Words, Words, Humor Me

Posted by: Richenda at Mon Jul 23, 06:43 PM in

Okay, so sometimes the straw gets to me and I need to let off a little ideological/philosophical steam. Well, here it is. Words, as I’ve said before, sometimes think too much of themselves. I am here to destabilize them! It is a good reminder that life doesn’t have to be so serious.

Below find a list of words I’ve encountered in my recent reading that begged for a little redefinition. :-) I will undoubtedly be adding to the list.

Alescence – the yeasty, beery smell that fills an entire room whenever a pair of dirty gym socks are removed from a plastic storage bag and placed into a hamper.

Axiological – the dilemma of a person possessed of an ax (while simultaneously dispossessed of their wits) who is contemplating barbarous action, in this case with said ax, to solve an immediate problem. Lizzy Borden, for example, engaged in an axiological dilemma just prior to murdering her parents.

Chaosmic – The state of deep physical satisfaction that results during and shortly after an episode of enthusiastic lovemaking performed in total darkness.

Discriminanda – The disappointed sigh emitted by a mega-fauna lover after they click on a link or links labeled ‘Cute Panda Pic!’ only to discover the cat-like mammal depicted in the photograph is not the Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) they had hoped to see, but is instead the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens), a small, less-appealing, non-relative. (Also see Discriminandum.)

Discriminandum – 1. The carefully etched graffiti-like scrawl pre-printed onto commercial drumsets in an effort to appeal to young consumers. 2. a last ditch effort made by modern Rap music artists to rhyme with ‘memorandum.’ (Not to be confused with Discriminanda.)

Explananda – Splenda sweetened banana smoothie used primarily for purposes of exfoliation.

Indiscerpible – 1. The state of ‘Authoritarized Intactness’ that results from the use of a looping neck and chinstrap, often bejeweled, attached to the underside of a Crown, and used primarily by Kings, Queens, Despots, Potentates, Debutantes, and High School Prom Courts to secure the Crown of Office to their heads thereby protecting their entitlement from random or premeditated snatch-and-grab usurpage. The neck strap also protects against decapitation. 2. Defensive strategy whereby a Crown wearer tilts his/her head so that a strategically placed ‘Crown Jewel’ may reflect brightly enough to blind an attacker. This technique of using bright light emitted from the forehead was borrowed for use by coal miners as a defense against the darkness of mining tunnels as early as 1850.

Perichoresis – The paralysis (and occasional rash) that seizes an expectant father directly following this question from his expectant partner: “Which shade of Periwinkle should we paint the nursery?” Possibilities of periwinkle, usually a light bluish violet, might include ‘Light Periwinkle,’ ‘Soothing Sky Periwinkle,’ or ‘Periwinkle Meadow.’

Propaedeutic – of, or like, a larval or pupal phase platypus. Preferably one native to historically held German territories.

Representamen – White stick figures applied to the back of a minivan or SUV, usually depicting an, often, Christian family unit usually including pets. Generally connoted by non participants to be boastful of traditional family relationships and mainstream values but problematic in this regard as mainstream families no longer fit the stereotype. Alternate spelling: resentamen.

Self-Othering – Any of a series of maladies stemming from distractedness, overwork, senility, or mental illness. Symptoms include talking to oneself, in particular referring to oneself in the third person while engaging in self soothing or self denigration, delusions that tasks left undone one has already completed, forgetfulness concerning specific facts relating to personal identity, such as favorite foods, colors, and the placement of car keys, disruption of self-care, such as irregular bathing and inability to recall whether or not one has eaten lunch, and the sudden, traumatic shock upon seeing one’s reflection in a mirror.

Spatiotemporal – the condition that arises when one searches for a pair of spats, unworn since the 1950’s, that have inexplicably disappeared.

TelicChief Engineer on the Star Fleet Starship U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. Alternately, the deceased best friend of Nylis Zokrat, Sith Assassin.

*Theologoumena” – Intricate ballet and trial-by-ordeal performed on a rolling log by virgin prima ballerinas (in tutus and pink satin toe shoes), while keeping their chins parallel to the ground and their eyes fixed devoutly heavenwards.

Theomachy – Greek variation of the popular sushi maki roll, traditionally prepared with an Enuma Fish, which is dipped vigorously into an ‘empty space’ so that small particles, in particular the Higgs Boson, might adhere to it.

Thirdness – The bitter resentment experienced by a youngest sibling who, having failed to beat his older brothers to the dessert cart, must accept the smallest, least appealing portion of cake.

Trichotomic – the repeated failed attempts by the leaders of Hitler’s Third Reich to develop and use atomic weaponry.

