United Theological Seminary

Arts Lunch: Found Object Theology

November 30, 2021 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

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Found Object Theology: How pulp sci-fi book covers can teach us how to write about God

Join Ben Menghini and Natalie Wigg-Stevenson as they discuss three of the pulp sci-fi alternative covers Menghini designed for Wigg-Stevenson’s recent book, Transgressive Devotion: Theology as Performance Art. In this book, Wigg-Stevenson argues that theology done as performance art stops trying to describe who God is, and starts trying to make God appear. A daring vision of theology which will energise anybody feeling ‘boxed in’ by the discipline, Transgressive Devotion blurs borders between orthodoxy, heterodoxy and heresy to reveal how the very act of doing theology makes God and humanity vulnerable to each other. Menghini’s pulp sci-fi covers offer three entry points into the enthralling and interwoven themes of Transgressive Devotion.

Ben Menghini is a doctoral candidate in Theology at the Toronto School of Theology. He is currently writing his dissertation which interrogates the theological trope of a generous orthodoxy. This interdisciplinary work draws on sociology and cultural anthropology to describe a theological generosity with a disposition toward tragic receptivity. For a preview of his found object theological art project Theological Texts as Pulp Sci-Fi, visit @benbenghini on twitter.

Natalie Wigg-Stevenson is Associate Professor of Contextual Education and Theology at Emmanuel College, Toronto. Her research explores how ethnographic methods can help create theological conversations across church, academy and everyday life. Her work is interested in queer temporalities/historiographies, cultural theories of practice and practices for decolonizing higher education. She is the author of Ethnographic Theology: An Inquiry Into the Production of Theological Knowledge (2013) and Transgressive Devotion: Theology as Performance Art (2021).

See this week’s Monday Morning for the Zoom meeting link.