Living your values: the radical Jesus and the spiritual self

July 11-14, 2018

Hot Springs, NC

Location: the Landings

 Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, NC

An interactive workshop on how the radical life and teachings of the historical Jesus inform our personal values. Along with one of Westar’s pre-eminent scholars and members of Westar’s Praxis Forum, Stephen Tickner and Julia Khan, we will explore how our lives align with our values and identify places in our lives that are in need of growth or change. Participants will leave empowered to return to their specific communities with a renewed sense of love and justice to live out into the world.

Julia Khan is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she studied sociology and religion. It was there, in the classroom of Ronald Hock, that her love for the history and formation of the Christian scriptures began. In 2016, Julia graduated from Union Theological Seminary with an MDiv in Pastoral Ministry and Theology. Since graduation she has served as a Chaplain at Soldier On, a non-profit that provides housing and services to homeless and struggling veterans. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing and teaching martial arts, a passion of hers for thirty years.

Stephen Tickner (M.Div., Union Theological Seminary) is the Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church in Danbury, Connecticut, where he is also the chaplain at Wooster School. Tickner is a founding member of the Westar Institute’s Praxis Forum, currently serving as vice-chair. Originally from Oklahoma, he now resides in New York City.

Doing (responsible) theology in the age of Trump

July 11-14, 2018

Hot Springs, NC

Location: the Landing

 Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, NC

What can we learn from the last several years about the state of Christianity and the moral character of the evangelical Right in the United States today? More specifically, what can we learn — and what can we do — about the threat of white Christian nationalism? The facilitators of this session are both leading and emerging voices in the theopolitical resistance movement, emphasizing the importance of activism, understanding, and intersectionality. We recognize how the various forms of oppression interrelate to contribute to a vast, dynamic, and seeming impenetrable network of systemic injustice and marginalization. Politics, even in 2019, need not be played as a zero-sum game with a winner-take-all mentality; a critical theology is as urgently needed and as relevant now as ever. Presenters will touch briefly on their own work of dismantling white Christian nationalism in their contexts, and will lead participants through exercises and reflections meant to help them think critically and creatively about their own experiences of intersectionality. We will address how participants can utilize their experiences toward productive conversation and transformation.

Karen Bray (Ph.D., Drew University) is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Wesleyan College and a candidate for Unitarian Universalist minister. She is interested in how secular institutions and cultures behave theologically. Her work has been published in various academic journals.

Clayton Crockett

Clayton Crockett is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and the Director of the Religious Studies program at the University of Central Arkansas. He specializes in Radical Theology and Contemporary Continental Philosophy of Religion. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including Radical Political Theology: Religion and Politics After Liberalism; Religion, Politics, and the Earth: The New Materialism (with Jeffrey W. Robbins), and Doing Theology in the Age of Trump: A Critical Report on Christian Nationalism (edited with Jeffrey W. Robbins). He is also a Distinguished Research Fellow for the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS), and he is currently working on a philosophy of energy.

Photo of Jeffrey Robbins

Jeffrey W. Robbins is Chair and Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Lebanon Valley College, where he also serves as the director of the American Studies program and the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Awarded the Thomas Rhys Vickroy Award for Outstanding Teaching at LVC in 2005, Robbins is the author or editor of eight books, including the forthcoming Radical Theology: A Theological Method for Change.