Better Know a Theologian: An Introduction to the Life & Thought of Dorothy Day


“Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed that easily.”

The Academy for Faith & Life at Brentwood Christian Church presents “Better Know a Theologian: An Introduction to the Life & Thought of Dorothy Day”

The purpose of this series is to help participants become familiar with key theologians in the Christian tradition, particularly those whose work is of particular significance for the church and society.

In this introduction to the life and thought of Dorothy Day, we will follow the lead of scholars like Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty (author of Dorothy Day for Armchair Theologians) to engage how “Day’s tireless work on behalf of the marginalized arose from and articulates a deeply theological commitment to the Reign of God and the dignity of all God’s children.”

“If theology is about more than books and libraries, lecture halls and dusty debates; if theology is instead about lived experience, especially the experiences of those living at the margins of society’s care and concern; if, in short, theology is about the real needs of real people, then Dorothy Day was one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. In spite of having no formal training in theology, Day’s work and writing on behalf of the poor and oppressed bears eloquent testimony to the creativity and courage of her theological vision. Her journalism for the Catholic Worker and her advocacy for the poor, women, ethnic minorities, and others come together to form a consistent theology of the church and its ministry to the world.”

About the Academy for Faith & Life
The Academy for Faith and Life at Brentwood Christian Church provides an opportunity for participants from both the congregation and the wider community to engage theological and ethical topics in an in-depth manner not usually found in conventional church study groups. The Academy for Faith and Life explores topics related to religion and culture that is similar to what might be found at the university (and at times even the seminary) level. It provides tools for cultivating individual and societal transformation, all based on an approach to Christianity that values both the mind and the heart.

Pope Francis commenting on the legacy of Dorothy Day:

“Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.”

To sign up or learn more, please contact the church office.


This Wednesday at Brentwood: “Patriotism & Christianity”

This study from looks at the role of patriotism in American life, exploring some of the tension created between the kind of patriotism that is high and noble and the kind that is divisive and disruptive. We’ll also pay attention to ways Christians might enhance the noble aspects and play down the divisive. Along the way we’ll hear some quotes from William Sloane Coffin and a poem by Andrea Gibson. Here are a couple of excerpts from the study guide:

“Because patriotism evokes strong emotions and yet confines its commitment to one particular nation, patriotism frequently creates a tension between what is high and noble and what can be divisive and disruptive. When patriotism requires absolute loyalty to but one particular country, it can conflict with a religious vision that includes compassion for all humanity.”

“In a democracy tolerance and respect for differences are necessary and legitimate aspects of love for country–the marks and fruits of true patriotism.”

If you would like to read the entire study guide before the session, simply contact the church office and we’ll email you a copy. We’ll meet from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

To Believe in God (or Not), part 2

“To Believe in God (or Not)” – part 2 of 3
February 23, 2011
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

As part of the second installment of the three session series “To Believe in God (or Not),” we’re excited to host a panel discussion Wednesday evening, February 23rd, featuring Dr. Peter Browning, professor of religious studies and chaplain at Drury University, and Dr. Andrew Johnson, professor of philosophy at Missouri State University. They will respond to questions like these:

1) Could you define the God you believe in, or don’t believe in? How is this God different (or the same) as the God described by Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris?

2) How do you view morality? Where does morality come from? If it is related to Darwinism, then how do we explain acts of altruism? Is there a contingency to all of our ethical norms?

3) To Dr. Browning: “Do you think there is anything valuable in the critiques of Dawkins, Harris, etc.? If so, what?”

4) To Dr. Johnson: “Do you think there is anything valuable in religion? If so, what?”

We express our thanks to Peter and Andrew for taking the time to be part of this conversation. If you have questions you would like them to respond to, feel free to reply to this post and let us know what they are. We’ll try to get to as many as we can.

New Wednesday Evening Series Set for February

(Update: Due to weather cancellations the first two weeks of February, we have updated the schedule for this series accordingly.)

To Believe In God (or Not): Is there a way beyond the atheist vs. theist divide?

Feb. 16: What God Do Atheists (Not) Believe In? Exploring the thought of Richard Dawkins
Feb. 23: A panel with local professors & clergy
Feb. 30: What God Do Christians Believe In? Some alternative responses to the norm

This series is facilitated by Tim Robbins, a member at Brentwood and teacher at Drury University. Sessions will run from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Contact the church office for more information.