Trikonic – A ‘writerly,’ self-invested, and overly clever “twist” ending to an unproduced screenplay. The ‘trikonic’ or ‘trick’ ending is generally defended as both ‘ironic’ and ‘mind-blowing’ by its author.

See this image, Smell No Evil, in a larger size.

And, in honor of Harvard’s new slip of papyrus:

(Read the article and the story of Jesus’s wife, here )


Sometimes...it's all straw.

Posted by: Richenda at Mon Jul 23, 04:11 PM in

Pretentious much?

For much of this last year I have been locked in front of a book, kindle, or laptop absorbed in the study of existence. And, though I have done my best to avoid them my whole life, I have lately had to deal with what the Germans had to say about it. And they had a lot to say. First the Greeks, then the Latins, though quickly to the Greeks again, and then the Germans, and now we are all trapped in the high-pitched whine of überology in all its various echoes and translations.

Sometimes I get very tired.
Sometimes I want to plug my ears and run away.

All the philosophy! All the minds are trying too hard to listen and learn and declare and delve and do. But maybe existence just wants to be. As in, maybe existence just wants to be left alone.

And yes, I think it is pretentious. It is pretentious for any of us to claim to ‘study’ something like existence, divine or otherwise. Let’s please recognize that many of those with the time and opportunity to delve into these things have been madmen—literally. No doubt their madness was a gift to enable them to achieve brilliance. But, when you and I became involved, when we became invested in following in the steps of madmen, it’s time to question our own sanity. And pretensions. And, frankly, I question both for myself frequently.

Two thirds of the way through his opus Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas had a mystical experience that caused him to put down his pen. He never finished it. Later he said, “Everything I have written is straw.”

The point is, it takes a lot of time…but does it matter? All the ologies and osophies and emiotics… Do they feed one hungry child? Do they comfort one elderly person on a cold day?

I speak to all of us, I think this pursuit must not be of a distant star or an academic prize but it must be a pathway to wellbeing. As a graduate student grasping (gasping) through the texts of Hegel, Kant, Peirce, and more, sometimes I just have to get some air. And, as I’m breathing, I have to wonder…what??!

This is what I do on a ‘straw’ day to clear my head when all the ‘ologies’ begin to feel a little too big for everyone’s britches. :-) Or a long walk is also good.

What are we doing? Are we trying to make our point in a hostile room? Or have we stumbled onto something wondrous! Can we maintain humility and use what we learn to build/nurture societies and communities of wellbeing? Some of us contribute the shingles for the church roof. Others bake the most delicious spice cakes. A brave few travel the world and record for the rest of us the chasm between what we wish were true about humanity, and what is actually true. Still others, like me at the moment, attempt to delve into the unknown depths of divinity and scoop out images and experiences of neighbor, lover, and God.

It’s hard to stay sane, but I’m determined to try it. As such, I have a little fun as I go. (See my post Words, words, humor me.) I like to let the air out of the tires of ‘big words’ for example, as well as poking fun at words that border on pretension even as they attempt to justify their existence in a plea for exactitude—ha! I say look out! Big words can aspire to too much power. After a while, they need to be aired out. We all do.

Consider this an airing out. Consider this blog the product of a ‘straw’ day, a day when, after weeks of reading tracts devoted to what was or was not part of a priori existence, I have to agree with Thomas Aquinas about it all being straw. I find his straw reference very interesting. Straw, after all isn’t that bad, it has some uses. It’s clean. It smells good and fresh. In the 12th century it was handy for thatch and stuffing mattresses. It made an appearance at childbirth. This is all good. Even better is that it is a commonman’s material, ready to hand to be turned into items of utility, like baskets and brooms, and even art.

A Belarusian Straw Bird, by Viktar Patsciuk, 2007. Wikipedia Commons.

The trouble is, straw was not exactly what Thomas Aquinas was aiming for. For all its nicer uses, straw is mainly used for soaking up messes. It is strewn liberally in places like horse stables to absorb excrement and clean up easily. It is used by the handful to scrape unknown substances from the bottoms of shoes. ‘Straw’ may be ‘clean’ and ‘natural’ in starting out…but maybe in the end it is only useful for absorbing the mess we make of it…

Yet I guess I am hooked. I am willing, at least for now, to trust to the stuff that can absorb the mess. I trust that this straw of everyday life is what really matters, regardless of what it aspires (pretentiously) to be.

I am a miller’s daughter spinning…spinning….spinning…
Where is Rumpelstilzchen when you need him?

Illustration of Rumpelstiltskin from Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm, translated by Lucy Crane, illustrated by Walter Crane, first published by Macmillan and Company in 1886. Available at Project Gutenberg. and Wikipedia Commons.

