Join Dave and Joel as they meander through politics, pop-culture, church and society to consider how a theological imagination creatively envisages and serves the common good.
The Needs of the Soul
Dave and Joel discuss Simone Weil’s brilliant work of political philosophy, ‘The Need for Roots’. They look at the first chapter, ‘The Needs of the Soul’, where Weil paints a picture of the ways in which a just political order provides spiritual nourishment for its subjects. How is beauty related to justice? What is the relationship between rights and obligations? Should authors be sent to the gulag for factual errors? It’s a pedant’s paradise in Simone’s republic!
Post-Liberal Religious Liberty: Part 2
Dave poses the hard questions in part 2 on Joel’s book, ‘Post-Liberal Religious Liberty: Forming Communities of Charity’. What does the ‘spiritualising of subjectivity’ mean? What is ‘the ecclesiological account’ of religious liberty? What’s with this Augustine love-fest? Joel contrasts his account and liberal pluralist arguments offered by other Christian authors. He argues that religious liberty must be grounded not in secular neutrality, but in the political community’s commitment to religion, integral to the common good. Dave wonders whether this involves swimming pools.
Post-Liberal Religious Liberty: Part 1
Dave interrogates Joel about his recent book, ‘Post-Liberal Religious Liberty: Forming Communities of Charity’ (Cambridge University Press, 2020), which offers an answer to the question: why does religious liberty matter? In part 1 of a two-part descent into Joel’s brain, the claim that religious liberty protects the quest for true religion is discussed, along with the (perhaps dominant) liberal egalitarian account of religious liberty, which sees political authority as supporting ethical individualism or individual authenticity. Joel suggests that this account while purporting to be secular, is in fact shaped by theological claims. Dave finally gets to talk about the Supreme Court of the United States.
Narcissism in the Church
Dave and Joel discuss narcissism as a dominant force within the Church and wider society. Narcissism is characterised by an obsession with one’s public persona, coupled with a radical lack of empathy. Within the narcissist lies, not an intense love of self, but an emptiness that demands constant recognition from others in order to be filled. How might current Church practices be fertile ground for the image-obsessed? How might liberal forms of community rob individuals of space necessary for the cultivation of genuine interiority? Are we living in a culture of narcissism?
The Church and the Student’s Vocation
Dave and Joel discuss life as a student and how the church can fail to support it. In the Australian context, where theology and the pursuits of the university have largely been separated, universities have become easy for Christians to instrumentalise. They are places unrelated to the church’s ends, and so simply places where bodies happen to be. Against this, Dave and Joel consider what it means to take seriously the student's vocation. It may involve swords.
Theology and the University
Joel and Dave discuss why theology is central to the purpose of the university. John Henry Newman argues pursuing knowledge demands theology – it ‘enters into every order’, he writes. Spit-balling on this theme, Joel and Dave consider how theological claims are always present in the university, even when theology is consciously excluded. Why then is Jerusalem integral to Athens? And why is Athens integral to Jerusalem? Will Dave ever be absolved of his Calvinist sins? Short answer: no.
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A hidden gem
Dave and Joel’s chemistry and friendship are palpable! They're a wonderful duo with beautiful insights rooted in a wide range of thinking, from medieval Christian theology to contemporary postmodern philosophy. They're also a riot.
The Eucatastrophe is criminally unknown—help change that by listening!