Stoicism, Resistance, and Equity

Sancta Colloquia episode 102 ft. John-Marc Ormechea

In this episode I talk with my friend and philosophical and theological interlocutor John-Marc Ormechea (Twitter: @EpicTillich), and we discussed all things Stoicism, how Stoicism is inherently situated to stand against oppressive systems, and the emphasis within Stoicism that we all fit together (equity). I have to tell you that I know practically nothing about Stoicism; this conversation was mostly selfish: I wanted to learn about this philosophical school. Simultaneously, John-Marc is a person I admire in many regards and Stoicism for him is a way of life; according to the way he loves and has compassion and works–brick by brick and day by day–to build a better world, how could I not want to know more? How could I not share what we discussed with you?  Whatever version of Stoicism I had in my narrow-minded view of Stoicism was quickly and efficiently dispelled my John-Marc’s passion and expertise; he’s truly a great teacher. From what I learned from John-Marc, this isn’t your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great…great grand-father’s Stoicism.

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (https://www.screamingpods.com/):

A huge THANK YOU to my friend and producer Sean Duregger (Twitter: @seanCduregger) and Screaming Pods (Twitter: @ScreamingPods) for hosting Sancta Colloquia (Twitter: @SanctaColloquia).

A heads up that I sound a bit like I’m talking on a phone, from the middle of a jungle on a remote island. This is because my computer picked up my blue-tooth mic on my headphones rather than the mic I use for podcasting *grumbles (read: no fault of my wonderful producer). I promise, I’ll double check this in the future 🙂

To hear and see a different conversation I had with John-Marc about my love for all things Luther, watch this video:

John-Marc Ormechea works for a Rehabilitation Hospital. He considers himself to be a lay systematic theologian and philosopher who is primarily influenced by the work of Paul Tillich as well as classical and modern Stoicism. He not only talks the Stoic talk, he walks the Stoic walk.

Here are some resources from John-Marc for further reading and studying:

Besides this incredible introduction Massimo has this incredible blog as well:
Core Cannon:
Incredible 2ndary Sources:

White Supremacy, Mysticism, and Feminism

Welcome to Sancta Colloquia episode 101 ft. Kate Hanch

In this episode, I talk with my friend and colleague Rev. Kate Hanch (Twitter: @katehanch) and we discuss mysticism, feminism, and white-supremacy.  It’s clear that in this conversation I am wading into unknown theological waters, and Kate proves to be a good swim coach and life guard. She deftly moves me from my default to skepticism of mysticism into a “hot-damn!-Maybe-I-should-rethink-this” mindset. The way in which Kate engages medieval female  mystics rightly challenges my average (mis?)conceptions about Mysticism. She reveals that mysticism isn’t only about our vertical relation with God, but also about participating in the horizontal actively and politically. So, if you’ve ever thought mysticism was merely a means for Christians to “Jesus-Juke” out-of-body experiences, think again. Mysticism has been and continues to be a means to combat and overhaul oppressive systems in society and challenge the status-quo.

Intrigued? You should be. Listen here via Screaming Pods (https://www.screamingpods.com/):

A huge THANK YOU to my friend and producer Sean Duregger (Twitter: @seanCduregger) and Screaming Pods (Twitter: @ScreamingPods) for hosting Sancta Colloquia (Twitter: @SanctaColloquia). Also, a big hug to my friend Danielle Larson (Twitter: @DanielleELarson) for helping me record a test run.

To hear (and see) more from Kate about medieval female mystics, specifically on Julian of Norwich, watch this video by Dr. W. Travis McMaken (Twitter: @WTravisMcMaken):

The Rev. Kate Hanch is studying theology at Garrett Evangelical seminary, and is also ordained in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.  Kate specifically studies medieval female mystics and 19th century black female mystical preachers.

