Scribes for the Reign of God

Faculty collaborative scholarship project

“And [Jesus] said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’ ”—Matthew 13:52

The AMBS dean’s office and Institute of Mennonite Studies host an annual AMBS faculty collaborative scholarship process, “Scribes for the Reign of God.” It entails sustained conversation among selected scholars working on a particular topic. This study process engages the wider community and others in the course of the academic year, and the scholars’ research yields pieces for print and online publication and oral presentation in class and conference settings.

2017-2018 collaborators

“Christian theology today needs to be written … on the body and through the body”–Graham Ward

During the academic year 2017–18, AMBS faculty members Allan Rudy-Froese and Malinda Berry are engaged in collaborative projects on the theme of “the body and embodiment.”

Recent moves in theology and other disciplines have made the body a central concern for scholarly inquiry. Thought, affect, and will are now widely regarded as embodied phenomena rather than elements of a disembodied soul or mind. The sensual and ephemeral character of human bodies is often celebrated rather than denigrated as an “animal nature” to be escaped. Humans are indeed studied today as human animals, as part of and not “above” nature.

Although developments in the physical and social sciences, the humanities, and popular culture have driven the heightened academic attention to the body, theology has also made a contribution. For example, theologians have revisited the creation stories, the doctrines of incarnation and the cross, ecclesial practice, and “the resurrection of the body” in ways that intersect fruitfully with the wider focus on embodiment, especially as this is understood in terms of gender, sexuality, race, ecology, suffering, and affect.

Allan Rudy-Froese, Associate Professor of Christian Proclamation

Malinda Berry, Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics