The primal brilliance of the color-scheme—aquamarine Sturgeon-Queen arising fierce and indistinguishable from the sun-shimmered waters themselves, in (visually) bombastic counterpoint to a burnt-rouge sun-rise sky—tags the eye with trance-invitation.
Twenty years after the signing of the Good Friday peace agreement, partisan murals litter the landscape of Northern Ireland reminding all of the thirty-year civil war between Catholic and Protestant neighbors.
It seems that only a certain kind of public theologian, touting a certain kind of theology, is recognizable to the religiously unaffiliated as being, well, religious.
The vocation of the public theologian is to testify to their faith and in doing so to further the good news of Jesus in all our publics. At the same time, the aim of this public theological discourse ought not be to colonize other publics for Christianity.
Wisdom’s publicly raised voice challenges the simple ones, who love being simple; the scoffers, who delight in their scoffing; and the fools, who hate knowledge. The reproof of Wisdom is especially relevant in the contemporary political world, where so many of our leaders and politicians thrive upon such popular attitudes.
For nearly two decades, Wesley Theological Seminary has sponsored the National Capital Semester for Seminarians (NCSS), a program which immerses students from Wesley and other seminaries around the country in the politics and policymaking of Washington and the ways people of faith intersect in those spaces. When Dr. Shaun Casey, the long time coordinator of the program, left to join the faith outreach office at the U.S. Department of State upon request of Secretary of State John Kerry, I stepped in to help direct the program.
The policy of accommodation, cooperative political activities and praying to God for the well-being of a foreign city as suggested by Jeremiah was both innovative and a great challenge to the exilic community. It also has lessons for us as we seek a public, politically and socially relevant theology.