Against empathy?

Is there a Christian alternative to empathy? Can we react to others with compassionate warmth and care without imagining that we need to experience what they experience?

Some hard ecumenical questions

It is unlikely that Geoffrey Wainwright’s Faith, Hope, and Love: The Ecumenical Trio of Virtues found its way into many stockings or under a lot of Christmas trees this year. Nevertheless, the slim volume is worth reading, because it forces difficult questions on the reader.

Sacramental depth in difficulty

Might it be that theological insight is most likely to occur in the state of “vulnerability and unprotectedness,” in those moments that seem very dark indeed? There might be evidence for this in the thought of Bonhoeffer and Merton.

Theology and electroshock

I’m going to interrupt the regular learned commentary on this site to propose a somewhat ridiculous thought experiment. What if we imagined a religious Milgram experiment? What if the experimenter coldly instructing a subject to punish a failing learner with electroshock had theological authority?