Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lived Theology and Radical Christians

Howard Kester (right), with STFU leaders in 1935
AU religion prof Peter Slade is involved in a two-year collaborative project with 12 other scholars to produce a single volume entitled Can I Get a Witness? Stories of Radical Christians in the U.S., 1900-2014.

Each chapter will be a theological narrative of the life of a scholar, activist, layperson, or religious leader whose lived theology produced and inspired social justice in the United States. "I am writing about Howard Kester," Slade explains. "He was radical Christian working for racial justice and labor rights in the South during the 1920s and 30s. What was not widely known during his lifetime was that he was an undercover investigator of lynchings for the NAACP." Other chapters will include William J. Seymour, Dorothy Day, Ella Baker, William Stringfellow, Yuri Kochiyama, and Richard Twiss. (learn more here)

This project is part of the Project on Lived Theology based at the University of Virginia. Peter Slade has been involved with the project for sixteen years. He is featured in this short documentary explaining the work and vision of the project.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cross Cultural Communication in REL260

Short-Term Missions (STM) is a huge phenomenon in U.S. American Christianity-- and in Christianity worldwide. This week, Dr. Dickson's STM class partnered with the ACCESS Level V international students from China, Saudi Arabia, and India (taught by Marcus Davis) to practice cross-cultural communication skills. 

Discussions were lively-- and educational! "That was painful," one student laughed at the end of an exercise in which he (a confident extrovert) had been asked to represent a person from a soft-spoken, indirect culture. Students were surprised to discover blind-spots in their own cultural perspectives and gained tools and skills for filling in those blind-spots. 

REL260 Short Term Missions is taught by Dr. Dickson every spring. It explores the origins, development, theology, economics, and practices of STM. Students can combine this course with a Spring Break missions trip for Study Away Credit.