Arthur C. McGill: Conversation and Tribute

Posted by: Richenda at Sun Jul 15, 02:59 PM in

A few months ago I encountered a book by a theologian who was new to me, his name was Arthur C. McGill. If newly released imprints and new publication (see Wipf and Stock Publishers) are any indication, there is currently a resurgence of interest in McGill’s work. This interest has to include my own. With this article, I hope to offer some information about McGill, who passed away in 1980, to the ‘google-sphere’ that hasn’t been available. This article includes the story of my encounter with McGill, my attempt to find information about him, and finally my effort to put together a biography for those who, like me, want to know more about him.

The cover of a newly published compilation of seventeen of McGill’s sermons thanks to Wipf & Stock Publishers and edited by David Cain. This book is the first in the series “Theological Fascinations” and includes previously unpublished works edited by Cain, with the next volume upcoming. Working title for the second volume is ‘Inverted Values: Arthur C. McGill on Gospel of Need and Dying unto Life.’

My Encounter with McGill:
It is fairly typical of me to first rant about someone, and then subsequently to fall madly in love with them. Such seems to be the case with Arthur Chute McGill.

New reprinting of Suffering, a Test of Theological Method, originally published by McGill in 1968, and Death and Life, which are lectures published posthumously in 1987. Thank you to Wipf & Stock Publishers for reprinting.

I came across his book Suffering when it showed up on a ‘extra reading’ list in a theological studies class. And about half way through the book, I posted a facebook rant that went like this:

Why go to all the trouble to prove … God’s essentials ‘love,’ if McGill is only going to swallow the pill of ‘Satan’ whole without questioning it? So the ‘evil one’ comes from where? God allows the pretense of power from the demonic why? If we don’t know from what we are redeemed, can we be said to be redeemed, at all? McGill … distracts us with his shiny, give-and-take God, and ignores the snake and the mouse altogether.

It wasn’t long, however, before my thinking shifted, first to:

Well, McGill is still somewhat irritating, but … I think his enthusiasm is worth something, and he’s got some good ideas.

And then to this:

Still thinking about McGill. And thinking how something brilliant he did was to shift the way Suffering could be perceived. He rejects the idea that humans are just inwardly sinful and any suffering we have is caused by our condemnable actions that separate us from a perfect God. Instead, he places suffering in the context of a world filled with difficult and unfathomable and harmful ‘powers’ that will attack and disorient and try to dissuade you from following God. Although I don’t love his solution, I absolutely ascribe to the idea of ‘powers.’ I have not decided exactly how I believe these ‘powers’ manifest, but certainly I agree with McGill that it is wrong to say people are inwardly sinful and awful and so if we suffer it is because we are perverse and willful…. I like that he rotates traditional thinking on this AND that he speaks to evangelicals in doing so…

And finally, to this:

Consider me in love. Or dare I say enraptured. I appreciate his energy, his enthusiasm, and his concrete common sense. I love that he dares to speak this concreteness out loud when those who would posit a monistic God are listening. And I love even more that the ‘concreteness’ of his perspective culminates in his own assertion that God is anything but concrete or static or unchanging. God, he asserts, is a God of change.

Googling “Arthur C. McGill”:
Thus began my first Google searches on “Arthur McGill.” What happened next was frustrating as there is/was next to nothing on the web I could find about him, including his obituary! No Wikipedia Article, nothing. (I have remedied that, wiki article here). Even my ticket to the vast digital holdings at the Seminary turned me up very, very little in terms of bio and theological dialogue. He seems to have disappeared into thin air, with only the persistent work of David Cain to keep his voice and work alive. (A big thank you to David Cain, by the way. David Cain is a Distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of Mary Washington. His primary interests include religion, literature, and theodicy, and the work of McGill, Wiesel, Kierkegaard, and Dostoevsky.)

My own interest in McGill’s theology is paired with my interest in the man himself. Who was he? In an age where your ‘social context’ is studied as part of the text of who you are and what formed you, I wanted to know more.

A screengrab from Google Maps, Streetview of McGill’s Office at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.

Below you will find a basic biography of Arthur McGill. Please consider my providing it as both a service and a request. If you knew Arthur McGill, please email me and tell me about it. I know he touched a lot of lives. I know his enthusiasm was infectious and contagious and that he inspired many young theologians as well as everyday Christians while he lived. I would like to hear about him. I would like to post some of those testimonials here on this blog. And I would like a photograph of him that I could post with this article!

