Call for Panelists: Contemporary Religious Thought in Haiti and The Religious Traditions of the Haitian People

Call for Panelists:

Contemporary Religious Thought in Haiti and The Religious Traditions of the Haitian People

“Haiti: Then and Now” will have a panel at the 29th Annual Conference of the Haitian Studies Association around this theme: “Contemporary Religious Thought in Haiti and The Religious Traditions of the Haitian People.”

If you are interested in joining our panel, please email an abstract of 250 words and a brief bio by Monday, May 29, 2017 to Dr. Celucien L. Joseph , celucienjoseph@gmail.com

*I know this is a brief notice. I apologize for this inconvenience

Thanks,
Celucien L. Joseph, PhD (“Doctor Lou”)

About the Conference

The last day to submit an abstract or paper proposal for the 29th Annual Conference of the Haitian Studies Association is Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Theme: Haiti: “Paradoxes, Contradictions, Intersections in the Making of a People”

Where: Xavier University of Louisiana
Tulane University Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies (New Orleans, Louisiana)

When: November 1-4, 2017

 

http://haitianstudies.org/callforpapers/

 

God Between the Rich and the Poor

God Between the Rich and the Poor
​When the Bible talks about the liberation of the poor and the oppressed from human systems and structures of oppression and dehumanization, God is in the business to provide holistic emancipation from spiritual bondage and human forces and powers of oppression. God does not give partial liberation.

However,  the questions we should be asking include the following:

How long, Oh Lord our Peace and Deliverer will you visit the poor and deliver them from the hands of their oppressors and enemies?

How long, Oh Lord our Deliverer and Righteousness,  will you executive full justice on behalf of the weak and the dispossessed of the world?

The poor who does not know God is not safe in the hands of God as the rich who trusts in his/her riches and despises God Almighty. 

Let the poor man/woman say I’m a friend of God.

Let the rich man/woman proclaim God I know God. 

​A Prayer to God for Global Peace and Comfort!

A Prayer to God for Global Peace and Comfort!

Our gracious Father and living God: We lift up our hands to you and humble our hearts and minds before your holy throne. We pray for your comfort and peace on behalf of those who have been affected by the recent terrorist attacks in England, Cameroon, and other places. We pray for the families who at the moment mourn  their loved ones who have been taken away from them by the forces of evil. In the same way, we beseech you on behalf of victims of terrrorism and human violence in other parts of the world. May your radical love and transformative presence invade their hearts and souls. Give them sustaining peace and hope. Grant them doors of opportunity to dream again in the midst of despair, fear, and disappointment! 

We pray Oh loving Father that you would grant us the courage and strength to work in solidarity to resist the forces of evil and systems of oppression in this world and those that come to exploit, oppress, and destroy the weak and the poor. We know that retaliation is not an effective way to reconciliation and peace the same way the oppression and exploitation of people and weak nations lead to alienation, enmity, and fear. We pray for repentance, forgiveness, world unity, peace, and reconciliation. 

In your Name, we pray.

Amen!

Concerning Global Imperialism, Global Capitalism, and Global Terrorism

Concerning Global Imperialism, Global Capitalism, and Global Terrorism

The bottom line about global imperialism, global capitalism, and global terrorism is that 

they benefit a selected group of influential individuals, powerful corporations and systems,  and powerful nation-states in the modern world at the expense of the consistent exploitation and abuse of the world’s poor, international workers, and the individuals, ethnic groups, and races belonging in the bottom of the social ladder.

The paradoxical aspect of global imperialism, global capitalism, and global terrorism is that they’re adequately financed by an international network of power and global forces. One of the driven motives and passions of those powerful peoples and nations, and corporations, maintaining these three forces, lie in the aggressive pursuit of more wealth, more international and crosscultural power, and more transnational leadership to rule the world and subdue people—resulting in more global poverty and hunger, more human alienation and death, more human despair and insanity, and more human degradation and oppression.

While the intricacies of global capitalism, global imperialism, and global terrorism can’t be clearly determined, we should, however, ask decisive questions to help us get a better understanding of the human nation and the politics of the nations in the twenty-first century culture. 

1. What if the violence of global imperialism and capitalism and the violence of terrorism share a few things in common?

2. Could it be possible for imperial violence and aggressive neocolonization and global capitalism to beget global terror?

3. Is global terrorism a strategic response to or a consequence of global imperial violence and global capitalism–at least in the 21st century world?

4. In the absence of global imperialism/terrorism, is it possible to have global peace in the world and for the nations to forge constructive international alliances grounded in the politics of civility, respect, friendship, and human dignity?

Retaliation is not an effective way to reconciliation and peace the same way the oppression and exploitation of people and weak nations lead to alienation, enmity, and fear.
The hope of humanity in the twenty-first century does not lie in the cleverness of secular humanism nor in the pursuit of more human techniques and scientific advancements to manipulate human relations and regulate the human boundary–while these things in themselves are of great importance to human life, they do not constitute true happiness and peace. 

