I’m back from AAR. I have a few important things I learned:

1. Monty Python was invoked at the beginning of two separate papers in two separate sessions that I went to. Apparently the Flying Circus now passes for a legitimate academic source.

2. The pope was called the last good protestant.

3. There was “hanging out” — imbibing drink and yelling theology — with Ry, David, Thomas, and others who will remain nameless because they don’t have blogs to link to. Good times had by all me thinks.

4. Milbank and Hart should at least treat other people seriously. I just about got up during a session and left. Freaking annoying. Although Milbank’s lecture to the Paul Reading Group wasn’t too bad. I suppose I’ll just skip over sessions with Milbank and Hart at AAR from now on.

5. I was told I looked like Milbank. Gah! I hope it was because of the low light and the beer that the observer had. That puts an entirely new spin on beer goggles eh?

6. Perhaps my favorite quote, although from whom I can’t remember: “The political is a vector on the incarnation.”

7. The best session was by the Bonhoeffer Group talking about Martin Luther King Jr. (even though Elshtain was on it) with Traci C. West and J. Kameron Carter as respondents.

8. Speaking of Carter, his book sold out early Saturday morning.

9. Speaking of books, they’ve got some great discounts at AAR. I’m once again struggling with shelf space. I need a bigger place and more shelves.

10. Do not think you’ll get any homework done when you’re actually at AAR. It just won’t happen.


5 thoughts on “Post-AAR

  1. Robert says:

    I am particularly interested in the Bonhoeffer Group, if you care to divulge any details. I am currently digesting his small but imaginative book “Creation and Fall” (recommended to me by Carter), which is a theological interpretation of Genesis 1-3.

  2. I didn’t really take notes at the session. Although, I probably could call up the text messages I passed back and forth with friends. But those would mostly consist of “WTF?” during Elshtain’s talk.

    The papers were given by Larry Rasmussen, professor emeritus of Union in NYC, Josiah Young, from Wesley Theological Seminary, and of course Jean Bethke Elshtain of U Chicago. While I know of some who don’t agree much with Rasmussen, the papers that I’ve heard him give are always interesting to listen to. Young I remember was good, but not amazing. Elshtain, well, I don’t want to keep harping on her. And as I said, West and Carter were the best — West kept everyone honest (even questioning the idea of the Bonhoeffer group comparing him with King) and Carter talked about his projects mingled into MLK Jr. while he responded to the papers at hand.

    I couldn’t really say much more unless I had notes in front of me, sorry.

    I will need to get my hands on “Creation and Fall” though.

  3. Robert says:

    Thanks for the summary. Maybe this will wet your appetite:

    In his Creation and Fall (a theological interpretation of Genesis 1-3), Dietrich Bonhoeffer declares that the union of the man and woman is not the loss of identity, but rather the expression of it:

    “It is best to describe this unity by saying that now he belongs to her because she belongs to him. They are no longer without one another; they are one and yet two…They were one from their origin and only when they become one do they return to their origin. This becoming one is never the fusion of the two, the abolition of their creatureliness as individuals. It is the utmost possible realization of their belonging to one another, which is based on the fact that they are different from one another (60).”

    The marriage union of the man and woman is not so much a dissolution of two beings and personalities into one, as much as it is a proper understanding of the connectedness and responsibility that the two share, and its vitality for their permanence. In such a union, the “creatureliness” of neither is lost, but rather enhanced and confirmed by the other. Despite the call to unification, the differences between the two are always on display and ever-present, yet this makes their wedding (I use this literally, not culturally) process all the more absolute. It is in truth that notwithstanding their differences, there is a mutual recognition that what is shared abundantly exceeds what is not.

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