Ecumenical Ramblings

Guest Hosts – Father Anthony Doug Perkins of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, RI and Father Jakob Lazarus Thibault of the Church of the Holy Paraclete of Providence, RI

This is the second part of the conversation (see the previous episode) with the RialiageOpening the Word, and Watcha’ Into. These three think so much of themselves that that think it takes just an hour to talk about what is supposed to be filler for the podcast. Maybe the next time the three get together the focus of the conversation should be humility and brevity.

Rialage –

Jakob starts with the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris and the Prime Minister’s claim that those acts of violence did not come out of religion. Jakob is claiming that those acts of violence did indeed come out of a kind of faith and wants people to be clear in understanding that faith and religion can lead to or influence violence. Remember that one person does not represent all of one faith, and that faith need not lead to violence, but that we should be aware of the dangers of faith/religion and how they can lead to violence.

Jonathan takes a deep and serious turn in speaking about the shooting in Paris. Never is there rationalization to violence, and he would claim that it is a miss-interpretation that leads towards a violent reaction to criticism, and is censorship never ok. On the other hand, speech is dangerous and when satire becomes hurtful we are crossing a line. Those who practice satire have a great responsibility to speak truth, but not to deliberately wound. The balance is difficult to maintain, but must be.

Doug is tired of the demonization of the other by religious organizations and people. He is speaking of Eastern Orthodox Christians, specifically those in the East who demonize Western Christian and Western cultures. It is the approach of painting all of one culture with one brush and dismissing every aspect of that culture/people. Broad generalizations are dangerous (see Jakob’s rant).

This was one heavy rialage!


Matthew 16:13-20 – for some reason Jonathan wasn’t finished with the conversation about authority and wanted to bring in scripture to further muddle up the topic.

Watcha’ Into

Jonathan is into Michele Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (again). We should note that he started reading this over a year ago. Kudos for finishing the book, but when you take this long to read it do you even remember what Foucault said in the beginning?

Doug is loving the Logos e-bible series. Of course he is specifically enjoying the Orthodox aspect of this Bible study, but believes that it is something that is good for all persuasions of Christianity.

Jakob is reading a book by a Baptist, Theology as Big as the City by Ray Bakke – a good work that takes seriously the tasks of urban ministry… probably a little more practical than Foucault.


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Next episode: faith and doubt and agnosticism with Dan Bertwell