God is the ultimate ground of both present and future human hope and peace.  Because God has created human beings, both male and female, for love, spiritual intimacy,  and meaningful relationship, in order for us to foster genuine peace and interractional love, as well as to sustain effective human dynamics in the modern world, human beings must be reconnected spiritually with their Creator and must live a life that focuses on a God-entranced worldview. Jesus Christ is God’s paradigm for human peace, shalom, and love.
A Prayer to God for Peace and Comfort!

Our gracious Father and living God: We lift up our hands to you and humble our hearts and minds before your holy throne. We pray for your comfort and peace on behalf of those who have been affected by the recent terrorist attacks in England, Cameroon, and other places in the world.

We pray for the families who at the moment mourn  their loved ones who have been taken away from them by the forces of evil. 

In the same way, we beseech you on behalf of victims of terrrorism and human violence in other parts of the world. 

May your radical love and transformative presence invade their hearts and souls. Give them sustaining peace and hope. Grant them doors of opportunity to dream again in the midst of despair, fear, and disappointment! 


We pray Oh loving Father that you would grant us the courage and strength to work in solidarity to resist the forces of evil and systems of oppression in this world and those that come to exploit, oppress, and destroy the weak and the poor.  We pray for repentance, forgiveness, world unity, peace, and reconciliation. 

In your Name, we pray.


Amen!

“Evangelical Paradoxes: American Evangelicalism and the Destruction of American Christianity”: A Book Proposal

“Evangelical Paradoxes: American Evangelicalism and the Destruction of American Christianity”: A Book Proposal
It seems that my book proposal still can’t find a home at a major christian publisher. I have tentatively entitled it “Evangelical Paradoxes: American Evangelicalism and the Destruction of American Christianity.”
I must admit this is a tough book proposal and hard critique of the state of American Christianity and American Evangelicalism. As a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, I lament over the state of American Evangelicalism, American Christian Leadership, and the dynamics between American Christianity and American Culture and Politics. In its present condition, American Evangelicalism is a deeply wounded system and worldview. It is heartbroken!
* If I can’t get this book published by a major Christian press like #Eerdmans, #FortressPress, #Zondervan, #IVPAcademic, etc…I will probably not publish it.
Book Description
In “Evangelical Paradoxes: American Evangelicalism and the Destruction of American Christianity,” Dr. Celucien L. Joseph advances the courageous claim that American Evangelicals have destroyed Christianity in America, and that Evangelicals are Christianity’s worst enemy. In other words, the enemy is within. As a result, American Evangelicals have not only produced many atheists in the American culture, they have been and are trapped in a cultural war and politico-ideological worldview that question the integrity of the Gospel of transformative grace and correspondingly the enduring meaning of Biblical Christianity in contemporary American culture and life. Moreover, the world of American Evangelical is characterized by serious conflict, tension, and resistance to biblical discipleship. Contemporary American Evangelicalism is not an optimistic faith nor is it a culture that has the power to confront responsibly, ethically, and christianly the challenges and pressing needs of America’s 21st century culture.
In this critical analysis of contemporary American Evangelicalism, Professor Joseph highlights ten major issues or critical factors, what he phrases, “evangelical paradoxes” and “evangelical contradictions” to not only demonstrate how Evangelicals engage culture, politics, ethical issues; they also represent a major crisis in contemporary American Evangelical thought, leadership, and Evangelical practice. Accordingly, (1) American Evangelicals zealously defend the life of the unborn and in the womb, but are reluctant to protect and defend life after birth; (2) They claim that abortion and homosexuality are moral issues that all Christians should reject, but undermine major ethical or moral issues such as war, poverty, hunger, racism, the exploitation of workers by big corporations, etc., (3) They fervently preach Jesus’ pacifist teachings, but support U.S. military invasion in the world or in Third World countries; (4) They despise the cruel empires of the Biblical era that led to the suffering, humiliation, and forced exile of the Israelites—the chosen people of God—and eventually the death and persecution of countless Jewish and Gentile Christians in the Roman Empire, but do not renounce American imperialism and European neocolonialism in the world that contribute to greater suffering, poverty, and countless death in the world; (5) They passionately preach the unconditional love of God to all people, but support racist politicians and bigot leaders; (6) They believe that it is a Christian duty to care for the poor, feed the homeless, and welcome the immigrant, but vote politically against the poor, the homeless, and the immigrant. Or they become allies with lawmakers and politicians who created (intend to create) policies against the welfare of underprivileged families and the poor; (7) They claim that they are not citizens of this world and do not need the world’s power to succeed, but sell their soul and compromise their faith to pursue political power and to have cultural influence; (8) They believe that it is a Christian duty to evangelize and win the lost for Christ such as the Muslims, but sees their neighboring Muslims in the United States as a threat to Christianity and an enemy to American democracy; (9) They give sacrificially to international missions and even send missionaries on both short and long term missions in foreign and distant lands such as black countries in Africa, Jamaica, or Haiti, but maintain segregated churches and defer the project of racial reconciliation and harmony in contemporary American society and churches; and (10) finally, American Evangelicals eagerly announce the fatherhood of God to all people, but approve of America’s foreign policy that dehumanizes peoples who have been created equally in the image and likeness of God.
While the current state of contemporary American Evangelicalism is depressing and seems hopeless, as described above, the book makes a clarion call to Evangelical Christians, churches, and leaders to uproot itself from cultural attractions and the pursuit of political power and influence in the American culture. The imperative call is to biblical Christianity and faithfulness, and to relentless commitment to hospitality, justice, and care for the poor, the afflicted, and the needing neighbor in our midst. The Message of Jesus is the antithesis of Political-Bourgeois American Christianity. We need to stop assuming that American Cultural Evangelicalism is synonymous with Biblical Christianity. In other words, an American Cultural Evangelical is not (or should not be) equated with being a follower of Christ. It is time to divorce Biblical Christianity and American Cultural Evangelicalism.
Evangelical Paradoxes: American Evangelicalism and the Destruction of American Christianity is divided in three equal parts, and each part consists of three chapters. Each represented chapter is an attempt to deal carefully with the ten evangelical paradoxes and contradictions noted above. The final part of the book provides biblical solution to the predicament of contemporary American Evangelicalism. This twenty-first century is a critical time in American history for American evangelicalism to rethink in a revolutionary sense about its ethical framework/system and reconsider itself both as a religious movement and liberation movement that also values life after birth, and prizes equally the demand for justice, peace, dignity, respect, love, unity, reconciliation, and democracy for all. American Evangelical contemporary ethical system is not “thick” and rigorous enough to confront the pressing human needs of contemporary American society and the radical transformation of the human condition and nature in these urgent times. The peril of the Evangelical mind is inevitably its unreadiness to face critically and responsibly the changing American culture. In the same line of thought, the danger of Evangelical theology is its inadequacy to be relevant to the culture and values of the “millennial” generation.

