Our Holy Week episode features author and liberation theologian Kelley Nikondeha. Not only do we get into her new book, Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us about Freedom (Eerdmans 2020), but also her previous book Adoption: The Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World. Kelley brings a ferocity and loving imagination to help us see and recover the stories of these “hidden figures” of liberation in the Exodus story. Her experience as both an adopted person and an adoptive mother, along with her marriage and work in Burundi, give her a keen vision for Christian scripture’s call towards justice, and God’s heart for those on the margins. Episode features Lenten and (new) Easter music by Austin church musician Mac Meador.
Kelley Nikondeha is a practical theologian shaped by education and experience, by rhetoric and theology, by the luminous beaches of the California coast and the vibrant rhythms of Burundian drummers. Evangelical, charismatic and liturgical expressions of church all give contour to her thinking, though her deepest influence might be that of the Catholic Church, her point of theological origin. It is under the wing of her Mother Church that she first learned of the Spirit and tasted the Eucharist, word and sacrament embedded into the folds of her being early.
Kelley earned a degree in Communication Studies at Westmont College and a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. As co-founder of Amahoro Africa, she was curator for the theological conversations among our African and Western friends. At present she’s the co-director of Communities of Hope, a community development enterprise in Burundi and serves as the theologian-in-residence for SheLoves Magazine, a global community of women committed to God’s imperatives of love and justice in the world.
Our interview mentions a recent post by Walter Brueggemann on God’s New Thing (Church Anew).
Featured music: Mac Meador is a church worship director and songwriter based in Austin, Texas. He grew up a few hours north in Fort Worth. Though he wrote music throughout his childhood, it wasn’t until the later years of college that he began recording and compiling music to release. He largely draws from direct passages of scripture, or themes from church calendar seasons. His desire is to write honest music, engaging with the full spectrum of realities and emotions involved in the human relationship with God.
Episode theme music: Jesus Said by David Childers
Episode edited by Gary Fletcher.
Episode produced & hosted by Bob Crawford & Chris Breslin.
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