Saturday, May 26, 2012

Off To Congress

It is that time again, Congress. Tomorrow I drive to Waterloo with my good friend Mike, should be a good trip. Tomorrow night it is the CETA exec dinner, then Sunday morning we begin with worship. Richard, the president, and I have put together a nice little liturgy to open our part of the conference. A little Vineyard worship mixed with a few hymns - I'm liking it. I wish I had time to swap my guitar strings though, they need changing. We have a full day of papers and then in the evening I have the CTS exec dinner. Monday I am chairing a joint panel - CETA/CTS which is kind of a big deal. We have five panelists: Lee Cormie, Jeff McPherson, John McKay, Margie Patrick, and David Goa. We are looking at the changing relationship between religion and politics in Canada with an eye on how it impacts academic theological education. Our starting point is Marci McDonald's Armageddon Factor, which if you haven't read, is a journalist's take on the rise of what she calls Christian Nationalists. Really she is fairly alarmed at the evident political involvement of those Christians who hold a restorationist theology, similar to what drives a lot of fundamentalist political engagement in the US. There are things I think we need to be alarmed about here - but, as Dennis Gruending astutely points out, McDonald simply does not have a good understanding of the evangelical subculture and how it works. BTW I will be doing a review of Gruending's book, Pulpit and Politics, soon. After this though it is mostly taking in papers and networking. I really need to come up with some leads on teaching work. 

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