The word of democracy & the work of democracy are not inseparable. The democratic life becomes meaningful and attainable whenever the rhetoric of democracy contributes to social change and pushes humanity forward together to explore and actualize future hope and emancipative possibilities.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 Introduction:

 Part I.  American Evangelicalism and the International Conflict

Chapter 1

The Message of Jesus vs. Political-Bourgeois American Christianity

Chapter 2

The American Flag is Not Christian, and Christianity is not America, but It is

okay to celebrate the Flag!

Chapter 3

The Predicament of White Evangelical Scholarship and Evangelical Theological

Education:  Radical Reconciliation for a New Christian Community

Part II.  Human Dignity, Race, Culture, and the Politics of Respectability and Civility

 Chapter 4

Trumping Evangelical Christianity and the Rejection of King Jesus

Chapter 5

Evangelical Ethic: Racializing the Poor, the immigrant, and the Meaning of Life

after Birth

Chapter 6

Is Black or Brown Life Sacred? The Desecration of Black or Brown Life and the

Silence of American Evangelicals

Part III.  American Evangelicalism and the Promise of the Gospel

 

Chapter 7

How deep is Evangelical Love?

Chapter 8

How Now Shall We Live Together and Gently? A Biblical and Theological Perspective

Chapter 9

Jesus: An Old Story for a Dying American Evangelical Christianity, Desperate Humanity, and Disoriented World!

On Evangelical White Privilege, Racial Unity, and Biblical Love

On Evangelical White Privilege, Racial Unity, and Biblical Love

​If Evangelicals want to pursue pure racial justice and unity, they must first acknowledge that white privilege & white supremacy ingrained in White Evangelicalism is the antithesis of Biblical Christianity and detrimental to the new Christian ethic and life that all Christians of all races and ethnicity are called to live by.

White Evangelical privilege and supremacy also contribute to a history of suffering, humiliation, and dehumanization of non-white Christians, and by consequence, all non-Christian folk.

Renouncing  white privilege and white supremacy is the first step toward justice and unity. It is a mark of genuine love, self-denial,  and reconciliation. True Christian Love seeks the interest of those who are weak, vulnerable, and the disheartened.

The Problem with Modern Theology

The Problem with Modern Theology
 
One of the dangers of identity politics theology is that it focuses less on the spiritual communion of the individual with God, but prioritizes the physical needs of the individual than the individual’s essential need for Christ to satisfy the human soul and the deep longing for healing. Theological discourses framed within this ideological worldview are more anthropocentric than theocentric or christocentric. To express this differently,  the emphasis is on the social dimension of theology and human care.
 
On the other hand, non-identity politics theological discourses seem to ignore the existential needs and daily struggles of the individual and the group; the priority is put only on the spiritual communion between the individual and God. The spiritual life fulfills the social life, and the social life is divorced from the spiritual sphere. Theological discourses framed within this ideological perspective are deliberately theocentric or christocentric. In this perspective, God or Christ is concerned primarily with the cultivation of a robust Christian mind or the nurturing of the human intellect. In other words, the stress is on the intellectual dimension of theology and the life of the Christian mind.