In the halls of Eden Theological Seminary, professors and instructors do more than just teach. Many are offering their knowledge and expertise through writing, whether that be in a journal, encyclopedia, or book. These members of the Eden community have contributed to the world of writing with these recent works.
As the Assistant Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, Adam Ployd offered his insights to the Journal of Ecumenical Studies. This issue was a special edition that “arose out of the work of the “Violence in an Age of Genocide” study group, part of the National Council of Churches Faith and Order Convening Table”. Dr. Ployd authored both the introduction, “Introduction: Racialized Violence and the Churches’ Responsibility”, and his own essay, “What Makes a Martyr? The Movement for Black Lives and the Power of Rhetoric Old and New”.
“This essay explores the question of what makes a martyr by placing the early Christian discourse on martyrdom in conversation with the protest and commemoration practices surrounding recent killings of persons of color by United States law enforcement. It argues that white Christians, who are often skeptical of the application of martyrial language to the victims of such racialized violence, ought to be open to the theological significance of such practices. Doing so will allow us to learn new ways of understanding and participating in God’s justice and victory over the forces of death in our world.”
Laurel Kloepf-Taylor is the Associate Professor of Old Testament for Eden Theological Seminary. While she has her own published work, Give Me Children or I Shall Die: Children and Communal Survival in Biblical Literature (Emerging Scholars), Dr. Kloepf-Taylor has recently authored an entry for a new encyclopedia of children and childhood studies. She contributed to The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies which “navigates our understanding of the historical, political, social and cultural dimensions of childhood”.
“Christian belief and practice has both shaped and been shaped by cultural constructions of childhood. The doctrine of the original sin in particular spread across the early Church’s geographic context in Roman-occupied Palestine and was then exported globally as one of the motivating factors for the missionaries who arrived with the rise of European imperial domination. Christian theology and practice have continued to shift in conversation with ongoing cultural encounters around children and childhood.”
As the Professor of Constructive Theology for Eden, Dr. Niles is no stranger to publishing works. Her research and teaching focuses on interfaith and comparative theology, constructive theology, theology and power, contextual theology with a focus on Asian theology, and missiology. Her newest piece, which will be released on August 4, 2020, is titled Doing Theology with Humility, Generosity, and Wonder: A Christian Theology of Pluralism. This book is to help open dialogues on interfaith and “plurality of religious faiths”. Dr. Niles other piece is titled Worshipping at the Feet of Our Ancestors: Hendrik Kraemer and the Making of Contextual Theology in South Asia (Contact Zone. Explorations in Intercultural Theology).
“This book looks at how Christians can think about their own theology in a manner that will allow them to not only be more open to interfaith dialogue but also to see that conversation as essential to what it means to be a Christian. For much of history, Christian theology has been used to undergird and justify imperial power. This has required a theological construction that advances a vision of belief that stands above and against the world and other faiths, or at the very least acts as the one vision under which all the others must unite.”
Christopher Grundy is the well known Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship and Associate Dean of the Chapel for Eden Seminary. Most days, he can be found in a classroom or in the Eden Chapel, but he also shares his knowledge through writing and song. Most recently, Dr. Grundy contributed to the Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy 2020, which “is an ecumenical and interreligious association of liturgical scholars who collaborate in research concerning public worship”. Dr. Grundy’s article story is titled This Is the World I Want to Live in: Toward a Theology of Practical Sacramentality. The article is to look at “what it means for a meal sacramental” and “what was the source of its sacramentality”.
“To whatever extent we can assent to these ideas, however far we are willing to go in stretching our traditions and mindsets, the sacramentality of all these meals presses us to ask what implications the various meals of Jesus’ ministry might have for our theologies and practices of Holy Communion. In particular, the practical sacramentality found in these meals challenges us to look again at the balance of signification and practical effects of our eucharistic rites. It also challenges us to be more curious about the sacramentality to be found specifically in the practicalities of radical eating practices.”
More information and where you can find these works will be on the Recent Faculty Publication page. There are links to read and or purchase these works that our Eden members have written.