The 2008 Year in Review

Happy New Year!

Last year I did a "Best of 2007" for Experimental Theology for which my friends laughed at me for being the sole judge of my own best posts. So, this year something less ego-centric. A simple 2008 Year in Review.

1. The Theology of Peanuts
2008 began with my online book The Theology of Peanuts. This was quite a project as I inserted illustrative Peanuts strips into the text of each essay. Being a big fan of the whole Peanuts gang this was a fun project to start the year off with.

2. The Theology of Calvin and Hobbes
After starting 2008 with The Theology of Peanuts I ended the year with an equally ambitious project: The Theology of Calvin and Hobbes. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes was the best book I read in 2008.

3. Tracy Witham's Into the World.
During the summer months while I was in Germany I was very pleased to host Tracy Witham's online book Into the World. Tracy now hosts that book, along with other posts, on his blog Metaponderance.

4. The Psychology of Violence
Speaking of Germany, two of my favorite posts from 2008 were posts about the Buchenwald concentration camp and reflections prompted by the traffic lights in the former East Germany. Each post uses those experiences in Germany to reflect on the psychology of violence.

5. The Omega Point (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4)
Not for the faint of heart, you have to think really hard to wrap your head around the Omega Point series. Inspired by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in the Omega Point series I try to integrate consciousness, theology, evolution, and physics.

6. The Psychology of Christian Art (Part 1, Interlude, Part 2, and Part 3)
I did a lot of posts about art this year. This series asks the question: Why is so much of Christian art so bad? To answer that question we venture into theology and existentialism and some of my recent laboratory research.

7. The Theology of Ugly (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7)
In this series I use the category of ugly to approach theological and ethical issues. The high points of the series, thanks to my colleague Dan, were the posts devoted to the aesthetics of the Crucifixion, the Isenheim Altarpiece, and Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World.

8. PostSecret (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5)
PostSecret is an online and publishing sensation where people anonymously share secrets they have never before disclosed. This series summarizes research I did with some of my students into the PostSecret phenomenon. A fun point of the series was that Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret, commented on a couple of the posts.

9. Orthodox Iconography
2008 was the year I really got into Orthodox iconography. I still have much to learn but what little I did learn I shared in a variety of posts on specific icons (The Harrowing of Hell, John the Baptist, the Crucifixion, Christ Pantokrator, and the Nativity, Baptism, and Transfiguration) and in posts concerning the theology of the visual style of icons (Stylization, Light, Time and Space, and Perspective).

10. My Research
In 2008 I also continued to blog about my scholarly research. Both my Satan and Theodicy and my Feeling Queasy about the Incarnation studies were accepted for publication this year.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

2 thoughts on “The 2008 Year in Review”

Leave a Reply