Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DET: My New Gig

Ce n'est pas un théologien.

I'm delighted to announce that I'm going to be blogging from time to time at Die Evangelischen Theologen. Check out my first post, complete with an embarrassing mug shot. (The editor included that picture with a solemn warning: If I fail to produce posts on a regular basis, he's going to copy and upload additional pictures from my Facebook page).

Even though I'm going to be over there (presumably) a lot, I'm still going to post some stuff here at Theology of Freedom. Actually, the spatial metaphor "over there" is somewhat misleading. Both blogs show up on my Blogger dashboard as tabs that are only about one centimeter apart. So you might plausibly think of the two sites as one really one blog. And since it's common now to think of theology as a collaborative effort, and postmodern thought has so problematized the notion of individual authorship, it's plausible to think of the 900 or so posts at DET, in some sense, as my very own work as well.

You will still find content here on this blog for your reading pleasure and edification (or bemusement), though the focus might be a little different. Here you might find material that wouldn't survive an editorial override (such as this post, for example).

To ease the transition for some of you gentle readers who may not be familiar with DET, I've provided this rough guide for the newbie:
  1. Don't let the title fool you: The blog is actually written in English, not German.
  2. Nonetheless, a number of contributors and guest posters study German theology and will throw in the occasional word or phrase auf Deutsch.
  3. The basic function of German terms in Anglo-American theology -- and this is important -- is to cover up the fact that we don't really know what we're talking about.
  4. Perhaps no theologian really knows what she's talking about (you know, "learned ignorance" and that sort of thing.) Nonetheless, the Germans have developed particularly adept idioms for naming what no one really understands. Throw in or take away an umlaut and you can turn one meaningless concept into two very easily. And you have also thereby created a "distinction" (theologians from Aquinas onward have always loved distinctions).
  5. And while we're at it, let's parse the blog title itself: "Die" is (fortunately) not cognate with English. It's just the plural form of the German definite article (so translate it simply as "the"), and it signals the editor's intent that the blog be a truly collaborative enterprise. That makes good sense, as some of the better blogs out there are group blogs. One of these blogs goes by the name of "Itself". Now that has always puzzled me. But the authors read and write a lot about Continental critical theory, so I chalk it to being a postmodern thing. Another group blog, one of my favorites, goes by the acronym WIT, which I find to be cunning and a propos. Another great blog is mainly a collaboration of two fellows, an older and a younger guy. Still, I've sometimes wondered if the older guy character (his name seems made up) is a literary construct and alter ego of the younger one, or maybe there's some sort of Kierkegaardian-type thing going on here with pseudonymity. But I'll just take the blog at face value and leave it at that.
  6. The German Evangelische differs so markedly in connotations from the term Evangelical has in North America that I don't even know where to start, and it's getting late.
  7. The German "Theologen" is pretty much cognate with English and means, basically, individuals who write learned things about matters no one understands. 
But seriously, I am excited about this new blogging opportunity. DET is actually a fairly respectable site.

Or at least it was until yesterday.


  1. Well done!

    I've met Kim of F&T fame in the flesh, btw.

  2. He(?) is wicked funny, as we say in Massachusetts.

  3. Yes, he. And he is from NYC as I recall, but I can't remember which borough.