Section 6: TRACK 4

Reclaiming Love for Paradise Here and Now

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Track 4: Reclaiming Love for Paradise Here and Now

The times urgently require religious communities and spiritual practices that foster engagement, sustainability and joy. Based on the ground-breaking work in Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire (Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Parker, Beacon Press, 2008), this track will draw on the wellspring of early Christian visual culture and ritual to forge an alternative ecclesiology—one that redresses the tragic legacies of crucifixion-centered theologies that have sacralized violence against human lives, communities, cultures, and eco-systems.

Track Heads

Rebecca Parker

Professor Emerita

Parker is an ordained United Methodist minister in dual fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Before assuming leadership of Starr King School in 1990, she spent 10 years as a parish minister in the Pacific Northwest and taught at the Northwest Theological Union in Seattle.

Her doctoral studies focused on Alfred North Whitehead’s theory of consciousness as a basis for a spirituality that integrates aesthetics and social engagement. Her theological work, sermons and poetry have been published in academic journals, essay collections and anthologies, and frequently appear in the UU World, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s monthly magazine.

In May of 2010, Parker and co-author John Beuhrens published “A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century” (Beacon Press) about which Publisher’s Weekly said ““This accessible, engaging book may inspire religious progressives to claim their proud history and vital role in contemporary theological conversation.”

Suggested Resources

Links to Section-related books and media for pre-conference preparation include:

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