|Appropriate image by gfpeck via Flickr.|
The reasons I gave in that first post for naming the blog as such still seem right, and in some ways have deepened through further study, blogging, and ministry experience. Yes, "restorative theology" does seem to name well the things that I'm about as a minister in the church. "Theological peacebuilding" is also a term I've entered into some of my reflections, and while it does seem a bit more active and nuanced, it just doesn't have the same ring.
In the last section of that first post, I named the immediate impulse for creating the blog, which was conducting a research project for a class at EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. That project went wonderfully but my longer-term goals for the blog saw it as a place for "honing the craft of theological writing" as well as further exploring theology and ethics. This has certainly been the place for that, although it seems safe to say that many of my reflections over the past year have taken on the tone of a certain corner of the theological academy called "political theology." Sometimes things I write on the blog end up being the testing ground for cross-posts on other blogs (Work and Hope, Mennonite Weekly Review), or work their way into my academic papers. This blog even helped me land my first writing gig for a scholarly journal, a book review which will come out next year in the Conrad Grebel Review.
So happy second birthday, Restorative Theology! Thanks to the small group of readers who comment, send me e-mails, or stop me in the halls at the seminary. This isn't a comment-heavy blog, but I appreciate the fact that conversation does indeed take place as a result of what I write here, which is certainly my desire as a "think out loud" type.
Since I'm graduating from EMU at the end of this academic year, I'm already excited about the shifts in my writing which will inevitably come as my family enters our next phase. (Whatever that may be, we're still waiting eagerly to see it materialize!)