I got six new pages out of my tasks for this week. And they sure are terrible. Placeholder ideas, really, but I got to keep moving forward.
Again, I’m trying to describe religious discipline as more than just church trials, but as an ethic for personal and social engagement in the world. To this end, I’m trying to make a distinction between the sacred congregation/the sinful world, and sacred behavior/sin. I think this is important. In the former, we will interpret Protestant people as reluctant to enter the world and thus recoiling from modernisms. In the later (as I’d prefer it), we may interpret Protestant people as armed with necessary weapons to do battle in the world and unafraid to enter it. This is not very articulate yet, but I think it will go a way in rethinking the southern evangelical approach to modern social transformations. Which is important.
I finally went back and re-read McCurry’s chapters on religion. Good, strong, stuff, even if I don’t really buy it. She’s posited the central tension in evangelical life (in regard to women and men) as between the spiritually egalitarian promises of Protestant theology and the worldly inequalities of patriarchical society. I completely agree that the world consisted of hierarchies of unequal power. That is undisputable. I’m not certain that the theoretical promise of spiritual equality was really a viable factor in how women framed their social expectations, or that secular social realities took precedence in shaping theological expectations. But, assessing the prioritization of experiences for individual people, let alone social groups, is damn near impossible, but the task I’ve taken up.
Picked up two articles by Frederick Bode that I had printed out and set aside a while back. (One from the JSH, and the other from Georgia HQ) Holy crap, I don’t think I’ve ever read something before that I so completely and utterly agreed with. And not just agreed with because it’s interpretation I find good, new, and exciting, but agreed with because I’ve been thinking the same thing based on my own research. The difficulty is integrating his work, published fifteen years ago, into my own without feeling or seeming completely derivative.
I’ve got Saturday devoted to something else entirely, but I’ll be working on this between now and Monday, when I’ll be laying out week 2 goals. So far, so good.