Body Theology with Michelle Voss Roberts (Radical Theology)

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Published Feb 15, 2022, 4:44 PM

Rev. Dr. Michelle Voss Roberts is professor of theology and past principal at Emmanuel College, a multireligious theological school in the Toronto School of Theology and University of Toronto. She is a comparative theologian who works in Christian and Hindu traditions, as well as an ordained minister in relation to the United Church of Canada and the United Church of Christ. Her teaching and research invite others to imagine themselves in relation to diverse religious worlds, in which particularities of embodiment—such as gender, gender identity, and sexuality, racialization, dis/ability, and culture—matter.

Dr. Voss Roberts’ book-length works in comparative theology include Dualities: A Theology of Difference (Westminster John Knox, 2010), which centers medieval women theologians; and Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion (Fordham University Press, 2014), an exploration of rasa theory and theological aesthetics, which received the Award for Excellence from the American Academy of Religion. More recently, Body Parts: A Theological Anthropology (Fortress Press, 2017) reimagines the Christian teaching that human beings are created in the image of God through the prism of the tattvas in nondual Saiva thought.

Voss Roberts is also the editor of a volume that brings interreligious comparison to the introductory study of theology, Comparative Theology: Insights for Systematic Theological Reflection (Fordham University Press, 2016), as well as the Routledge Handbook of Hindu-Christian Relations, which was published last year.

In this episode, we discuss:

  1. Finding liberation within tradition.
  2. What it’s like to be a Christian Theologian.
  3. Defining theology - faith seeking understanding.
  4. How we seek to understand this orientation towards the world.
  5. The concept of the image of God from Christian theology.
  6. Using the work of Abhinavagupta and his Śaiva teachings on the 36 tattvas to illuminate and expound upon the notion of the image of God in a more inclusive and expansive way.
  7. Broadening the scope of theology and our understanding of the divine.
  8. Why does comparative theology matter for our contemporary world?
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