Laughter at Lent

It’s Ash Wednesday morning as I write these words, and in a few hours I will hear myself and others invited “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance, by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.”  What are we denying and negating, when we choose … read more

ADVENT MEDITATIONS – MONDAY, DECEMBER 19

Psalm 61, 62; Isaiah 11:1-9; John 5:30-47   Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer: Dr. Anthony D. Baker, Advent Meditation   “For God alone my soul in silence waits.” The 62nd Psalm reads as if spoken by one on the edge of lost hope.  The world is alive with assault, falsehood, and […]

Truthfulness in a Post-Truth Age

I’m not sure if one can win a prize for guessing the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year.  Just in case that’s not a thing, I want some virtual fist bumps for calling it this time.  The word of 2016 is “post-truth.”  And I called it. No, seriously.  I promise I did.  Cross my […]

Dr. Anthony D. Baker

Wednesday – December 9 Psalm 38; Amos 8:1-14; Matthew 23:1-12   Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer: Dr. Tony Baker Advent Meditation There’s an irony peaking under the surface of today’s gospel, when Jesus calls out the hypocrisy of the proud interpreters of Torah. Let’s imagine a Pharisee who finds that it’s […]

Jesus Christ, Karl Marx, and Michael Brown

Human labor is not a commodity.  Recent articles on “Ferguson, One Year Out,” which I was reading alongside commentary on the Greek economic showdown, brought this central Marxist insight back to mind. When I read economic and political journalism, I do so not with the insights and perspectives of an economist or a political scientist, but rather as […]

Hospitable Language

What is an argument? “Argument is an intellectual process,” says a frustrated client at the Argument Clinic in a Monty Python sketch. “Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.” “No it isn’t,”is John Cleese’s inevitable reply. Among the Episcopalians gathered in Salt Lake City this summer, there will likely […]

Was Shakespeare Catholic?

A summary of a paper presented to the Central Texas Colloquium on Religion

The Central Texas Colloquium on Religion began five years ago as a celebration of the many scholarly conversations that move around under the umbrella of religious studies. It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I think theology has a place under that umbrella too. Just as theology is something less than it could be when it lacks the methods of textual analysis, historiography, and sociology, religious studies is prone to a certain blindness without the input of theology.