Introduction: Elizabeth Stoker

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49 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    My dear Lady welcome to the League (I’m an oldtimer, I get to still call it that)! I’m utterly transported that you’ll be contributing here.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Awesome. Welcome aboard.Report

  3. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Welcome aboard! I spent a very brief part of my college career studying the Christian — particularly Catholic — left and look forward to your offerings on the subject.Report

  4. Welcome! I look forward to posts from a Christian left perspective-though not a member of the tribe, my post-modernist leanings often dovetail with the left.Report

  5. Avatar Anne says:

    Welcome! glad you are joining usReport

  6. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Very excited to have you here, Elizabeth. Welcome!Report

  7. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Welcome aboard.

    I look forward to another person on the left joining and to debates between the differences on Judaism and Christianity. I’ve never been fond of the right-wing using the phrase Judeo-Christianity because there beliefs are so different than mine.

    Even though Brandeis is officially non-denominational, I think most American Jews (and maybe the broader university community) see it as a Secular Jewish undergrad campus. I think most of the students are Jewish (though when I toured there was a large Asian population as well). I’m curious about how you ended up at Brandeis and whether you felt it was a strongly Jewish campus or not.Report

    • Avatar ehstoker in reply to NewDealer says:

      Brandeis is completely secular in the sense that no student is ever compelled to any kind of religious participation, but it’s true that roughly half of the students are Jewish, and that special work is done to make space for observance of Jewish holidays. The Jewish influence is pretty palpable, which I rather liked — it makes for a very vibrant, lively community.

      I went to Brandeis because I toured and liked it — the culture, the atmosphere, everything was right for me. I also minored in Jewish studies there, in preparation for further study of Christianity. So I’d definitely agree the Jewish aspect of Brandeis’ identity is important, but also that it lends itself to a lot of different experiences.Report

  8. Avatar Caleb says:

    You sound very interesting. I look forward to your substantive posts.Report

  9. Avatar greginak says:

    Welcome aboard. I may not comment on your posts much, since my own lack of religion would probably lead any contributions to threads to turn to pixel dust, but i’ll be reading.Report

    • Avatar ehstoker in reply to greginak says:

      Hopefully there will be some substance there of interest regardless of religious engagement — the lefty stuff, namely! But thanks so much for the commitment to read.Report

  10. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Welcome Elizabeth and let me post your first challenge.

    Leo Tolstoy’s interpretation of Christianity is more than a little off in my opinion. Christianity offered a reward for following Christ since it’s earliest days, salvation and it offered a punishment, damnation. It’s not as explicitly law based as other religions, especially the two other Monotheistic ones, but in traditional Christianity there was a reward and punishment based on belief in Christ.

    Judaism in contrast does not have any explicit reward for obeying Halacha. Jews are supposed to observe the Mitzvah just because. In the Torah, God does not mention any reward for following the mitzvah for the most part.Report

    • Avatar ehstoker in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Tolstoy’s interpretation of Christianity is mediated through the theological sources available to him, among which Augustine was chief. Augustine, like most early church fathers, had an unhealthy disdain for Judaism, which was oft-maligned as overly ‘legalistic’ and ‘loophole-oriented.’ Augustine read no Hebrew and had much less of an understanding of Judaism than, say, Jerome, but nonetheless his reading of Judaism was popular and impactful. I submit in my post that Tolstoy’s reading is not insightful on that count.

      Now, whether or not Christian salvation is a prudential reward or a natural outcome of loving God is something to be argued between faithful folks and cynics. Certainly critics of Christian faith will identify salvation/damnation as a stick-and-carrot setup, but faithful Christians would counter that while salvation and damnation are facets of God’s mercy and justice respectively, one obeys God out of love, and comes into apprehension of worship of Him out of the same. Whether or not you want to imagine your average Christian to be motivated purely by love or by something more is up to you, of course!Report

  11. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I am absolutely delighted to have you on board and I look forward to many interesting and challenging posts!Report

  12. Avatar Kyle Cupp says:

    Welcome, Elizabeth! Wonderful to have you writing here!Report

  13. Avatar Shazbot9 says:

    Do you fight and/or write about vampires?Report

  14. Welcome! Truly wonderful to have you.

    My only qualm is that I am slightly dismayed to have yet another contributor at OT who is so very much smarter than I am.Report

  15. Avatar Pinky says:

    Well? You can’t just provoke us like that without any follow-up. Just how awful is your taste in music?

    Eh, I’m sure you’ll have opportunities to demonstrate it. Welcome aboard.Report

  16. Avatar Patrick says:

    Welcome to the site. I’d offer you a beer, but virtual beers aren’t terribly inviting 🙂Report

  17. Avatar Mike Schilling says:


  18. Avatar James K says:

    Welcome to the Times, Elizabeth.Report

  19. Avatar Will H. says:

    Greetings, tentatively.

    I feel inclined to remain somewhat skeptical of such matters at present.Report

  20. Avatar Murali says:

    Welcome aboard Elizabeth!

    As part of the Christian Left, where do you stand on the whole public reason issue?Report

  21. Avatar LWA says:

    Please do not mistake my tardy welcome for bad manners- I have many other ways of displaying them.

    Instead I have simply been consumed with my daily task of being a job creator and agitator of the proletariat.

    I look forward to your writings.Report

  22. Avatar Glyph says:

    Welcome! We’re stoked to have you!Report

  23. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    Welcome!!! 🙂Report

  24. Avatar David Ryan says:

    My apologies for this belated welcome, Elizabeth.

    My “grad school” for filmmaking was producing promotional documentaries for the National Council of Churchs, Church World Service, the General Board of Global Ministeries of the United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Committee on Relief, all of which could be fairly described as moderately left of center organizations. I learned a lot, produced some worthwhile films, had a lot of fun (and some frustration too.)

    Welcome to the League. I look forward to reading your posts!Report