Presentation from AAR 2009

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Presentation from AAR 2009

Here’s a brief presentation of the “conversion” that led to my writing Transforming Christian Theology, along with an attempt to state in just a few minutes what is the main idea of the book.

LeRon Shults pushed me afterwards on these comments: do I not paint academic theology in overly negative, even exclusively negative colors? Perhaps I could have added a bit more nuancing, I admit. Academic theology can make, and has made, positive contributions to church and society. Still, in its abstractness and obtuseness it has frequently remained irrelevant when it could have been helping pastors and could have been speaking prophetically — and clearly! — to contemporary society.

Judge for yourself and let us know what you think…

— Philip



January 4, 2010at 12:35 pm

Phil, encouraging words for those outside the academic circle. Reminds me of a conference called Renaissance Weekend. One’s entire family is invited. Everyone participates on multiple panels throughout the week. Everyone is integral – learning from everyone else at all times. Many of the most profound ideas at Renaissance on religion and spirituality come from the non-academics / non-theologians.

As you noted in your talk, virtual social connectivity is transforming the way we “do” theology. Certainly there’s a place for academic study of Xn religion, yet religion is by nature applied, deeply personal, and ubiquitous-shared-communal-participative. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation with you at Theology After Google.

The purpose of theological education « James Pedlar

February 5, 2010at 5:27 pm

[…] with a small circle of friends who are interested in the same obscure topics.  Philip Clayton recently posted a video on his website criticizing academic theology (including his own work) for this very reason. He may […]

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