Here are some resources from Kate for further reading and studying:

Andrews, William. Sisters of the Spirit: Three Black Women’s Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.
Bostic, Joy R. African American Female Mysticism: Nineteenth-Century Religious Activism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.  This is the book, more than any others, that challenged and changed my view of mysticism.
Crawley, Ashon T. Blackpentecostal Breath: the Aesthetics of Possibility. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017.
McGinn, Bernard, ed. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism. Modern ed. New York: Modern Library, 2006.
Newman, Barbara. “Annihilation and Authorship: Three Women Mystics of the 1290s.” Speculum 91, no. 3 (July 2016): 591–630.

Pelphrey, Brendan, and Julia Bolton Holloway. Lo, How I Love Thee! Divine Love in Julian of Norwich.  Spring Deer Studio, 2012.

Ruffing, J.K. ed. Mysticism and Social Transformation. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Washington, Margaret. Sojourner Truth’s America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011

Sancta Colloquia: Sacred Conversations

Ezeruncaged is laid to rest, but I’m not. Welcome to my newest podcast project: Sancta Colloquia.

“Sancta Colloquia” is latin for: Sacred Conversations.

Some of my favorite episodes of Ezeruncaged were the times friends were invited to participate. The different voices added to our familiar tones, the varying view points highlighted where co-hosts had become too similar. So, when Ezeruncaged dissolved, I thought to myself: why not create a podcast that was comprised of just conversations with other people? I know a bunch of really interesting people; access to potentially great dialogues and conversations is no further than a few key strokes away. In reality, it’s just making public some of the cool conversations I’m already having day to day in various venues. Simple enough.

But, in order to have really good conversations, the space in which those conversations occur has to be safe, it needs to be valued as sacred. And making and maintaining safe spaces is something I know I’m good at. I’m hardwired to create safe spaces for those around me, be it pastorally (in the classroom with my high-school students who are learning to express themselves theologically and philosophically), maternally (making sure my children feel at ease in their environments as they grow in various ways), or relationally (I’m that friend who is not afraid to sit with you in whatever condition you may be in). Human beings are remarkable and amazing creatures. Every time we come into contact with each other, it is an opportunity for that interaction to become an event-encounter, where the divine is present and experienced, and an opportunity for that space to become sacred. With presence and orientation toward the other, that space and that event-encounter are protected and safe. And there’s no better place than from there to have a really good conversation.

I want to be clear, though, about what I mean by “safe place” because, certainly, “safe place” has also become code for: I get to say and do whatever I want no matter how cruel and mean it is. I’ve seen “safe place” and “gospel freedom” used to justify therapeutic hedonism, the type of activity that only ever eventually becomes another law unto itself. In this type of “freedom” and “safe space” the only activity that is allowed is that which lacks virtue and is merely a means to do all the things you’d never do and say all the things you’d never say  irl or in relation to another living, breathing, flesh and bone human beings. Here, in this type of false free and safe place, the territorial flags of “Vitriol” and “Condemnation” wave at full mast.

In the past, I’ve been face to face with such therapeutic hedonism and abuse of freedom and safety and even though it bothered me to no end, I remained silent. In the past I’ve also participated in this type of “freedom” and “safety” and, well, the only thing I have from participation is regret. Immense regret. Bearing the name of Christ, being a disciple there in and labeled a Christian, I have no right to partake in any such behavior or do I have any right to be silent in the midst of such behavior. To love Christ is to love others both when I’m face to face with them and when I’m not. (Full Stop)

Thus, this safe place is for conversation that brings life not only to those participating directly in the conversation, but also to those who choose to listen in. This freedom is for sharing pain and healing, discouragement and encouragement, anger and joy, bondage and freedom, the good and the bad, all with the goal that maybe, just maybe, someone else out there needs to hear these very words. This podcast is and these conversations are a safe place for building up and encouraging and empowering other people.

The only tearing down that will occur will be the tearing down of oppressive and abusive systems that we’ve grown all too accustomed to tolerating in our society and in our churches. Using story and experience, dialogue and conversation, vulnerability and authenticity, community and individuality, questions and answers or silence, my hope is that this podcast will expose (unto life) where we are lacking and exhort us to better activity in the world, activity based in and founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news, the proclamation of the Cross.

So, with that said: Welcome to Sancta Colloquia; I’m glad you’re here.

Twitter: @SanctaColloquia