the Iconocast: Richard Beck (episode 40)

December 22, 2011the Iconocast Collective

Post image for the Iconocast: Richard Beck (episode 40)

In this interview, Mark and Sarah interview Richard Beck.

Richard Beck is Professor and Department Chair of Psychology at Abilene Christian University. Richard is married to Jana and they have two sons, Brenden and Aidan. They also have a dog Bandit who keepsRichard company when he works away on his blog Experimental Theology. Richard’s area of interest is on the interface of Christian theology and psychology, with a particular focus on how existential issues affect Christian belief and practice. Richard’s published research covers topics as diverse as the psychology of profanity to why Christian bookstore art is so bad. He is the author of “Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality”

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Intro and bumper music for this episode is De Usuahia a la Quiaca by Gustavo Santaolalla.

  • Sara Harding

    That was a beautiful conversation. I like his treatment of “love your neighbor as yourself”, and how it is not defined as an order, getting love of self right before loving others, but applying that self awareness, the way we see the world, with the other, so we are trying to see through their eyes and seeking a mystical union of their beings with our own. And in that our true selves are found and made whole, made unique.

    I think Mark would really enjoy that bubble bath, come Sunday. :)

  • Travis

    When I click “Checkout” it says “Your cart is empty”. I tried in 3 different browsers, so I don’t think it’s my end. I got ahold of the episode through the rss feed.

    • markvans

      Bummer. Let me check it out.

  • Travis

    Hey Mark,
    You talked about about Communion on your community for a second and the situation paralleled the situation I’m involved with- One or 2 people don’t Partake. We don’t do it very often, but this last time we did I noticed that (dense me) the Body was made primarily of an ingredient that one of the non-partakers is deathly allergic to and I got pretty annoyed and didn’t take any myself (maybe other reasons are involved too)- Anyways, do you have any more thoughts on this awkward situation that we create for ourselves, or any reading material?
    I guess for context: before this we all eat together anyways (fruit curry last week!), we’re not Intentional community, but we are christian anarchist bible study house church.

  • markvans

    I’m not sure where to point you to for more reading. What we’ve started doing instead of formal elements is to start referring to the entire meal as sacramental (which is how most of us understand it). Before beginning our Sunday communal meal, we have a liturgy that begins with placing three symbols on the table: the cup, the bread, and the candle (which represents the presence of the spirit in our midst) and then we bless the meal. Those who find the symbols meaningful take them, but as a whole our language and liturgy recognizes the meal itself to be holy.

  • Schalk Venter

    I want to leave a quick mention on how much I enjoyed this cast, and how insightful I found it. Plus, how relevant (and profound) some of issues Beck raised in the above cast are to my own context within the current (and increasingly) disastrous South African social and economic landscape. I spent quite a bit of time last year making use of Mary Douglas’ ‘Purity and danger: an analysis of concept of pollution and taboo’, as part of my post-grad in Visual Arts. Douglas, as an anthropologist and cultural theorist, obviously approaches ‘purity’ and ‘danger’ through a socio-cultural framework, I’m interested to see how Beck’s work might tie in, coming from a physiological perspective.

    I also want to mention how interesting I found the subsequent cast, with Shannon Kearns – especially in regards to the insightful angle on American Evangelicalism. Plus, I gave it a second listen, and laughed twice as hard at Mark’s quirky comments. Thank you so much for the podcast guys, it has such a profound influence on my own sense of grappling with these issues. I would love to help out with a humble donation – however I hope the exchange rate doesn’t render it too insignificant.

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