Occupy Vanity: Ecclesiastes and the Occupy Wall Street Movement

This is a lecture I gave in 2013 in a course on the Wisdom Literature, examining the Book of Ecclesiastes in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The course was taught by the Rev. Dr. Damien Dietlein, OSB–or, as we called him, “Damo”–, a legend at Saint Meinrad and a biblical scholar of the highest caliber and a minister of the deepest love. Studying under such a giant is among the greatest honors of my life.

The Occupy movement seemed to die not with a bang but a whimper, but, in light of the current climate, I can’t help but wonder if that whimper doesn’t camouflage a bang still waiting to get rebung. But what do I know?

References in the lecture to Támez are to Elsa Támez. “Ecclesiastes: a Reading from the Periphery.” Interpretation: A Journal Of Bible & Theology 55, no. 3 (July 2001): 250-259. References to Seow are from Choon-Leong Seow’s Anchor Bible: Ecclesiastes.

Old Stuff: Epiphany Version

In honor of today’s Feast of the Epiphany, here’s “Frozen Pizza and Maury Povich,” a sermon I was privileged to preach on Epiphany, 2012 for the good people of Notre Dame Church in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. After the service, I hit the road to start my second semester of graduate seminary. A lot has changed since then, but my love and gratitude for the people who supported me back then has not.

A New Vision of Greatness

Audio of a sermon I was privileged to preach this morning for Antioch Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Lexington, Kentucky. In it, I said “the disciples were first called ‘Christians'” backwards at a congregation named “Antioch,” and they were kind enough not to lynch me!

 

Old Stuff: Israel (Who Cares?)

This is a lecture I had occasion to give at Seton Catholic School, Lexington, Kentucky, in 2012. We explore why the Hebrew Bible, which is the sacred text of the ancient Jewish people, is relevant to people who are neither ancient nor Jewish. The kids at Seton–in this case, 7th and 8th graders–were awesome, and they taught me that you don’t have to dumb down important things to reach kids. If you treat them with respect, they’ll rise to the occasion. And these particular kids are Seton Stars, and if Seton Stars do anything, they rise above!