chimes.sum2013.web0729 - page 37

reclaiming the body while resisting
oppression without fetishizing it.
Love
is typically dismissed as ir-
rational, White said, because it does
not fit neatly into Cartesian planes in
which the ruling definition of ego is
“I am to myself.” There is little notion
of connectivity; metaphysics has been
classically blind to eros because of
rationalistic dualism and the require-
ments of phenomenology. Yet, “I love
you” is a dialectic structure; it does not
entail reciprocity but requests relation-
ship. Using Barthian theology and the
philosophy of Jean-Luc Marion, White
advocated a phenomenology of love in
which “I think, therefore I am” is re-
placed with “I love, therefore I am.”
Love, therefore, is freed from language
and rationality and connects us to the
other. It is a knowledge received rather
than comprehended. Love is both self-
defined and a definer of humanity.
Faith and the
Common Good
On April 11, the seminary hosted
the speaker for the Faith and the Com-
mon Good lecture, Nathaniel George,
whose organization, Trade as One,
works to educate and provide creative
opportunities for fair-trade exchange. 
George opened by affirming the
dignity of work and the call to provide
jobs, using markets to provide ethical
income opportunities through the sale
of fair-trade goods. He described busi-
ness as a mission and ethical consum-
erism as a theological mandate. The
fair trade movement is culturally sig-
nificant in the United Kingdom and is
driven by the church, George observed,
but it has not yet caught on widely in
the United States. In his advocacy for
fair trade in the United States over the
past seven years, George has had to
combat the negative cultural effects of
American consumerism. He hopes for
a grassroots movement that will sweep
through American churches, creating
opportunities for societal transforma-
tion.
One of the highlights of the eve-
ning came when an audience member
asked, “Wasn’t Jesus the first capi-
talist?” George replied, “You know,
I always get this question from the
Presbyterians. I don’t understand how
people who believe in total depravity
can believe in a totally free market
with no rules. Please help explain this
to me.” This exchange elicited laughter
and applause from the audience. 
Bringing the Extended
Community Together
Both the T.V. Moore and the Faith
and the Common Good lectures coin-
cided with alumni weekend this year.
The occasion brought a grand turn-
out from the class of 1963, as alumni
from across the country gathered to
celebrate their 50th reunion. Several
representatives of the class of 1987 also
gathered for their 25th reunion. 
In the spaces between lectures,
students, alumni, and community
members shared meals and stories
about campus life and reflected on the
lectures.
Formally and informally, through
the cross-section of ideas and commu-
nity, the T.V. Moore and the Faith and
the Common Good lectures continue
the seminary’s legacy of a high regard
for scholarship in the context of practi-
cal ministry.
9
Melody Stanford is a first-year
M.Div/MA student.
FAITH &
THE COMMON
GOOD
ALUMNI
NEWS
SFTS CHIMES | Summer 2013
35
“I don’t understand
how people who believe in total
depravity can believe in a totally
free market with no rules.”
— Nathaniel George
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