Sabrina's Weekly Digest No. 2


Hello gentlefolks, and welcome to Sabrina’s Weekly Digest No. 2. If you haven’t seen last week’s weekly digest, it was packed with good stuff, so check it out..

Listening

I haven’t been listening to much music this week, except for Binaural Beats for concentration (I mentioned that in the last digest). I have listened to some pretty nifty podcast episodes, though, and I’ll share those with you.

  • Faith and Capital: most of the podcasts I listen to about leftist politics discuss theory and practice. Revolutionary Left Radio rarely connects religion with politics; they discuss theory and events, past and present. The Magnificast talks a bit of theology, but that is not their primary focus. Theology and Socialism is more of the big picture stuff, connecting theological concepts with leftist politics. There weren’t any podcasts dealing directly with the scriptures and leftist politics until this year. Enter Faith and Capital. I have listened to 2.5 episodes so far during my short workouts, and have been enthralled with the way Chase is able to clearly recount stories from scripture and connect them to concepts within capitalist structures. So, if you’re interested in the Bible and how it might dialogue with leftist politics, give it a listen!

  • Love - Rinse/Repeat: I recently listened to Liam’s interview with Linn Marie Tonstad, who is the author of God and Difference, and Queer Theology and was taken into a deeper contemplation of what queerness might look like in the church, how queer theology can’t be relegated to just apologetics, moving beyond rights-based justice, and how capitalism stands in the way of true flourishing. There’s a lot to chew on in this episode!

Reading

Books

Books I nearly finished:

  • Sabrina and Corina. I was about 75% finished, and I somehow missed the 3 day warning from the library’s e-book repository. I requested it again so I can finish it, but I am fairly certain I can write enough about it so that you’ll know if you want to pick this up. It’s a book of short stories, and I was going to use “Chicana” to describe all the main characters, but I don’t think that’s accurate. The author never uses that term, but does describe the characters as Latina, and they are indigenous. The stories mostly center on relationships between women (girls, too) and their friends and family, and their relationship to the land. Who am I, what is home, and how do I make a home in a land that considers me a stranger? are the questions threaded throughout. The stories have a melancholy, thoughtful tone, and are beautifully written. It would make for a quick read, but I kept having to take breaks because I was not in the right frame of mind to be reading mildly sad stories. In case you’re wondering, yes, the cover did catch my eye, because not many books have my name on them.

Books I finished this week:

  • Wisdom Ways. I started a bunch of books at the same time last fall, thinking I could juggle them all and have them read fairly quickly before getting distracted by more books and events. I was wrong, and am still wrapping them up. I have one more after Wisdom Ways, and I will post a thorough review of it next week. For now, let me say that if you need an introduction to general feminist hermeneutics, this is a decent place to start, although I have questions for those who are more well-versed in feminist hermeneutics.

Articles and miscellanea

I haven’t seen many interesting articles this week (gasp! If you have any recs, send ‘em my way, please). It seems like I run into interesting Twitter threads more often, and I retweet those, so…I’m going to toot my own horn for a few seconds.

I wrote a little story earlier this week, mostly for my own amusement, and you can read that here. It’s titled “In which there is a socialist meet and greet”, or, “The First Adventure of an Infant Socialist.”

Curiosities

Some family history, or: what would have Sabrina done in the early 20th century had she been a man?

A couple years ago, I got curious about my great-grandfather (my maternal grandmother’s father; my grandmother was always talking about how he was the Best Minister Ever (so great that he received an honorary doctorate), but I never knew any specifics besides that, and as a good Evangelical kid, I had little interest in any minister who didn’t preach personal conversion). I wanted to know more about his education, and his theology as a minister in the Congregational Church (now United Church of Christ), mostly because I was beginning to think about ordination, and relished having something else in common with one of my ancestors. I tried some Google searches. I discovered the blog of a pastor in which my great-grandfather, Rev. Janes, was mentioned as being one of his predecessors in the pulpit, so I had a brief email conversation with the him in which I learned that my great-grandfather’s theology seemed to be liberal (not in a political sense, but liberal as in Schleiermacher). I learned around the same time that Rev. Janes had graduated from Chicago Theological Seminary.

The pastor I corresponded with sent along a sermon by Rev. Janes titled “Why Protestant?”, which is the only sermon I have been able to track down (if you want to read it, let me know). After our correspondence, I let my quest go for a while. Almost two years, in fact.

I got really curious again about my great-grandfather Janes a couple weeks ago. Reading more about his life, I discovered that he had lived in Manhattan with my great-grandmother for a short duration on assignment, and went to Riverside Church, where he rubbed shoulders with Dr. Fosdick. THE Dr. Henry Fosdick. My great-grandfather thought so much about Jesus’ baptism that he wanted to make it into another church holiday. He also worked in a newspaper print shop before college and wanted to be a writer before deciding to follow in his father’s footsteps. This…sounds vaguely familiar. Are proclivities passed down through genetics??

In the process of gathering information, I learned that Rev. Janes’ father, my great-great-grandfather, born in mid 19th century London, had died, while preaching, in a wheelchair. He had been a graduate of Moody Bible Institute (when it was very young; I wonder if he knew DL Moody?), which is…not quite in the same realm as Chicago Theological Seminary and Dr. Fosdick. Quite the opposite realm, in fact. So now I am left with the question, why did my great-grandfather go the opposite direction of his father? Did he disagree his father’s theology, or did he just not know any better? Or did he just choose that school because it was associated with the Congregational Church (his undergraduate was completed at Olivet College, another UCC school)? It’s likely the third reason, which is the least dramatic reason of them all, although I can’t help but imagine more drama around the theological differences, because there was definitely drama during that time (1920s).


That’s all for this week! Would you be interested in a “watching” section? Let me know.