*English

In a series of blogs I will offer some (random) thoughts on the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) focusing on what I perceive to be its most basic theme: undivided faithfulness.

John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory

After the collapse of the modernist metanarratives of Marxism and sociology, what is left? Only postmodern nihilistic difference?

In the final chapter of his sub-treatise on "theology and dialectics" Milbank once more asserts that a Christian social theology cannot hope to succeed by dialectical accommodation, by seeking a kind of alliance between Christianity and the thought of Hegel and Marx.

Higher civic participation:
"It's not faith that accounts for this. It's faith communities."

Harvard University professor Robert Putnam and University of Notre Dame scholar David Campbell is presenting their forthcoming study on how religion in America is reshaping civic and political lives. Daniel Burke at Religion News Service reports:

John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory

"Once, there was no 'secular'."

Even if not quite an Barthian bombshell, John Milbank's Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason did really chock its audience (theologians and social theorists) when it first appeared nearly two decades ago. Even if the chock has worn off, the book in some ways rewrote the theological (and sociological) landscape. The book was the precursor of what later should be known as "Radical Orthodoxy".

Barth on the "Wholly Other" as paganism

Last Sunday was the 123rd anniversary of Karl Barth's birth. Here is one quote from his Church Dogmatics which have followed me for over 25 years and definitively did chaken my view of God ever since.

Economics as Religion

Nelson shows convincingly how Western modern economics has evolved into a kind of "secular theology" or "secular religion".

Bell on Forgiveness

"Hence, the gift of forgiveness is the gift of the capacity to forgive and the return of the gift is a sign of the gift’s reception. Where it is not given, it has not been received… Conversely, where it has been received, the gift of forgiveness that is love is returned… Moreover, the gift of forgiveness is the communally instantiated capacity to forgive. Being in Christ is to participate in Christ’s body, the Church. Hence, we learn to receive and return the gift in the Church, and the task of the Church is nothing other than the reception and transmission of this gift.

The Church is itself (or is meant to be) an ekklesia, a sphere were politics proper happens. ... Is Cavanaugh's view of the Church social and bodily enough?

Is there a way forward? For Cavanaugh the only fruitful way forward in this context is "to tap the theological resources of the Christian tradition for more radical imaginings of space and time ... around which to enact communities of solidarity and resistance."