God of the Market, God of the Nation-State: Cultural exegesis of “secular” liturgies

James K.A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview at Calvin College

Co-sponsored by PLNU’s 2013 H. Orton Wiley Lectures in Theology


Part of Dr. Smith’s work is considered an “adventure in philosophical anthropology.”  “What if education, including higher education, is not primarily about the absorption of ideas and information, but about the formation of hearts and desires?  What if we began by appreciating how education not only gets into our head but also (and more fundamentally) grabs us by the gut—what the New Testament refers to as kardia, “the heart”? What if education was primarily concerned with shaping our hopes and passions—our visions of “the good life”—and not merely about the dissemination of data and information as inputs to our thinking? What if the primary work of education was the transforming of our imagination rather than the saturation of our intellect? And what if this had as much to do with our bodies as with our minds?”  (Desiring the Kingdom, 2009)  If so, we would then have to take seriously all powers and principalities that compete for the shaping of a prophetically Christian imagination.  Dr. Jamie Smith plans to give us some food for thought toward this end.