Why Religion and Politics Don’t Go Together (Christian Anarchism Clip 2)

The second session of the Summer 2022 Christian Anarchism seminar went deeper into major themes in Christian Anarchism, including the importance of the Sermon on the Mount. The Jesus that emerges in that sermon is a revolutionary, but not the typical type. The ideas in the sermon and elsewhere in Jesus’ teaching reveal a God … More Why Religion and Politics Don’t Go Together (Christian Anarchism Clip 2)

Why Is It So Hard to Change Anything? Christian Anarchism 1, Clip (ft. the Radical Liberal Chomsky)

This is a section of my ongoing seminar on Christian Anarchism, Summer 2022. Why is it so hard for people to break free of the liberal world view and actually see and take up the challenge, and the life and action-altering depth of a religious commitment? With their insistence that Christianity and government are not friends but foes, Christian anarchists may help us recognize our own blockages and accept (at least a little) the challenge. … More Why Is It So Hard to Change Anything? Christian Anarchism 1, Clip (ft. the Radical Liberal Chomsky)

Baby Formula Shortage and Technocratic Evil

A lot of pain and dehumanizing damage in the world takes place due to “technical rationality,” which Hannah Arendt referred to as the “banality of evil.” Here I discuss the baby formula shortage as an example of how “wicked problems” are caused by layers and layers of failures that can be traced back to a lack of fundamental responsibility. In our world, no one is responsible except for the discrete part they play in the overall machine whose inhuman, abstract, and often “CYA” formulations govern their responses and behavior. The evil of non-being comes through in the inertia of organizations and the inaction and conformity of lots of people over long periods of time. … More Baby Formula Shortage and Technocratic Evil

Dustbowl Diatribes 2: The Spoils of Egypt

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Spencer Hess and Laurie Johnson talk about the “Spoils of Egypt” concept from Christian theology, how it has operated in the past, and what is keeping people from using it now. In the past, Christian theologians have often “plundered” secular theology for its riches, taking what was useful and true in light of Christian revelation, and leaving what was not. … More Dustbowl Diatribes 2: The Spoils of Egypt

Pandemic Strikes Politics: On the Plague of Athens (Thucydidean Realism 4)

In the wake of the most recent pandemic, it’s important to realize that the political effects of plague have been known and discussed for a long time. Thucydides has something to say about the political effects of the fear and suffering that come from disease. This episode in the history of the Peloponnesian War gives us plenty to think about regarding the destabilizing effects of pandemics, the pressures on and opportunities for politicians, and the fickle nature of the people–they’ll bounce right back even from plague and recommit themselves to imperial domination and mayhem. … More Pandemic Strikes Politics: On the Plague of Athens (Thucydidean Realism 4)

Pericles’ Funeral Oration and State Worship: Thucydidean Realism (3)

At the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, Athenian leader Pericles took the helm as first general and leader. His first two speeches exhort the Athenians to stay strong in war and praise Athens in the context of a funeral for the first to die. In his funeral speech, Pericles almost forgets the dead soldiers in his love panegyric to Athenian glory. The implications are discussed from the point of view of the general problem of state worship. … More Pericles’ Funeral Oration and State Worship: Thucydidean Realism (3)

Who Started the War? Thucydidean Realism 2

This is always a hotly contested question, no matter the war. Thucydides teaches that the real cause was not the declaration of war by Sparta that officially started the Peloponnesian War, but the imbalance of power created by Athenian aggression over time relative to the Spartan reticence to act. Thucydides is teaching that wars are determined years in advance. It is the creation of the conditions of war that we need to look at to explain any given war. … More Who Started the War? Thucydidean Realism 2

Thucydidean Realism: The Emergence of Rivals (1)

in a series on the Ancient Greek historian Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, with an emphasis on using Thucydidean realism to understand events in International relations. Thucydides begins his work with an “archeology,” a history of ancient times. Through it, we begin to see his take on human nature and the dynamics of power. I begin with a brief discussion of Hans Morgenthau’s “old fashioned realism.” … More Thucydidean Realism: The Emergence of Rivals (1)