In researching McGill, I was blessed by Dr. Ernie Rubinstein, Theological Librarian at Drew University. Those of us who attend Drew know Dr. Rubinstein to be without equal, brilliant and generous. In speaking to him, I discovered the Dr. Rubinstein was a graduate of Harvard and had taken a class, Theology 101, from Professor McGill in 1977. Dr. Rubinstein was generous enough to share not only his own enthusiastic remembrance of Professor McGill, as a caring, vivacious, brilliant and charismatic theologian, but Rubinstein also allowed me to borrow and copy (so that I might share) the careful notes he had made during that class. Dr. Rubinstein’s notes are careful, precise, and can be hard to decipher. But there are places where he made careful note of what McGill said about something in particular, and I have included a couple of those here. Access to the syllabus, as well, offers a good flavor of what McGill saw as some of the key concerns of theology at the time. Unfortunately, by 1977, McGill had already begun to experience health problems, and sometimes had to leave the class lectures early.

Mimeographed and all, the header for the syllabus for Theology 101, taught by A. C. McGill and G. D. Kaufmann, Fall 1977.

Arthur Chute McGill, a basic biography:
Arthur Chute McGill was born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada on August 7th, 1926 to Chester William McGill and Marjorie Chute McGill. The family emigrated that same year to the United States, settling in Brookline, Mass, and naturalizing in 1930.

Wolfville, Nova Scotia, downtown in 2006. Grabshot by Verne Equinox, Wikipedia.org.

As a boy, Arthur McGill attended Rivers Country Day School in Brookline, where McGill was the boyhood friend of John T. Noonan Jr., who would become a prominent Senior Circuit Court Judge. Noonan mentions McGill in his memoir, The Lustre of Our Country The American Experience of Religious Freedom , who speaks of “…my River’s classmate, Arthur Chute McGill” as a friend “who later became a professor at Harvard Divinity School. But at Rivers I thought of Arthur as my chief academic rival, doubly formidable because his uncle, Austin Chute, was our Latin teacher.”

In addition to his theological interests, McGill had an interest in astronomy. The Biographical Record from Drew University states that McGill “has a six-inch telescope with photographic equipment that he developed himself. His particular interest in this field is the open star clusters, like the Pleiades, which pose a problem of identifying which stars belong to the cluster and which only happen to be in the same line of sight.”

Arthur C. McGill was a Fulbright scholar who earned a B.A. from Harvard and a Ph.D from Yale Divinity School. He married, was ordained in the UCC tradition, and had three children. He taught at Amherst, Wesleyan, Princeton, and Harvard, and was a visiting theologian/lecturer at Drew Theological School, and the University of Birmingham. His last position was that of the Bussey Professor of Theology at Harvard Divinity School where he lived with his family in the homey suburb of Lexington. In addition to university instruction, McGill taught bible studies and was a guest preacher and lecturer at many local churches across the country.

Required reading from McGill’s Theology 101 syllabus, including marginalia.

A list of books required by McGill for his students in Theology 101 included Rudolf Bultmann, Kerygma and Myth; James Cone, God of the Oppressed; Hans Frei, Eclipse of the Biblical Narrative; Van A. Harvey, The Historian and the Believer; H. Richard Niebuhr, The Meaning of Revelation; Rudolf Otto, The Idea of the Holy; Paul Ricoeur, The Symbolism of Evil; Richard L. Rubenstein, After Aschwitz; Max Scheler, Ressentiment; Sallie Te Selle, Speaking in Parables; and Henry N. Wieman, The Source of Human Good.

At Princeton, McGill also taught a Theology 101 course. At the graduate level, his classes included “Medieval Christian Thought,” and two seminars, “Contemporary Theological Issues,” and “Hermeneutics: the Bible as a Means of Salvation.”

McGill’s career statistics are impressive. I have listed them chronologically below, including a couple of biographical dates. Where there were dates in conflict, I listed both dates, with the one in parenthesis being the one I think is less likely:

