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Episode Summary

Episode Notes

Does your approach to theology bring healing and reconciliation? Does it introduce Christianity as a way of life and peace, flourishing, justice, and shalom? Does your theology have space for diverse and difficult questions to occupy the same space? That kind of hospitable theology would indeed make a difference in our world. Today on the show, we're playing a conversation between Matt Croasmun and Amy Brown Hughes, Associate Professor of Theology at Gordon College and author of Christian Women in the Patristic World. Amy and Matt reflect on the promise and hope of a hospitable theology, grounded in a way of life, sensitive to the difference theology makes for the most pressing issues of our lives today.

About Amy Brown Hughes

Amy Brown Hughes is Associate Professor of Theology at Gordon College. She received her Ph.D. in historical theology with an emphasis in early Christianity from Wheaton College and is the author (with Lynn H. Cohick, Wheaton College) of Christian Women in the Patristic World: Their Influence, Authority and Legacy in the Second Through Fifth Centuries (Baker Academic). Amy also received a M.A. in history of Christianity from Wheaton College and her B.A. in theology and historical studies from Oral Roberts University. While at Wheaton, she worked with the Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies, which encourages dialogue about the interplay between our modern world and early Christian texts. The overarching theme of Amy’s work as a historical theologian is that early Christian writers continue to be fruitful interlocutors in modern discussions of theology. Her research interests include Eastern Christianity, Trinitarian and Christological thought, Christian asceticism, theological anthropology, the intersection of philosophy and theology, and highlighting the contributions of minority voices to theology, especially those of women. Her dissertation, “‘Chastely I Live for Thee’: Virginity as Bondage and Freedom in Origen of Alexandria, Methodius of Olympus, and Gregory of Nyssa,” explores how early Christian virgins contributed substantively to the development of Christology. She regularly presents papers at the annual meeting of the North American Patristics Society.

Recently, Amy contributed to an edited volume of essays from a symposium on Methodius of Olympus at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany,Methodius of Olympus: State of the Art and New Perspectives(De Gruyter) and co-authored a series of essays about early Christian writers with George Kalantzis (Wheaton College) for the early Christianity section of a volume for Protestant readers of the Christian tradition (T&T Clark).

Show Notes

  • Brown Hughes’s experience with theology students: “they're making the connection now much more than I've experienced in the past with, oh, this actually has to matter.”
  • A growing hunger for theology in churches: “The stuff that I do is not only mattering pedagogically in the academy for students, but also with the church as well, that it's starting to be something that they're starting to, like, want books and they want things recommended to them.”
  • A discussion of one challenge in modern theology: an inclination for saying "I have more theology on my side or more on this side. And so therefore I'm more right.”
  • A vision of theology: “I feel like theology can be a really hospitable place for people to actually access Christianity, where there are some big ideas and some values there that we can talk about.”
  • Brown Hughes’s vision of a participatory theology focused on the flourishing of life: “with the United Nation's global goals, for instance like gender equality, no poverty, these different goals, they're worldwide conversations about how humans can flourish, largely speaking. So how can theology with how we think about humanity--how can we participate in those conversations? And I think that sort of requiring ourselves to think, "can we actually participate in that conversation" and say, "yes, I think we can." So how can we do that? Like what can we bring to bear on the conversation of eradicating poverty in the world?”
  • Learn more about Gregory of Nyssa
  • A summary of the field: “theology's a little bit wilder, a little bit messier, but I think that's actually an opportunity for the future.”

Production Notes

  • This podcast featured Amy Brown Hughes and Matt Croasmun
  • Edited and Produced by Evan Rosa
  • Hosted by Evan Rosa
  • A Production of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture at Yale Divinity School
  • Support For the Life of the World podcast by giving to the Yale Center for Faith & Culture:

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