This year the theme at the American Academy of Religion took a robust theological turn, focused on “revolutionary love.” Does such a rubric make room for non-Christians? Is the AAR losing its way? Responding to a keynote address by Michelle Alexander, Laura Levitt weighs in on the scholarly organization as a site of Christian political resistance. You can read the whole thing here from online at the Bulletin for the Study of Religion. One can suppose that this country is a deeply Christian country and the AAR has always reflected that fact. Speaking as it does to the question of being caught up short in the world, this is the bit that caught my attention:.
“And then the conversation took, what was for me, an unexpected turn. All of a sudden the revolutionary who had sung the praises of the Black Panthers, shifted gears. The revolution became spiritual, and, more specifically, a proclamation of the power of “the Church,” of Jesus’s suffering on the cross, on the brother/sisterhood of humanity, all of us “children of God.” This was a decidedly Christian universal message. Just as Alexander proclaimed the bankruptcy of American democracy she proclaimed the revolutionary power of the Church. I could not help but hear a call to crusade, a sacred revolution in the name of Jesus Christ and I was no longer a part of this story. The discourse had shifted, profoundly. I was in a different universe.”