1947 (1941) : a B.A. from Harvard.
1949-1951 (1950): McGill served as Pastor of the Congregational Church in the miniscule, white rural town of Pettibone, ND.
1951: a BD (Bachelor of Divinity) from Yale Divinity School.
1951: June 14, married Lucille “Lucy” McGill in Pettibone, ND, with whom he had three children, two daughters and a son.
1951 (1952): McGill was ordained in Hamden, CT, as a minister in the Congregational Christian Church (now the United Church of Christ).
1952-1954 (1955): McGill was an instructor at Amherst College.
1953: Elected as a Kent Fellow in the National Council on Religion in Higher Education.
1955-59: Assistant Professor of Theology at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
1957-1958: Fulbright Research Fellow at the University of Louvain, Belgium.
1954-55: Pastor of the Congregational Church, Hatfield Mass.
1959-1968: McGill worked first as a Lecturer, then Associate Professor, then in 1964, made a full Professor at Princeton University.
1961 (1960): Ph.D from Yale Divinity School. His dissertation was titled The Place of Dogmatic Theology in the University.
1961: Promoted from Lecturer to Assistant Professor and named the Arthur H. Scribner Preceptor at Princeton University.
1965-1980: Founding member of the Academic Council Jerusalem Ecumenical Institute for Advanced Theological Research, Jerusalem.
1965: Visiting Professor of Theology, Drew Theological Seminary.
1966: Visiting Professor of Theology, Harvard Divinity School.
1967: Visiting Professor of Theology, Drew Theological Seminary.
1967-1968: Senior Fellow in Humanities at Princeton University.
1969: The Edward Cadbury Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, England.
1971: Elected to the position of the Bussey Professor of Theology at Harvard Divinity School.
1980: September 10, McGill passed away in Boston, Mass.

In addition McGill won numerous academic prizes, taught classes and bible studies, led seminars and lectured in local churches, and may have taught or lectured Union Theological Seminary. He was a guest minister and/or supply pastor in the countries and places he visited, was a member of a number of societies, including the Society for Religion in Higher Education, served on the Borough Council for Rocky Hill, New Jersey, and was a Democrat.

The Obituary printed by the Wilmington Delaware Morning News states that McGill suffered from diabetes and had undergone a kidney transplant in 1978. He died in 1980, in his sleep, at age 54. The memorial service was held at the Harvard Chapel. The Obituary notes that McGill was to be buried in Wolfsville.

Conservative? Evangelical? Liberal?
Arthur McGill, known as ‘Art’ to his friends, was a Christian Minister ordained in the United Church of Christ. In general, Arthur McGill seems to be someone we would call ‘liberal minded.’ In articles printed in the Princeton university newspaper, he is recorded as speaking up for the inclusion of women in higher education. In other places, and in snippets, McGill seems to suggest he felt it was men who suffered most from being separated from women academically, as it prevented young men from developing a healthy self-identity respective to women. McGill is also very vocal regarding his dislike of dogmatic doctrines and institutional Classic/Catholic teachings.

Notes taken by Rubinstein from McGill’s class Theology 101. “Two themes for the course: Theology and the Bible, Good and Evil.” 1977. Used with permission.

Notes taken by Rubinstein from McGill’s class Theology 101. “Theology: 1.) worked within a tradition, attempting to express it (ultimate reality). 2.) attempted to articulate what was believed about God in the tradition. The chaotic status of theology stems from the questioning of tradition.” 1977. Used with permission.

Notes taken by Rubinstein from McGill’s class Theology 101. “General Discussion 10/3/77. The question of evil—process thought vs tradition.” 1977. Used with permission.

By today’s standards, McGill might be considered both conservative and liberal, but certainly evangelical. As a Theologian who advocated for a God of change, he is both liberal and evangelical. By his stance on ‘powers’ and ‘evil,’ he would perhaps be categorized as conservative and evangelical. With his emphasis on experience as authoritative, I cannot doubt that he must himself have had experiences of God and the Divine. Additionally, I think his particular mix of theological belief speaks to his enthusiasm for both the common people and an accessible faith as well as a belief that we, each of us, are part of the Vitality that is God. He is ‘conservative’ in the attention he pays to bible-basics in the literature of the New Testament, and he offers an unblinking look at the cosmologies that inform the biblical text, particularly in how the New Testament treats ‘powers’ and ‘evil.’ (McGill’s assertions regarding ‘powers’ reminded me much of the work of the late Walter Wink, whose book ‘Naming the Powers’ shares a kind of kinship with McGill, here, I think.)

Notes taken by Rubinstein from McGill’s class Theology 101. In this notation, Rubinstein has marked where McGill has made a personal assessment and remark in addition to the summary information of the lecture. “Frei’s notion of appreciation [of/&] literary form—the literary form must give us [access?] to reality, but simply attending to the lit[erary] form needed to reveal reality to us.” 1977. Used with permission.

Notes taken by Rubinstein from McGill’s class Theology 101. Here, Rubinstein has made note of “McGill’s Criticism” of the topic. See larger image here. 1977. Used by permission.

