From the Director:
Welcome to our March eJournal. Last Fall, I doubt anyone would have thought that the current Presidential election would still have any suspense or intrigue about the identity of both candidates from the major parties (and certainly the identity of the Republican candidate is a surprise to many), and that we would find ourselves in a moment when there is a notable increase in voter interest and participation when instead we might have expected more cynicism than hope. This greater fervor for political interest and involvement highlights the need for Christians to exercise discernment about the manner of our political engagement and compels us to deepen our reflection on the precise nature of “Christian” political activity. For this reason, I am immensely excited about the opportunity that our Spring Conference provides for helping us to move toward an enhanced vision and practice of public engagement. We have four great speakers and who will give individual presentations and they will also come together for what promises to be a great panel discussion on Tuesday evening March 4. We are also thrilled to announce the launch of the book which emerged from last year’s emphasis on climate change. All of our events are free and open to the public, so consider this my warm invitation to you to come participate in our conference. I also direct you to the our schedule of events below, and to the featured articles by Jim Skillen and D. Stephen Long.
Blessings this Easter Season,
Director of CACE
CACE 2008 Spring Conference
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
March 3rd, 4th and 5th
featuring Dr. Jim Skillen, President of the Center for Public Justice; The Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake, Senior Pastor of Great Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in Jamaica, Queens and President of Wilberforce University; Dr. Joseph Bottum, Editor of First Things and Dr. D. Stephen Long, Professor of Systematic Theology at Marquette University.
40th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Assassination
Friday, April 4, 3:30 pm
Lecture by Dr. Charles Marsh. Dr. Marsh is a Professor of Religion and Director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia.
All CACE events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated.
Conversations on America's Future
Dr. James Skillen
This article appeared in the Public Justice Report: 4th Quarter 2007, vol. 30, no. 4
The next presidential election, still a year away, has been coming at us for too long already. The talk and posturing of would-be candidates for that election have been in our face, it seems, ever since the last election.
If you pay close attention, however, you’ll notice that some very important issues are being raised, issues like health-care insurance, American foreign policy, the environment and more. Nevertheless, talking about issues, even important issues, in stump speeches and in so-called debates is not the same as actually rallying public officials, members of ones own party, and fellow citizens to a course of action that can lead to enduring and just policies.
What Makes Theology Political?
Stephen D. Long
What makes theology political? Before theologians claim the term “political” for their work, perhaps some consideration as to the assumptions behind a “political” and an “apolitical” theology are in order. Few theologians these days would claim their work is “apolitical,” yet theologians regularly accuse others of producing such a theology, which has become a decisive objection to a theology’s adequacy. In fact types of theology have emerged based on the assumption that their difference from other theologies is their political cast. Liberation and public theologies, different in many respects, would not make sense without the common tacit background assumption that other theologies fail to be political or at least adequately political and their work corrects this defect.