Session I: “(C/c)atholicity in the Empire” – Chris Haw, Peter Dula

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Chris Haw offers a lecture, followed by a response by Peter Dula.  Chris  is a carpenter, painter, theologian, and a potter.  With his wife, Cassie, and baby, Simon, Chris lives with fellow community members at Camden House, a small intentional community in Camden, New Jersey.  Chris grew up Catholic, then spent many years growing and serving at Willow Creek Community Church, moved to Philadelphia to study sociology and theology at Eastern University before going on to graduate work in theology at Villanova University.  He now exists in a creative tension between Catholics, Anabaptists, and global capitalism.  Chris teaches in local congregations, conferences, and also periodically teaches religious studies at Cabrini College.  He c-authored the book Jesus for President with Shane Claiborne, is working on a book about his conversion to Catholicism, From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart (Ave Maria Press, Fall 2012) and has been interviewed in Christianity Today, Sojourners, CNN, and Al-Jazeera, and was featured in the DVD series, Another World Is Possible, and the documentary The Ordinary Radicals.

Peter Dula is assistant professor of religion and culture and chair of Eastern Mennonite University’s Bible and Religion department.  He received a Ph.D from Duke University in theology and ethics in 2004 after completing a dissertation on the intersection of theology and philosophy in the work of Stanley Cavell.  Before coming to EMU in 2006 he was the Mennonite Central Committee Iraq Program Coordinator.  He has taught at Lancaster Mennonite High School and at the Meserete Kristos College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where  he was a Fulbright scholar in 2001-’02.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”