OtherWise Christian 3: What Shall Prevent Me?

undefined
final cover art is still pending

The OtherWise Christian series will continue to expand!

With OtherWise Christian 3: What Shall Prevent Me?, we hope to build a multi-vocal discussion around the evocative and multi layered story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8.

Contributions will generally be between 1000 and 2500 words. Style may range from personal or poetic to more formal or scholarly, but accessibility for a general audience is essential. The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2020.

Contact otherwise.christian@gmail.com or OtherWise Christian on social media.

A range of content from introductory to advanced is anticipated, but the emphasis will generally be on personal encounters and wisdom-sharing. Our aim is to invite and advance discussion and dialogue rather than to provide definitive “answers.”

The OtherWise Christian series is concerned with resisting white supremacy, Christian supremacy, and gender oppression. Contributions reflecting engagement with Africa, the African diaspora, and Black Church traditions, are strongly encouraged. Other reflections demonstrating cultural competence and cultural humility are also welcome. In particular, reflections on (de)colonization, disability, self-determination, land and body sovereignty would be considered valuable contributions.

The following questions are just a sampling of themes that may be addressed in this volume.

What might it mean that…

  • A eunuch* went to worship in Jerusalem? How does “OtherWise-gendered” apply in this story?
  • The traveler was likely not Jewish, but Philip was? That the traveler was Christian, but their community in Ethiopia was not (initially)?
  • This traveler was at once wealthy, literate/educated, and likely enslaved?
  • The Isaiah text plays a prominent role in the story?
  • An African plays a prominent role in founding the Christian church? And was the first Christian evangelist or pastor?
  • This encounter happened in a border land between the sacred center (Jerusalem) and the ends of the (then) known earth (Ethiopia)? Between a “foreigner” and a disciple/apostle? On the road backwards toward Egypt?
  • The first Christian/non-Jewish baptism happened spontaneously on the roadside?
  • All of these remarkable social and physical locations collide in this one episode?

What do we make of Philip’s…

  • Coming and going?
  • Call to ministry?
  • Relationship with Spirit, with the traveler, with Jesus, and with the early church/church leaders?
  • Dialogue and decision-making in this encounter?
  • Place in the Luke-Acts story?

What else do you know or notice about…

  • The nameless traveler?
  • The traveler’s journey?
  • Their significance and the stories that have been told about them through the centuries?
  • The feelings and experiences that this story evokes in you?
  • The two (or more?) Ethiopian eunuch* stories in Christian scripture?
  • This story as a beginning, as a continuation, or as a culmination?
  • The assumptions we do or don’t make about how this story unfolds? And what that tells us about ourselves?
  • The barriers that prevent us/them from wellness/fulfillment?

The phrase “What shall prevent me?” is the anticipated subtitle for this volume as a way of pointing to prominent themes of identity, intersection, and inclusion.

*If you are considering a contribution with an emphasis on eunuch scholarship, please review this note on “nonprocreative males” and the state of the field.