environmental spirituality.Read the rest of “New” pantheism enters the Oscar race.