the Iconocast: Mark Van Steenwyk (episode 47)

June 27, 2013the Iconocast Collective

Post image for the Iconocast: Mark Van Steenwyk (episode 47)

In this episode, Joanna and Tim interview Mark Van Steenwyk.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the co-founder of the Mennonite Worker in Minneapolis, an organizer at, a producer of the


Iconocast podcast, and the author of That Holy Anarchist and the upcoming book, the unKingdom of God: Embracing the Subversive Power of Repentance (which is available for pre-order).

This interview is co-sponsored by the Mennonite Church USA and the Christian Peacemaker Teams and is part of the Widening the Circle mini-series.

To more deeply engage a commitment to undoing oppression with seasoned justice-seekers, the Iconocast is launching a mini-series, Widening the Circle: Experiments in Christian Discipleship. Editor Joanna Shenk and the co-hosts will interview chapter authors about their continuing journeys of discipleship, asking questions like: How has their thinking deepened around the themes they wrote about? What do they see happening in the discipleship community movement currently? What is taking shape in their community/organization? What have they let go? In the meantime, make sure to check out Widening the Circle, with stories including from Dr. Vincent Harding, Reba Place Fellowship, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Mark Van Steenwyk, Andrea Ferich, Anton Flores and Jesce Walz.

You can download the episode here.

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Intro and bumper music for this episode is  All Along the Watchtower as performed by Jimi Hendrix.

  • Gus Kroll
    • markvans

      I’ve added a link to the body of the post. Thanks Gus!

  • maxpercy

    Mr. Van Steenwyk
    I enjoyed your interview. I am especially appreciative of your efforts to retain the tension between traditional Christian anthropology and practice and insights of contemporary critical theory. It is my impression that there is too much jettisoning of traditional Christian understanding and practice, and this is a massive loss of accumulated wisdom and therapeutic practice earned by our forebears.

    • markvans

      Could you say more about “Christian anthropology” and how you see me engaging it? I’m not sure how you’re using that phrase. :)

      • maxpercy


        Traditional Christianity has a particular understanding and articulation of the experience of being a person. I guess by traditional what I really mean is the greek/syriac tradition found in the Orthodox family of Churches. This understanding is developed by those early practitioners of the way of Jesus and reflecting on their experience: so called “desert fathers and Mothers”; Evagrius, Maximus the Confessor, John Cassian, John Climacus, Isaac the Syrian, etc… There is a very sophisticated and nuanced development of how thoughts, virtues, and vices all operate in the human mind and heart, not as a scholastic system of “should”, but as how they actually work. Repentance is at the center of their efforts.

        I think your engagement with repentance is essential and is not something I have heard that much of recently. I admit that I know next to nothing about Meister Eckhart and the later German mystics. I like to get my cool sounding words from greek, So I am not sure exactly how gelassenheit relates to metanoite(metanoia), do you?

        Also your focus on the transfiguration of the person in the healing of their mind and hearts through their direct experience of God in prayer and kenotic love.

        I think a fruitful area comes in your holding on to these essentially Christian ideas and practices and engaging various critical theories which have rather different presumptions about the person. Much engagement I see tends to give priority to the critical theories to “critique” Christianity and it seems to me like you are trying to chart a kind of middle way.

        How far off am I?

  • Sascha Grosser

    Thanks for this posting. It’s a very good episode.
    Greetings and blessings from germany!
    Jesus Radicals Germany

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