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Archival Interview: Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker

In my last posting, I linked to a handy religious-inclination quiz, and a few of my friends used it to discover their own scientifically-determined spiritual home. Apparently, my friends are mostly pagan.

Anyhow, my friend Kate was surprised to see that Christianity came in dead last for her. This was surprising, I think, because she—like me—spent her undergraduate years studying Christianity and admires many facets of this religion. She concluded that “when you pick and choose the parts of Christianity that you believe, you can't really expect someone else to see you as a Christian.” Kate raises an interesting theological point: Who gets to decide what it means to be a Christian?

Proverbs of AshesThis reminded me of an interview I did several years ago with a Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker—feminists, theologians, and practicing Christians. They had just written a book, Proverbs of Ashes, in which they assert that the traditional emphasis on Christ’s death creates a culture of violence. They suggest that, instead, Christians focus on Jesus’s message—a call for love and compassion—rather than his grisly sacrifice. It’s a provocative argument, and one that I find very attractive.

Of course, I realize that my views on Christian doctrine and practice probably don’t count for much, seeing as how I’m an agnosto-pagan with a fondness for Buddhism.

April 8, 2005 | Permalink

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