McGill was radical for the same reasons he was conservative. He dared oppose a philosophically monistic, absolute God and declared for a God of change. He believed God was accessible to the common believer so much so that that believer could become a true authority of and participant in the creation/fruition of the Kingdom of God. This isn’t the same as Luther’s Priesthood of Believers. Luther wanted to expose a corrupt priestly culture and challenge the ‘set apartness’ that allowed it by bringing the believer up, too. It was a democratization of authority, but one that stayed high. McGill, on the other hand, has a much sweatier perspective. He dismisses all things dogmatic and static and insists that God is down to earth and slogging it out here, with us. When reading McGill’s book Suffering, I can almost imagine hand to hand combat in the streets.

For McGill, theology is an experience. Even in the rhetoric and energetic style of his book he seems to offer us a taste of this experience. ‘Reason’ is a plaything for someone else, perhaps. But ‘experience’ is what erupts from the playground around McGill. And, in this prioritizing of experience, I sensed that McGill saw this as so much more than ‘personal’ experience. Though there is attention to the individual, yes, and emphasis on the importance of individual effort within the constantly shifting ground of theological witness, still, what I really imagined in reading it were clusters and waves and leagues of things all together. It seemed important, vital (for Life!) that we recognize our togetherness. Divine encounter, he seems to declare, is experience to be entered into together, wrestled with together, and altogether shared.

In closing, I will share a wish that I could have been present for this conversation Rubinstein makes note of as having taken place on September 26, 1977:

Notes taken by Rubinstein from McGill’s class Theology 101. “9/26/77, I Method, A. Objective Psychology, B. Otto & Introspective [phenomenology]. II Religion against humanism. III Two questions, A. The status of experience. B. The status of Xianity.” 1977. Used with permission.

(Note: I understand the word ‘Xianity’ to be slang, as it doesn’t show up in the OED. It is a short form of the word ‘Christianity’—similar to Xmas. The X is in reference to the Greek spelling of Christ, Χριστός. The word can be used in a derogatory way, and can imply dogmatic belief. There is no reason to believe McGill himself is using the word as a derogation, though he is known to dislike dogmatic thinking.)


McGill’s Publications:
McGill, Arthur C. The Twilight World of Popular Songs, Religious Education 49, 1954. p 382-88
McGill, Arthur C. Reason in a Violent World, The Distrust of Reason. Wesleyan UP: Middletown, CT. 1958. p 34-50.
McGill, Arthur C. The Place of Dogmatic Theology in the University Ph.D Diss. Yale University. 1961.
McGill, Arthur C. The Celebration of the Flesh: Poetry in Christian Life. Association Press:NY. 1964.
McGill, Arthur C. The End of Intimacy. Christian Faith and Higher Education Institute: East Lansing, MI. 1965.
McGill, Arthur C. The Education of Specialists. The Christian Scholar, Spring 1966.
McGill, Arthur C. The Many-Faced Argument. John Hick Ed. Macmillan:NY. 1967.
McGill, Arthur C. The Death of God and All. That in Radical Theology: Phase Two. C.W.Christian and Glenn R. Wittig Eds. Lippincott: Philadelphia. 1967. p 45-58.
McGill, Arthur C. Technology and Love—A Human Problem Man in Nature and the Nature of Man. Fifth Combined Plan Conference, Arden house, Harriman, NY, 5-8. Nov. 1967.
McGill, Arthur C. Suffering: A Test of Theological Method. Geneva: Philadelphia. 1968. Reprinted Westminster Press, 1982.
McGill, Arthur C. Critique II. Theology Today 25 (1968) 317-19.
McGill, Arthur C. Is Private Charity Coming to an End? Vanguard: A Bulletin for Church Officers 6 (1969) 3-6, 16.
McGill, Arthur C. The Ambiguous Position of Christian Theology, Paul Ramsey and John F Wilson Eds., The Study of Religion in Colleges and Universities. Princeton UP: Princeton. 1970. p105-38.
McGill, Arthur C. The Crisis of Faith Thesis Theological Cassettes: Pittsburgh. 1974.
McGill, Arthur C. Structures of Inhumanity. Alan M. Olson Ed. Disguises of the Demonic. Association: NY. 1975.


Sources for this blog article:
Arthur Chute McGill. Directory of American Scholars, Volume 4, 1982. Science Press. Page 335

Cain, David. Arthur McGill:A Memoir. Harvard Theological Review, Vol 77 1. 1984. p 95-111.

McGill, Arthur C., Suffering: A Test of Theological Method. Geneva: Philadelphia. 1968. Reprinted Westminster Press, 1982.

McGill, Arthur C., and G. D. Kaufman. Theology 101, Class Syllabus. Fall 1977.

Noonan, John T., Jr., The Lustre of Our Country: The American Experience of Religious Freedom. University of California Press, 2000. 23.

Rubinstein, Ernest. Class notes, Theology 101. 1977.

