Boston Theology on Tap returns on Tuesday 12 January 2016 with a visit from an old friend, Leah Libresco, whose topic will be:
“Accidental Stylites?: The Benedict Option and the American Church”
Lots of people are talking about “the Benedict Option” these days — from the man who coined the phrase (Rod Dreher), to the guys at Mockingbird, to an Anglican who launched a BenOp community in London — but other folks aren’t as familiar with the idea or haven’t considered its consequences. Leah Libresco has thought about the BenOp, and she thinks it’s easy for Christians today to wind up as “accidental stylites” — living their faith in isolation, going to Church with others, but otherwise finding their spiritual life restricted to private, solitary moments.
Drawing inspiration from Dreher’s discussion of the BenOp, Leah wanted to explore ways for Christians to spend less time in a defensive crouch and to find answers to the questions “What do you do alone that you could do with others?” “What do you do in private that you could do in public?” She organized groups in her hometown of Washington, DC, to have open dinners, book clubs, job application nights, and other events to have more opportunities to gather in Christ’s name. As they tried out new activities, she found that most of the obstacles don’t come from any active antipathy in the culture, but terrible defaults (constantly being on call, stigmatization of need, etc.) that cramp all attempts to make space for leisure and joy, not just Christian ones.
Leah Libresco grew up an atheist, and started studying Catholicism “to have better fights with the most interesting wrong people” she met in college. She conceded the fight and became a Roman Catholic (CNN and MSNBC reported on her conversion), but she still likes arguing, both in person and on her blog (Unequally Yoked: A Geeky Convert Picks Fights in Good Faith), where she discusses anything from dating ethics, to math, to philosophy, to ways to forge communities in cities. Leah works as a news writer for FiveThirtyEight by day, and blogs by night. She also runs a monthly debate group and hosts sporadic Christian forums in Washington, DC. She joined us last year to promote her first book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer, and we’re delighted she’s agreed to come back!
Come out to the Rattlesnake Bar and bring a friend (or 4) to welcome her back to Boston on January 12 @ 7p!
Follow @adventboston for more info.