Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bonhoeffer: Religionless Christianity

This is an audio of my talk from the Truth Voice (Subversion) Conference in Dayton last weekend. We have a video of it, but right now only 12 minutes are posted. I'll put up the embed once they have re-uploaded it. I think audio is less distracting anyway (I use my hands so much! lol).

Bonhoeffer: Religionless Christianity

The meat of the material really gets going after minute 13. I give an introduction that includes personal story and some biographical detail of Bonhoeffer's life. I'd welcome any engagement with these ideas. Am slowly putting together a little dossier of materials, insights, writings and stories to include eventually in some sort of book. Yes, the elusive book goal! :)

Anyway, enjoy!

Here I am!

Julie Bogart: Bonhoeffer's Letters from Prison from Virgil Vaduva on Vimeo.


Gregster said...

I don't think I will ever be as transparent as you. But someday, I hope to be able to communicate my thoughts on God the way you do. I cannot bring myself to attend church anymore, but I still believe. I just believe in Jesus differently than almost everyone I know. It helps to know there are others out here on the edge.

SUSAN said...

Julie, you are a natural born speaker! I know you made an impact. :-)


julieunplugged said...

Greg and Susan, you are intrepid friends, to stick through that talk to the end. Thank you for your feedback.

We all need to keep reimagining the faith for each era and we need the courage to do it and the willingness to talk about it. I like that this is a time when that seems to be a value so many embrace.

jo(e) said...

Wow, Julie. That was wonderful.

I love how you connect Bonhoeffer's Letters to your own personal journey -- and aren't afraid to speak from the heart with your examples.

So many parts of that talk resonated with me. I too was raised Catholic and can remember saying to my mother in the car on the way to Confession, "But I don't think I sinned this week! I can't remember any sins!" She used to respond to my panic by saying, "Oh, you can say you were fighting with your brother and sisters. That one is always accurate." And I can remember finding it reassuring that I always had a sin to fall back on.

The conversation with your son made me cry. And the experience with the women at your church contrasted with the reactions of some of your homeschooling friends? Oh, wow.

I love that Bonhoeffer gave you the permission you needed to challenge assumptions and beliefs, explore new possibilities. I've got a whole list of writers who have played that role for me. We need to compare sometime!

Your metaphors will stick with me for awhile -- I think the theological Wack-a-Mole was my favorite.

I do want to talk with you more about this concept of religionless Christianity. So much of what you are reading and thinking about fits with what I've been reading and thinking about.

Definitely, you need to be gathering all this into a book. I think your own story can be the narrative thread the pulls the reader in and holds it together.

What a great job you did with this talk. It's clear that you are a natural teacher in the way that you kept stopping to explain things and make sure your audience was with you. Just wonderful.

julieunplugged said...

Jo(e) thanks so much for interacting so thoroughly with my talk! Really gratifying to read your comments and your reflections. I do think that the book I write will have my life as the narrative thread - I seem unable to escape it! lol

I love that you connected to my confession story! I so appreciate the idea that you felt relief that you had a sin "handy" for weeks you couldn't think of any. How odd to think you have to conjure them up!

Jacob (son I referred to in talk) listened to the whole thing the night I got home. I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure how he'd feel with my sharing about him. He told me afterward that he felt proud to be a part of that talk and that he was comfortable with my sharing the story, hoping it would lead to a kinder, gentler, truer faith.

You and I need more than blogs and emails. I'm now plotting in my mind how to get my "photographable bod" into your vicinity. :) Thanks for caring and showing such interest in my process.

Mike said...

Julie...loved it. I especially like the way you defined "religionless Christianity". When I speak not most folks about this concept of Benhoeffer's (which some have heard of) I think most people have the idea you explained about the flip flops and the hawaiian shirts...great analogy!

I think I need to listen to it again though. there was a lot packed in there and I am not sure I got it all but this was a terrific speech...nice job


Kansas Bob said...

Ann and I just finished watching you Julie - well done!

The recounting of the Joesph/Step Parent message and those folks praying for you at church was so moving.. as was the telling of you conversation with your son.. thanks for being so real.

I want to re-listen with a pad/pencil and capture some of your excellent thoughts. In the meantime I think I will forward this to a few folks.

Blessings, Bob

something akin to drowning said...

I am going to watch/listen to this asap! (hopefully before our dinner)

Kacie said...

Julie, I hardly ever comment but have followed you for a while now. You are an EXCELLENT speaker and I thought this was incredible.

You know, I remain in the evangelical world that I know you feel very distanced from now. At the same time, I think the message you speak is so needed, and it can be spoken through the academic words of Bonhoeffer, or seen in the words of a child. The church should know this, and I agree that particularly in the U.S, we are too often failing miserably. It comes down to a simple thing - if we have not love, we are only resounding gongs and clanging cymbals.

corymeyers07 said...

Hello Julie...

I am so taken with your talk on Bonhoeffer whom I have never heard of. I am not Christian, I am not athiest, I don't call myself anything. But I do believe in humanity and feel so drawn to you and your experience.

I would like to read more about Bonhoeffer and his writings. I am curious what you think draws you to stay with Christianity and not any other belief or "non-belief" (if you are willing to share).

I happen to know your sister, Erin which is how I know of your blog and Bravewriter. I would also like to share with you that I have feel so inspired by so many of your writings about homeschooling, writing, mothering.... Though I don't blog or read many blogs, yours is one I do visit frequently and feel grateful to have come across this particular offering by you.

What draws me the most are your personal stories as they bring to life (for me) what I value so much...connecting with others around what is alive for them, be it pain, joy, sorrow, etc. So, thank you for sharing your life and stories. They are something that makes me feel connected to you as a human being!


Cory Meyers

Mark said...

Reading "The Cost of Discipleship"
was my first exposure to Bonhoeffer
and I caught the "bug" and forever,
hold that attraction and intrigue,
with which you are so familiar. I have read some of "Letters and Papers from Prison" and was struck
by that infamous quote about religionless Christianity that you quoted, "before God and with God, we live without God." I see the
America we live in, very much like
the Berlin he referred to a century later. Although I am still
an Orthodox Christian, I wrestle with questions and the irrelevance of the Church in America as well. More than that, it's how do I "flesh out" an authentic life as a follower of Christ in a way that connects with the world at large. There are many of us on that road,
I am encouraged by your words and life. Mark

Ken said...

Hi Julie, followed this link from Greg Amburgys page. I love what you had to say. I hadn't even heard of Bonhoeffer until today. Felt good to hear what you said, pushing the edge needs to be done.
Brings more freedom to push the edge and makes us question religious tradition. Keep up the good work, from an x vineyard church person in Abbotsford Canada.
P.S. Sell the chuches and help the poor, thats the heart of God I think. I would love to be part of that. Thanks Ken

Seth said...

I had not thought before about the power of weakness in such a fundamental way... that of God's existence as a human. I had always associated this notion of coming to power through weakness as found in the ordeal of crucifixion. Jesus surrenders to the human worldly authority and makes himself completely vulnerable to suffering, not rejecting any part of the experience as "other" and allowing himself to collapse completely into pain and death and become one with the ground of being.

In so doing he accomplishes complete acceptance of those most fundamental aspects of existence as the whole expression of God. This manifestation, re-incarnation in suffering, willingness to bear the yoke back to the garden releases us from death.

One thing I have always admired about Bonhoeffer is his idea that it took two to accomplish the Fall and so will take two (at least) to get back to that state of grace. The Church provided that means of reconciliation, or at least that was the intention, but how do we live "life together" with Christ and without religion? It is as you say... beyond words.