Dr. Anthony Baker Launches The Diagonal Way


Dr. Anthony Baker, Southwest’s Clinton S. Quin Professor of Systematic Theology, recently announced a new regular column at Patheos titled The Diagonal Way. Patheos is a journal started over a decade ago as an online place for affirming interfaith ideas and conversations. Since then, it has grown to become among the most popular websites for faith and religious and points of view. The column will appear twice weekly.

“I submitted an essay on Teresa of Avila and forgiveness, and the editor liked it enough to ask me to write a regular column,” shared Baker when asked how the project began. “I said yes because I’d begun looking for a home for popular theological writings, something to share with lay people. Much of the writing I do is for scholars and students of theology. But I’ve been teaching classes for lay people for my entire adult life, and I’ve never shared much of that beyond the forums and classes where we gather.”

Baker titled the column The Diagonal Way, as a connection to his first book, Diagonal Advance. The central theme of that book is that “life lived toward God is an approach that also takes us more deeply into our lives as humans: so it’s not a vertical escape, but a diagonal advance.” 

“That book was written for scholars,” said Baker. “But in the decade since I wrote it I’ve found myself reflecting on ways that it’s theme could connect with people outside of the theological academy. People who are attempting to live faithful Chrisitan lives. So I’m writing this column in hopes that it will do some of that work.”

Continued Baker: “I have our alums in mind as I write each column: what could I write that might help support our graduates in their ministries, or in their lives of faith? I hope that some of what our alums read here will provide them with a small portion of what they need to do the work God has called them to.”

To subscribe to The Diagonal Way (not to be confused with Southwest’s blog, Sowing Holy Questions, to which Dr. Baker also contributes) please visit this page.