Thursday, July 28, 2005

Maddox Joins Duke Faculty

Big news for Duke fans (academics, not athletics).

Can anyone guess why I'm still happy - even relieved - to be at PTS?


Samuel Bills said...

Ummm...because you're afraid Stan Hauerwas would beat you up and take your lunch money.

JohnLDrury said...

I hadn't thought of that one, but maybe that's the real reason!

any other guesses / suggestions???

ps - there's a clue to at least one aspect of the matter somewhere on

pk said...

John, I googled the whole emergentwesleyan site and came up with nothing substantial. I'm dying here. How long are you going to hold out on us?

JohnLDrury said...

-> Forum
-> Theology
-> Personal Holiness

But there's more to the story than what you'll find there.

Samuel Bills said...

Here is my answer in a story...It was 2005 John and I were at the final day of the Wesleyan Theo. Soc. meeting - musing about the direction that WTS was taking with Don Dayton and Bill Kostlevy - Around the corner from where we were sitting Randy Maddox was performing the rites of the eucharist in full robes and all. It was a moment I will not soon forget...
Here is an interesting link to something Kostlevy wrote
I think of it this way - now there is an open chair at SPU a Free Methodist school for wesleyan studies. We take the other coast and build a wesleyan center - and use Kevin Wright as our spy to let us know what's going on at Duke.

JohnLDrury said...

a very telling tale indeed!

JohnLDrury said...

It may have been the contrast between Randy's robes and Bill's jeans that made the point best. Or was it Don's cargo pants???

There is something funny about how Wesleyan academics barring a few always drift toward a high church piety. As a culprit myself, I want to ask "What's with that?" Can anyonee explain this to me?

Amanda said...

Duke would be a great place for you to study...if you wanted to study Wesley.

JohnLDrury said...

now that's a big "if"

David Drury said...

I've known John the longest of any of you all (even though I've never kissed him, as Amanda has)...

So here's my speculation:

Whilst John is a geek in some ways his theology always flows from and back into ecclesiology. So his pulse is on "currencies" in the culture of the church... and the high-church piety, while having some voodoo appeal for we methodistic types, is looking back too much. He wants US (whomever that might be in the Wesleyan Tribe) to look back only 100 years for 80% of what we are... and to instead look forward for more years than we look back.

This is why cargo pants have more relevance to his theology than candles.

That's my proposition (a guesstimate), please debunk it.

(however, I might say that this all makes him much MORE like Wesleyan than even those flocking to Duke to study the man)

JohnLDrury said...


You are dead on about where I prefer to seek out our identity: recent history and the open future. As for being steeped in the past, I'm all for it. But there's nothing peculiarly Wesleyan about that. Being Wesleyan has to do with HOW we appropriate (and twist) the past in light of our doctrinal and pragmatic distinctives. I think way to much is made of Wesley's Anglicanism and its mediation of a Patristic influence. It's there, but the issue is how he fit it into his own agendas. And I am more concerned with carrying through those agendas than reconstructing his roots. I guess that's why I'm a theologian and not an historian, despite the necessary overlap.

JohnLDrury said...

But for all those historians of wesley and methodism out there: get your butts down to Duke!

Keith.Drury said...

All history is selective and tells us more about who we are and want to be than being our [true] history. Wesleyan academics (most boomer-types at least) have rejected so-called “legalism” of our past that we skip right over the "revivalist 100 years" then the previous "reformer 50 years" to find refuge in Wesley (which we mine for elements that support what we want to become now).

Mining Wesley has been the endeavor of the last 25 years—and that mine is pretty well worked out now—all that is left for Wesley Doctoral students at Duke to sift through the tailings.

What still remains underground however is the 20th century holiness movement (though there have been a few exploratory shafts). I bet that will be where the new mines are sunk.

Perhaps that is what the not-completely-Methodist wing of the Wesleyan movement will start doing. Of course, they too will select from this history only what they value for themselves in the future (the rest will become tailings for students to work through in 2100+) and their “history” will be selective too.

If we want to know who we are—where our habits come from, why we react so strongly to some things, why we think this or that… whom should we study most—our parents, Grandparents, or great-great-great-grant-great grandfather? My hunch is the more recent past tells us more about who we are than the distant one. And one more thing—I have a hunch that what we REJECTED in this recent past controls us more than what we embraced… Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

JohnLDrury said...


Well put. That's a history I want to read (but not really do the work for - I'm too much a sucker for dead germans).

Your last note about what we reject looms over us more than we think requires futher thought. I have observed this as true, but am still trying to figure out WHY and HOW this works. Any insights anyone?

Ken Schenck said...

Alicia (Rasley) Myers said Duke didn't really feel very Methodist to her in the MA program (she couldn't speak for the MDiv and admitted the chapel had some Methodism to it).

I was thinking even today about being somewhat Foucaultian and getting a few of us together to "tell" the Wesleyan story in a way that did have some historical legitimacy but even moreso "defined" us by fiat--selecting and forming our best elements by the way we told the story while translating us to what we would like to be.

I'm not sure completely what it would look like. Maybe Bence's "crisis formation" could be part of that. I know Dave has been working to define what an "emergent Wesleyan" might be. I think we are a kind of "generous conservatism" :) with a pietist orientation.

I've spoke with California Wesleyans who don't use Wesleyan on their church signs because people think they're a cult. After watching the ordination service in Indiana Central district yesterday, I can see that too. Frankly, I'd love to put the Methodist part back in the name.

But I'll give what I would mean if I had written what John wrote. I see no point in pouring over Wesley too much when he was just a man and a man of his time as much as any of us. He was no biblical scholar and the psychology by which he processed his understanding was simply that of his day.

He was a great man and had a lot of good things to say. But we all stand on the shoulders of two more centuries of pouring over these topics. To me that means I start off taller to begin with than he finished. Why get stuck in the late 1700's when the great debates are in many cases two hundred years the wiser?

JohnLDrury said...

I thought we were a cult?

Sniper said...

PTS? uh oh, watch out you "liberal"...whatever that means. John, I'm a good friend of Kevin's. I recently read your article on Nyssa and Macrina in Theology Today. I'm interested in PTS and was wondering if you could give me a place to start?

JohnLDrury said...


Give me an email address and I'll give you the goods. I can be reached at