ReligionProf Podcast with Thomas Jay Oord

melanie7 (Posted by) Level 3
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This week’s podcast features Thomas Jay Oord. His latest book is called God Can’t, and the title sums up the central idea of the book pretty well. I mentioned the book in my Sunday school class last week, having already recorded the podcast and knowing it would be released this week. We found ourselves talking about the very pressing issue that drives the argument of the book, namely the tendency of religious people to interpret tragic and horrific events in a way that hurts the victims and makes God an accomplice. I personally think that both those courses of action are reprehensible, but if you have problems with either, then reading this book will help you explore the subject in a way that you’re unlikely to have encountered before, unless you’re familiar with Process Theology, which is an influence on Oord. In the podcast we talk about another possible precursor, Harold Kushner’s book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, and flesh out the important ways in which Oord’s approach and conclusions are different.

It will be interesting to see whether this kind of theological topic comes up naturally at any point in my course this semester. I am teach one semester of a First Year Seminar course focused on utopias and dystopias. It was very interesting to see how students responded to a question about what a perfect world would be like. One student mentioned things like equal access to health care and term limits for congress, which led me to ask whether, in a perfect world, there would be a need for either...
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