julie clawson

Julie Clawson 08-26-2011

In reading some of the responses to my last post Embodied Theology, I was reminded of an essay I wrote for a class last semester, so I've rewritten part of it as a blog post to help clarify my position.

Embodied theology is rooted in the doctrine of creation. Why did God create us? As some have proposed, God couldn't not create or love us -- it's just part of God's nature. As a relational giver and lover within the Trinity, God couldn't help but be the same thing in relation with humanity. Who we are comes from God. We are not by nature sinful broken creatures, but creatures shaped in the very image of God.

Julie Clawson 08-22-2011

Earlier this summer I attended a church service where the pastor, a man struggling with what appears to be his final bout with cancer, preached about the hope that Jesus promises to those who trust in him. After describing the returning Jesus brandishing a sword and dripping with the blood of all our vanquished enemies, he invited the audience to share what they saw as the hope that this Jesus promises. The responses ranged from no cancer, to no pain, to no worries about paying the bills, to the promise of an upgraded body -- all of course in heaven someday after we die. The congregation was encouraged to find contentment in the present from the possibility of realizing these promises someday. Our souls are what matter; the body just has to endure until our souls reach heaven. No mention of help with how to pay this month's rent or what it means for a cancer-ridden body to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, just the spiritual promise that someday all will be well.

Julie Clawson 08-16-2011

So NPR just released the results of their survey for the "Top 100 Science-fiction and Fantasy Books." It's a great list with some of my all-time favorite books on it (although I disagree with their decision not to include young adult books on the list, but that's just me). Some 5,000 books were nominated for the list, but the ones that made the top 100 were mostly ones that were more than just entertaining stories; they are the stories that mean something. Stories that through their imaginings of alternative worlds tap into the power of the prophetic to deliver the message that our world too is not absolute, but imagined and therefore capable of change.

Now, while I have complained in the past about why imaginative challenges to oppressive orders in our world only seem to happen in speculative fictions, the genre still remains my favorite -- often for that very reason. As this recent comparison of women of sci-fi vs. women of prime time shows, there are just so many more substantial ways of being in the world than the status quo generally allows for. Speculative fictions not only present the possibility that the dreams we struggle for now could someday actually be realities, they are also the prophetic voice calling us into that world.

Julie Clawson 08-11-2011

Over the past few weeks various news outlets have run stories on the so-called feminism of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Typical of the media, in order to make that claim, they, of course, had to assume that any woman doing anything in public equals some sort of feminist revolution. It is, however, a rapidly spreading idea. If the concept of successful women must be blamed on feminist action, then successful conservative women must be the result of feminism as well. Granted this new definition of "feminist" is, as Lisa Miller wrote for the Washington Post, "a fiscally conservative, pro-life butt-kicker in public, a cooperative helpmate at home, and a Christian wife and mother, above all." But apparently it's still feminism.

While many from the left were outraged by the idea of associating these arch-conservatives, who stand against many of the things historical feminists have supported, with feminism, others supported the idea. Naomi Wolf, who seems to have a love/hate relationship with feminism, wrote that the problem some have with calling those women feminists is that we don't understand the history of feminism. She argues (rightly in my opinion) that feminism has only become associated with leftist agendas since the 1960's, but was, in its origins, more balanced and open to conservative values. But then she explains her reasoning why:

Julie Clawson 08-01-2011

1100801-cowboysandaliensAmericans have a hard time knowing how to respond to the sins of our colonial past. Except for a few extremists, most people know on a gut level that the extermination of the Native Americans was a bad thing. Not that most would ever verbalize it, or offer reparations, or ask for forgiveness, or admit to current neocolonial actions, or give up stereotyped assumptions -- they just know it was wrong and don't know how to respond. The Western American way doesn't allow the past to be mourned or apologies to be made. Instead we make alien invasion movies.

Julie Clawson 07-13-2011

1100713-harrypotterjustice2Seeking justice for the oppressed. Working to end the connection of child slavery to chocolate. Helping heal a devastated Haiti. Mobilizing young people to respond to a story of redemption by imaginatively working to build a better world. I think many of us Christians would hope that those words were describing the work of the body of Christ, intent on following the path of Jesus Christ in this world. In this case, they are actually descriptions of the Harry Potter Alliance. That's right -- the Harry Potter Alliance.

Julie Clawson 04-27-2011
Hollywood is generally fairly reluctant to produce films with strong feminist messages. It is far easier to sell women cast as the sexy sidekick or vapid damsel in distress.
Julie Clawson 04-15-2011
Today is the annual National Day of Silence, a day where students across America pledge to be silent for a day in order to bring attention
Julie Clawson 04-05-2011
My daughter has had a difficult time understanding Lent this year.
Julie Clawson 02-08-2011

I admit, I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Yes, it's crass and consumerist, but seeing how marketers decide to spend millions of dollars in an attempt to manipulate me each year holds some sort of strange appeal (twisted as it may be).

Julie Clawson 01-26-2011
I just recently became aware of a discussion that grew out of the Third Lausanne International Congress on World Evangelism in Cape Town this past October.
Julie Clawson 01-18-2011
My daughter came home from school recently with a worksheet that described life before and after Martin Luther King Jr.
the Web Editors 11-19-2010

Thirty turkeys per minute. Airport scanners. Hogwarts. Here’s a little round up of links from around the web you may have missed this week:

  • A photographer turns his aging and depressed grandmother into a superhero.
Julie Clawson 11-11-2010

It's hard to ignore the children. As voiceless as children are in our world, when we hear stories of injustice being inflicted on children, it is hard not to be moved.

Julie Clawson 10-01-2010
We have all heard the old saying that Satan's greatest ploy is to get people to stop believing in him.
Julie Clawson 09-21-2010
Should you not walk in the fear of our God?
Julie Clawson 09-03-2010

Between July 30 and August 3, a reign of terror was released upon villages in the Congo's eastern mining districts.

Julie Clawson 08-05-2010
As a writer with a public blog, I've become used to getting hate emails. Sure, some people might leave offensive comments on a blog, but the real vitriol gets reserved for emails.
Julie Clawson 06-21-2010
One of the joys of vacation Bible school (VBS) is watching what the kids take away from the week.
Julie Clawson 06-08-2010
I've become used to seeing images of protests on the news recently.

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