Reflections from Seminary Students

Book Review–Gilead

May 11th, 2012 § 0 Comments

Gilead, Marilynne Robinson’s 2004 novel, is one that I have heard a lot about for several years.  It is one of those books that seems to come up in discussions of favorites. The novel won the  2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award.  In addition President Barack Obama lists Gilead as one of his favorite books on his facebook page.  I attempted to read Gilead on a midnight greyhound to Spokane once, but the slow pace of the book could not compete with my increasingly strong desire to sleep or the strange characters that night busses always tend to collect.  This time around I was much more successful as we were reading Gilead as a class for THEO 6720: Vocational Discernment & Discipleship. » Read the rest of this entry «

Thursday. Friday. Saturday.

April 4th, 2012 § 0 Comments

Throughout  my time in Seminary I cultivated a love of creating assemblage sculptures.   Assemblage is a form of sculpture where instead of cutting away at a chunk of stone, the sculpture is built up, typically using previously formed objects.  My work tends to focus on ordinary objects (terracotta pots, empty wine bottles, cement, copper wire, wood, glass, brick, and various other odds and ends).  My work also is largely religious in theme and is very, very amateur.  I have no formal training in assemblage, sculpture or art.  But it is a thing that I love and I find that creation in a visual sense lends to a concreteness of previously esoteric theological concepts.   I think of faith, community, sorrow, salvation, the imago dei, and compromise all in terms of sculpture.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Christus Victor

March 5th, 2012 § 0 Comments

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org

Christ Pantocrator mosaic from the Hagia Sofia

Our Theology/Ethics class has been studying and discussing different theories of atonement.  My group looked into the Nonviolent Atonement theory, which is based in narrative Christus Victor.  Almost all atonement theories have something beneficial to add to the conversation.  This poem is my attempt to bring out what’s compelling in Nonviolent Atonement.

Christus Victor
by Jordan Uomoto

To pick up the sword is to pick up a consuming fire
That spreads from clenched fist to smoldering heart
Until all this is left is a shadow of smoke » Read the rest of this entry «

The [digital] fast I choose | On developing a rhythm of sabbath

February 27th, 2012 § 1 Comment

Holy one,

You formed the cosmos and all that is within. You spoke your creation into motion. And when you saw it was good; we were good, you rested. You ceased. Help me to understand what it means to stop, to refrain from the busyness that has caused me to forget–us to forget–that you have called us sons and daughters–not slaves. Renew in us a desire to rest in you.

Busy and Proud of it?
I am guilty of speaking openly about my busyness.

Perhaps unintentionally. » Read the rest of this entry «

Religion and Jesus

January 24th, 2012 § 1 Comment

Reading the various debates about the recent spoken word about Jesus and religion has been a surreal experience because I am in the midst of teaching a class on Karl Barth, a 20th century theologian who coined a rather famous (or infamous) line regarding religion, “religion is unbelief” he would eventually say in his magnum opus,Church Dogmatics.

But re-reading his Commentary on Romans, I am not sure Barth’s quip is so easily applied to the present resistance to “religion” (re: institutions and doctrine) in favor of Jesus. Barth writes, “Religion is neither a thing to be enjoyed nor a thing to be celebrated…” (258) Barth wrote this in the midst of an extended reflection on religion as a refusal of God and of our creatureliness. Some might take (and have taken) Barth to mean that instead of religion we need Jesus rather than these man-made edifices of institutional power. » Read the rest of this entry «

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