The Christian Humanist, Episode 42: Asceticism

General Introduction
– Hey, it’s Spring Break (for some of us)
– Good news!
– Grubbs apologizes for our hiatus
– Why we’re better than the other podcasts
– What’s on the blog?
– How can you hear Nathan preach?
Casserole X

Hebrew Seclusion and Separation
– Abra(ha)m leaves the city
– Livestock kings
– New Testament echoes
– Seclusion as means to an end
– Eat your vegetables!
– Christ thrown everything off balance

The Fruits of Asceticism
– The individual soul
– The theology of seclusion
– How monks saved civilization
– Examples and prayer
– The strange anti-modernism of Julian of Norwich
– A New Kind of Divine Suffering
– Community in seclusion

Why Do Protestants Hate Monasteries?
– Luther’s theology of marriage
– From monks to children
– Milton’s libel
– Rich monks, foodie nuns, and lecherous friars

– The Levitical dietary restrictions
– The Nazirites
– The food code in the New Testament
– Sacred fasts

Why Emulate Those Crazy, Crazy Saints?
– Martin Luther King as ascetic
– Maybe we’re the crazy ones
– Stained-glass windows
– What would Dr. Drew say to St. Jerome?
– Hair shirts
– Intentional celibacy

Why Do Puritans Hate Sex So Much?
– They sure had a lot of children!
– The third use of the law
– Is Al Gore really any better?
– The Puritan family

What’s the Value?
– And: Are we giving anything up for Lent?
– Repression and the world as moral standard
– Monkhood as differénce
– Swimming against the current
– The real value of suffering
– How not to do Lent
– Is natural good?

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. Ed. V.A. Kolve and Glending Olson. New York: Norton, 2005.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. Trans. Constance Garnett. New York: Norton, 1976.

Julian of Norwich. Revelations of Divine Love. New York: Penguin, 1982.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World. Ed. James M. Washington. 83-100.

Milton, John. Areopagitica. The Major Works. Ed. Stephen Orgel and Jonathan Goldberg. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. 236-273.

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