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In a recent post, Christine Sine reflects on the images of Jesus that are popular among different communities, and how these conceptions can radically affect one’s discipleship and faith. She writes:
I have always been fascinated by how Christians perceive Jesus and love to chat to people from different theological and cultural backgrounds to explore this. I also love to collect images of Jesus from other cultures and have included some of my favourites in this post.
It is interesting to me that early Christians (and the Celtic Christians we so much admire) saw Jesus as a companion and a brother. It was only after the emperor Constantine became a Christian that the view of Christ shifted to more of an emperor figure. No surprisingly as Christendom took hold and wars became justified as holy wars we also started to see images of Christ as a warrior king. (more…)
Fuller Theological Seminary surveyed faculty across their campuses and departments to find out what conversations the Church should be engaged in during 2015 and provided links to further reading on the subject (books, articles, and blogs) to help inform those perspectives.
Five of the top six presented spoke about conversations related to diversity, equity, and reconciliation!
Read the full responses and see the reading recommendations here: 15 Conversations the Church Needs To Have in 2015
This morning, I came across a quote from Paul Tillich that caught my attention.
It made me think of the influences that have shaped me into the person who I am today. Usually, we think of teachers, pastors, friends, family members, or authors who have contributed to our development, but Tillich’s quote reminded me of the environmental influences that may, more subtly, effect our perspective. (more…)
This week, we have several posts related to Christmas from different perspectives, from the Christmas Tree as an Anti-Slavery symbol, Advent through the lens of downward mobility, and Christmas traditions from several cultures within Africa (the image to the left are children in Ghana dressed up for the holiday!)
Have a Merry Christmas, from every part of our globe!
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In the United States, it is typical to rent a room temporarily while traveling. Mary and Joseph were not looking for a room for the weekend, as we are accustomed to doing around the holidays. They were looking for temporary lodging, to fulfill whatever obligations of the census and to be ready in case Mary went into labor. In a town that would have been filled with Joseph’s kin, none were willing to make room for him and his pregnant fiancee. Think less about a “No Vacancy” neon sign and more of being told that there are no guest rooms, no rollaways, no couches, no air mattresses, no floors that you are welcome to. “That girl” is not welcome in our town.
Illustrator Everett Patterson has an image that strikes this chord in scene preceding the nativity we are accustomed to decorating our homes, lawns, and churches.
In his commentary on the piece, he writes, (more…)
Leaders of two major branches of world Christianity joined together on November 30, 2014 to issue a joint statement about the need for shared theological reflection, commitment to common purposes, and dialogue with other religious groups to establish understanding and justice. Special consideration was also given to Christians living in war zones in the Middle East and Ukraine.
Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the Orthodox world, are pictured here signing the resolution. Below are excerpts from the text (inset), with comments following major sections.
1. There is a common lineage and history, even if they have been estranged for centuries. By establishing these models at the outset, the statement invites an atmosphere of familial ties.
We, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, express our profound gratitude to God for the gift of this new encounter enabling us, in the presence of the members of the Holy Synod, the clergy and the faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to celebrate together the feast of Saint Andrew, the first–called and brother of the Apostle Peter. Our remembrance of the Apostles, who proclaimed the good news of the Gospel to the world through their preaching and their witness of martyrdom, strengthens in us the aspiration to continue to walk together in order to overcome, in love and in truth, the obstacles that divide us.
The presence of multiple perspectives within the Christian faith is not a new invention of the 20th century. The split between the Western (Roman Catholic, then Protestant) church and the Eastern Orthodox church is well traveled by Christian historians, yet an understanding of the churches which grew from this cultural differentiation is not as common. In the infograph below, several theologians who are considered to be pillars of Western Christian thought are examined through an Eastern Orthodox perspective. (One of these three pillars is so esteemed, he even garnered an entry in our recent World Cup of Theologians – Augustine of Hippo!)This infographic originally appeared at www.russianchristianclassics.org, a blog exploring Russian church history, the relationship between Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Christianity, and introducing Russian Christian leaders to an English-speaking audience.
For more information about a leader in the Orthodox church, see our post on an interview with Thelophilus III, the Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine.