CC in October – Sex and the Single Savior

This month’s reading comes from Dale B. Martin’s collected essays Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006. We will focus on chapter 7 which is also titled ‘Sex and the Single Savior.’

In that chapter Martin explores the questions allowed and disallowed regarding Jesus and sexuality. Martin engages these questions through four interpretative strategies which he names as the popular imagination, the historical imagination, the patristic imagination, and the gay imagination.

Martin, Dale B. “Sex and the Single Savior.” In Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation, 91-102. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.

A supplemental reading, ‘But the Bible Says, . . . A Catholic Reading of Romans 1′ by James Alison can be found at the following link

We will be meeting Friday October 31 @ noon (Katherine Friesen Centre; 940 Notre Dame Ave).

CC in September – Feminism and the (non)violence of God?

This Fall we will begin Critical Conversation with a text exploring the current debate in Mennonite theology around the question of God and violence. The text by J. Denny Weaver will outline the current debate as well as his own development of the question.

Susie Guenther Loewen will facilitate the session by bringing this topic into conversation with her current research in feminist thought.

J. Denny Weaver, “Response to Reflections on The Nonviolent Atonement,” The Conrad Grebel Review 27, no. 2 (Spring 2009): 39-49.

Please join us Friday September 19 @ noon (Katherine Friesen Centre; 940 Notre Dame Ave).


Summer CC! – Utopian Pedagogy

We will be gathering for one summer session of CC so let’s aim high with Utopian Pedagogy! Aiden Enns will be facilitating the conversation. Below are some thoughts and questions that guide his reading.

We are changing the day for this meeting so please note we are meeting Thursday August 21 @ noon (The Katherine Friesen Centre, 940 Notre Dame Ave)

Text – Mark Cote, Richard Day, and Greig de Peuter. “Utopian Pedagogy: Creating Radical Alternatives in the Neoliberal Age.” The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 29:317–336, 2007.

Some guiding questions from Aiden,

This topic is of interest to me as a Christian, activist-oriented editor of a quarterly magazine. I often feel like my work is removed from the cut and thrust of suffering in the world. I labour against the neoliberal order (a notion explored in the article) from the comfort of my middle-class lifestyle.

Is this enough? What is required of me? What is the responsibility of an educated, privileged person aware of their part in the structures of oppression?

Does the Christian notion of salvation pertain to the academic ally? I.e., Luther said we are both sinner and saved at the same time. Can we be part of the problem and solution at the same time as well?

How are academics like ministers/preachers in a church? For example, theoretically, pastors and preachers receive a word from God for the people. I.e., they have wisdom (truth, or liberating knowledge) for their congregation, and they are hired (and therefore obliged) to explore, descipher and transmit that word or wisdom to their parishoners. Do academics do the same for their students? For the public? For other academics?

Is it okay to pursue academic inquiry for its own sake? Isn’t it wrong to study an obscure thing purely out of interest and curiosity?

CC in June – Alcoff and Gray on Survivor Discourse

Excerpted from Linda Alcoff and Laura Gray, “Survivor Discourse: Transgression or Recuperation?” Signs (1993).

Full text here.

Michel Foucault argued that speech is not a medium or tool through which power struggles occur but itself an important site and object of conflict (Foucault 1972b, 216). He also claimed that bringing things into the realm of discourse, as the confessional structures of the Church brought bodily pleasures into discourse and thus “created” sexuality, is not always or even generally a progressive or liberatory strategy; indeed, it can contribute to our own subordination.
. . .
It is within the contradictory space of these two claims – that speech is an important object of conflict and that disclosures increase domination – that we would like to initiate a discussion of the discourse of those who have survived rape, incest, and sexual assault.


Join us for a discussion on this important topic on  Friday June 20 @ noon (Katherine Friesen Centre; 940 Notre Dame Ave).


CC in April – Unsettling Theology: Decolonizing Western Interpretations of Original Sin

This month we are pleased to present another opportunity to engage original research. Melanie Kampen ( will present chapter 5 of her recently defended Master’s Thesis Unsettling Theology: Decolonizing Western Interpretations of Original Sin. The chapter reads quite well on its own but if you are interested please leave a comment and I send the entire thesis.

So please come and join us Friday April 25 @ noon (Katherine Friesen Centre; 940 Notre Dame Ave)

Chapter 5 & Epilogue – Conversion & Assimilation: Redemption, Resurgence, and Romans 5-8

CC in March – Blum and Foucault

This month will be engaging a chapter out of Peter Blum’s recent book For a Church to Come: Experiments in Postmodern Theory and Anabaptist Thought.

We will be reading Chapter 1, “Foucault, Genealogy, Anabaptism.”

For those who are interested and ambitious I am also posting a background piece by Foucault that informs Blum’s work.
Michel Foucault – Nietzsche, Geneaology, History

We are meeting Friday, March 14 @ noon (Katherine Friesen Centre; 940 Notre Dame Ave).