Who’s Who in America, Marquis Who’s Who, Inc. (1978)

United Church of Christ. Arthur Chute McGill. United Church of Christ, Year book. Vol. 1982, New York, N.Y., p. 452.

From the Drew University Archives:
Biographical Information: Dr. Arthur Chute McGill. Faculty Biography. Special Collections and Archives. Drew University Library. Madison, NJ. c. 1965.

Dr. A.C.McGill dead in Boston. Obituaries. Morning News, Wilmington Delaware. 18 September 1980. (Clipping)

From the Harvard Library Archives:
Report of the President of Harvard College and Reports of Departments. 1980-1981. Official Register of Harvard University. Vol. LXXIX July 2, 1982. Page 45. http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/ April 28, 2012

From the Princeton Library Archives:
The Daily Princetonian. Volume 85, Number 82, 13 September 1961. Princeton University Library. http://theprince.princeton.edu April 28, 2012.

Simons, Todd. McGill. The Daily Princetonian Volume 89, No 21, March 1965. Princeton University Library. http://theprince.princeton.edu April 28, 2012.

SCA Convocation Emphasizes Women Students’ Importance. The Daily Princetonian, Volume 89, Number 21. 1 March 1965. Princeton University Library. http://theprince.princeton.edu April 28, 2012.

Rice, Beans, and Peppers with Mango and Lime

Posted by: Richenda at Tue Jun 5, 11:16 PM in

Hmm…. The second blog in a row devoted to food. Not sure if that’s a trend… But I have had quite a bit of fun searching for lowfat vegan-esque foods I like, and I have always been a creative cook. And, importantly, when I make up something lowfat/nonfat, healthy, and yuuummmy, I want to share.

The menu tonight was Rice, Beans, and Peppers with Mango and Lime. It’s pretty much nonfat and vegan and absolutely delicious.

I didn’t take a picture of the final presentation, but here are the leftovers in a bowl. Not much left over! And most of the pretty yellow and red peppers have been eaten up. Still, you get the idea. Imagine the contents served over an enchilada sized tortilla.

R’s Rice, Beans and Peppers with Mango and Lime


2 Lowfat, enchilada-sized, white corn tortillas, warmed.

For sauce:
Juice of one half lime
Two Anaheim peppers, roasted, seeded, and skinned
One large ripe tomato, skinned and chopped
2 large cloves garlic
1 tsp chili powder
⅔ cup chopped onion

For filling:
1 cup cooked Long Grain Himalayan Red Rice (see more about this kind of rice below)
1 can (16oz) tri-color beans, pinto, black, and red
3 bell peppers, one green, one red, one yellow
2 onions, one red, one Spanish
Flax seed oil

Chopped mango
¼ tsp chili powder
½ chopped avocado
½ cup chopped cilantro

For sauce, sauté ⅔ cup finely chopped Spanish onion, tomato and garlic until soft. Add chili powder and puree. Return to heat, add seeded, roasted, skinned, and finely chopped Anaheim peppers and lime juice. Allow to simmer. Add more water if necessary for saucing consistency.

For filling, slice onions and peppers in rounds (reserve the top and bottom sections of the peppers for the bean mixture) and fry the onions in a hot cast iron pan with a small amount of flax seed oil. Cook until onions are soft and golden, then add sliced peppers and fry a little longer, until they are cooked and edge-browned a little but still have their color and flavor. In separate saucepan, place long grain rice, allowing the rice to become a little chewy in the pan. Add beans. Chop the top and bottoms of the peppers into little squares, and add. It should look very pretty with the three colors of beans and the brightly colored peppers. Mix together and heat thoroughly.

For garnish, chop mango into small pieces and sweeten with agave nectar if needed. Add ¼ tsp of chili powder to mango and stir. Chop avocado and cilantro and serve separately.

To serve:
Place a warmed tortilla on a plate. Spoon rice and bean mixture on tortilla. Pour sauce over beans and rice, then add generous amount of stir fried onion and peppers. Garnish with mango, avocado, and cilantro.

Serves two.

For dessert
Warmed bananas in Nonfat Cottage Cheese

This is one of my favorite sweet desserts modified a little to follow the beans and rice dish. I was a little heavy handed with the cottage cheese tonight, so the picture shows a gooey-er dessert than usual.

2 bananas, cut in chunky rounds
1 cup nonfat cottage cheese (On the west coast, I like Trader Joe’s’, on the East Coast, Breakstone’s’.)
Agave nectar
Lime juice
Lime segments for garnish

In a saucepan, heat bananas and cottage cheese until the cheese curds melt and become stringy. Divide into two dessert dishes. Squeeze lime juice over the top, and squeeze Agave Nectar on top of that. Add lime garnish, and serve.

