Author Archives: Donovan Schaefer

An Institution Is Not a Text: Pope Francis, Affect, and Power

                  by Donovan Schaefer “…it is possible that the very productive critical habits embodied in what Paul Ricoeur memorably called the ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’—widespread critical habits indeed, perhaps by now nearly synonymous … Continue reading

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Our Peculiar Institution: American Protestantism, Shame, and McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (film review essay)

by Donovan Schaefer Warning: Spoilers but you kind of already know what happens Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is mandatory viewing for Americans, unblinkingly revisiting a crucial and painful chapter in US history and helping to flesh out the … Continue reading

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I Know Exactly What That Is: White Atheism and Islamophobia, Part 3

by Donovan Schaefer * Follow these links for part 1 and part 2. American atheist Sam Harris recently responded to the swirl of celebrity surrounding Pakistani girls’s education advocate and assassination survivor Malala Yousafzai by claiming her as one of … Continue reading

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Crisis Masculinity: A Feminist Reading of Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines (Film Review Essay)

by Donovan Schaefer Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines is a powerfully composed narrative triplet that follows crisis moments of two men, Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) and Avery Cross (Brad Cooper) and their sons, A.J. (Emory Cohen) and Jason (Dane … Continue reading

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Casual Apocalypticism: Conspiracy Theory, Masculinity, and American Religion

by Donovan Schaefer Conspiracy theory follows power’s secret moves through the telltale signs inscribed on banal surfaces.  It takes the vaguely lived sense that something isn’t quite right and then snaps it into a puzzle form, a search for underlying … Continue reading

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Independence Day: American Christianity and Why Liberals Aren’t Liberal (Stanley Hauerwas)

by Donovan Schaefer A few days before Independence Day, Duke Divinity School ethicist Stanley Hauerwas published a long article on the Australian Broadcasting Company’s “Religion and Ethics” blog.  In it, he argues for a reconsideration of Catholicism against the backdrop … Continue reading

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“I Like When They Stay Standing Up”: Embodied Ethics, Part 1

 by Donovan Schaefer Embodied ethics is a heading to explore case studies in which the traditional liberal view of ethics as a set of choices made by rational, autonomous agents seems to be blurred or disrupted.  Furthermore, embodied ethics may … Continue reading

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