The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007.

We are currently on a "break," for no particular reason, and many little reasons - mostly pertaining to life circumstances. If anyone is interested in calling a meeting, feel free to post on the blog, join the google group (see link below) and send an email, or contact either Nancy (nancykj10@yahoo.com) or Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

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Peter Rollins finds just the right way to say it...

I wanted to post this quote from Peter Rollins's The Fidelity of Betrayal, because I think it describes perfectly what so many of us in the cohort believe is our calling:

"How many of us can really know what it is like to destroy what we love for the sake of what we love - to be the most faithful of betrayers? Yet perhaps it is precisely this that we are being called to: engaging in that most difficult task of putting our religion to death so that a religion without religion can spring forth."

This calling is both thrilling and terrifying for me, because it so strongly inspires my decisions, and yet it sometimes grimly dawns on me that this is indeed a "most difficult task."


Adam said...

That is so true. I find myself in that boat as I am currently working as the director of student ministries at a church in powell (www.sawmillcovenantchurch.org).

I've seen that in betraying "religion" i seem to find Jesus pretty quickly.

Keep up the good work. I wish I could join you guys on Sundays but my Sundays are pretty packed.

Jesse said...

Thanks Jane for this quote. I'm excited to have ongoing conversations with the cohort about more of Rollins work. I have found him to be challenging, but also right on in a mysterious way.

Regarding this quote, one aspect of finding or creating this "religion without religion" is that is is necessarily ongoing. As soon as you think you have found it, you have lost it. It is a challenging paradox that reminds me of our discussions about institutions. On the one hand some format or structure is needed to facilitate the exploration of a "religionless religion" but if we institutionalize or codify such formats, we have now another religion.

So we are always journeying, seeking, delving deeper and being wiling to abandon or even kill that which we now hold to be true, but perhaps later may not for the sake of a more profound truth.

Greg said...

I also have to wonder if in several years, this "most difficult task" won't actually seem that difficult. Perhaps, it will become normative to partake in an "irreligious religion," as Rollins calls it.

In an interview with Becky Garrison on The Wittenburg Door, Rollins is asked how he defines church in the 21st century, to which he offers, "I really hope we rediscover the place of parable, of art, of not trying to give people doctrinal answers but rather to evoke questions. In Ikon we are exploring the idea of transformative art, an art form which evokes transformation in the participant."

How could our cohort engage in this sort of doctrine-as-art endeavor?

Jane Johnson said...


An intriguing question, although I am not quite sure what Rollins means by this idea. Do you know of any examples of doctrine-as-art at Ikon? I'm assuming there probably are some in the sample services in the second half of How (not) to speak of God, but I don't have the book with me at the moment.

Greg said...

There are definitely some examples in the second part of the book, though I don't have it with me to reference here in Missouri.

If you want to read the entire interview in context, it can be found here: http://www.wittenburgdoor.com/peter-rollins-interview

Adam--thanks for chiming in! Hope you're able to join us sometime!