“The Thousand Faces of Scandal”
Scandal is a central category in the gospel. It offers a vital study for the meaning of present-day culture and society. Scandal happens when mimetic rivalry is the core dynamic of a relationship and it pulls everyone around into its orbit. Violence takes over as the character of relationship. Jesus warned about scandal in several ways, firstly because the gospel itself provokes it when it strips the sacred covering from society, leaving violence unveiled. What is the answer? Do we blame those whom it still feels safe to blame, the perpetrators? Or, do we find an entirely new way of being, one based in an overflowing of peace and carrying the cross of violence/nonviolence? We will look at the relevant scriptural texts to develop our understanding of these questions.
Anthony W. Bartlett, PhD., born 1946, Epping, U.K. attended seminary of a Roman Catholic religious order, studying philosophy and theology at Heythrop College, U.K., and Lateran University, Rome, 1965-74. Resigned R.C. priesthood in 1984; worked as director of homeless shelter in London. In 1994 relocated with wife and children to Syracuse, New York. Gained Ph.D. at Syracuse University, Dept. of Religion. Taught at Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary, Rochester, and G.T.S. New York. Founder with his wife of local prayer and study community, “Wood Hath Hope,” and recently established teaching and healing center, “Bethany House.” Author of a number of books and articles, including Virtually Christian, How Christ Changes Human Meaning and Makes Creation New. Charter member in 2007 of Theology & Peace dedicated to theological and pastoral development of Mimetic Theory, serving as Board Member and Contributing Theologian to 2013. Recently published sci-fi novel, Pascale’s Wager, Homelands of Heaven. Currently working on sequel, and academic study Bible As Semiotic Transformation.