In this online course, theologian Elizabeth Johnson rethinks and reimagines the mystery of God in our unfinished world and fraught times. Her book Creation and the Cross engages us seekers in critical and creative dialogue with Anselm’s feudal metaphor that makes Jesus’ death necessary to restore his Father’s honor. No metaphor is adequate to express the mystery of God. In our culture today, satisfaction theory turns God into an abusive father and makes Jesus a victim.
Instead, Johnson places Jesus’ death and resurrection in today’s evolutionary and cosmic context, connecting human suffering and the suffering of all creation. What we are experiencing in our daily lives as protecting ourselves from COVID-19 has disconnected us from each other, cleared our skies, and raised havoc with livelihoods among our poorest neighbors.
What we are experiencing as protest liturgies in our streets and around the world is seeking justice for all the oppressed who know the knee on the neck that killed George Floyd. Protest litanies insist we say his name and those killed before him. Black Lives Matter. As people sweep up the broken glass of neighbors’ lives and livelihoods, what are we learning? What are we learning about the brokenness and suffering embedded within the lands, waters, our interdependencies and the shared life of beings in our planetary ecologies? How do we live resurrection and the mystery of holy surprise?
Our virtual class will include pre-recorded lecture, small- and large-group discussion, access to a private course webpage, and a live Zoom conversation with Professor Johnson on November 9.
Instructors: Joan Mitchell, CSJ, PhD; Andrea Pearson Tande, MA; Colleen Carpenter, PhD; Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, PhD; Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, PhD, (via Zoom Session on November 9).
This course will be held via Zoom. See program page for online course expectations and details.