A word about the rice.

I love steamed white rice, but lets face it, whole rice is better. I confess I do not like brown rice. It’s icky. I just don’t like the taste nor the texture. Simply swapping white rice for brown is a very disheartening experience. I do like wild rice, though, and some of the Lundberg Family Farms blends are good. Best of all, however, is a type of rice I discovered called Himalayan Red Rice.

A little Himalayan Red Rice I cooked up and stored in the freezer. It keeps very well, and I can freeze it in 1 cup serving sizes.

Believe it or not, this Red Rice is a treat. I love the stuff, and can honestly recommend it. I use it almost exclusively. It’s great in chili with beans to keep that dish vegan and healthy. It’s also great with curries, or simply fried up with a little tofu or chicken. It’s got a satisfying texture and the taste is nutty but not overly so. Just try it. That’s all I’m saying.

Homage to Fratelli's Deli

Posted by: Richenda at Tue May 29, 02:20 PM in

Am I a foodie? Yes. If ‘picky’ is a foodie category, count me as one! Unfortunately, I don’t get a lot of time to indulge my foodie-ness, though I have a good friend with a food blog that always makes me hungry. Her blog is My Own Sweet Thyme.

But…to Fratelli’s.

I’ve been living in Madison, NJ, as I am currently a Theological student at Drew Theological Seminary. But, as it is summer time, I have returned home to the Pacific Northwest, to the shadow of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood for a few months. (I hear it’s 90 degrees in NJ today. Should I mention that it’s 51 degrees, here? ;-) Brr….think I’ll fetch a sweater.)

Drew University happens to be in Madison, NJ, right next to a very quaint downtown area. I have never lived on the east coast before and as a result I never had a love of Italian food. There is just something about food that needs regionality. You really have to go to the region where that food has been perfected—preferably by someone’s grandmother—before you get the food in its best form.

Fratelli’s has been a center of my adoration for months now. I go in every Thursday afternoon and order an ‘Amichi’ (grilled chicken, sweet red peppers, mozzarella) which they are kind enough to serve me just the way my picky self likes it: on a round roll (which they bake themselves) with lots of balsamic.

Only half left…and it, too, was gone too soon, too soon…

First…the ‘round roll.’ Silly me, I just thought a round roll was a roll that was round. Nope. Here in NJ a round roll is a very specific kind of roll with a very specific kind of flavor. And Fratelli’s bakes them in-house.

Fratelli’s also makes it’s own ‘Mozzarella’ which the proprietor refers to simply as ‘Muutz.’ And, yes, when Mario Fratelli asks if you want some you should say ‘yes.’ It, too, is made in-house and it’s perfect. I don’t usually eat cheese, but for special Thursdays I will make an exception because, frankly, it is really good.

Fratelli’s does not have a website, but in googling them I discovered they have a video!

The video was put together by Terry Bondreau and features Mario Fratelli, the man and proprietor himself.

Fratelli’s isn’t just about Italian food, they also make homemade foods from Columbia and other places. Their menu is extensive and yes, you should go there and get a sandwich for lunch.

Sadly for me, I am too far from Madison to get my Thursday sandwich!! But, I am not deterred, no sir. To keep myself entertained and my taste buds placated, I’ve created a sandwich homage to Fratelli’s. I call it my ‘Fratelli’s-in-the-Cascades’ and it’s delicious enough to share. Lacking a proper ‘round roll’ I’ve substituted a soft panini roll from Delphina’s bakery. (Delphina’s is a Portland bakery and ….beware…it’s really goood….) On to said roll I place some slabs of tofu fried in a little flax seed oil, and then as much fresh baby arugula as I can squeeze on top. Finally, I splash on a lot of balsamic.

No. It’s not as good as my Thursday Amichi. But. Close enough. And just for fun, I have created a theme sandwich photo. Here it is, drum roll please. The ‘Fratelli’s-in-the-Cascades’ as my Mt. St. Helen’s homage to Fratelli’s sandwich perfection.

The picture of Fratelli’s Deli top is a promotional photo from Madison Patch promoting A Taste Of Madison 2012.

The ‘theme sandwich’ credits thanks to Wikipedia Commons:The pic of Mt. St. Helens is public domain (USGS 1982); The Atsuage, A fried tofu thanks to Potesara 2007; The arugula, public domain, TY Leo Michels (2006); and the Pane Turano – italian Pane bread (no the roll is not a panini, this is a thematic recreation. In other words, I’m pretending.) thanks to Turano Baking company (2010).

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