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Charles A. Anderson is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge.
Michael J. Sleasman (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is managing director and research scholar for the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and affiliate professor of bioethics at Trinity Graduate School.
Located in: Deerfield, IL
Submitted: January 11, 2007
Tell us a little about yourself. Kevin Vanhoozer is Research Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity. Charles Anderson is a PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge. Michael Sleasman is a PhD Candidate at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
What was your motivation behind this project? Charles Anderson and I were both using this basic approach to cultural engagement that we learned from Kevin in a number of ministry venues, including Sunday School and the Christian college classroom. We found that both the students and adults easily adapted the approach to their own contexts, which led to stimulating theological interaction with cultural ideas that ranged from the mundane to the highly provocative.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Generally speaking, students, theologians, pastors, and church leaders are well-trained in the task of biblical exegesis. Where many fall short, however, is in the area of cultural exegesis--reading and interpreting the texts and trends produced by our culture, which can have a profound influence on the way we understand the world and practice our faith. Anyone interested in the intersection of Christianity and culture needs to be able to do "everyday theology," that is, to think theologically about our cultural environment and pass it through the grid of Scripture, in order to respond faithfully as Christian disciples. With an emphasis on both methodology and case study, Everyday Theology is well-suited for classroom use as well as the Adult Sunday school class. A significant introduction by Vanhoozer lays out the hermeneutical method for engaging with culture that carefully balances the impulse of charitably reading the culture and critically sifting it through a theologically interpretation. This is followed by a series of essays from young scholars and church leaders that engage cultural texts and trends, from the music of Eminem to the grocery store checkout lane to the phenomenon of Internet blogs. A concluding chapter walks the reader step-by-step through the interpretation process with an additional case study.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Our goal as editors was to produce a volume on theological engagement that is just as useful in a church-based small group as it is to a Christian college or seminary classroom. Our hope is that readers will walk away not just better interpreters of the world around them, but as wise Christian agents impacting that very world.
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