Nathaniel Marshall is a plumber by trade, a postulant for holy orders in the Reformed Episcopal Church and seminarian at Cranmer Theological House (REC), and an Oblate of St. Benedict with St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. He writes The Blue Scholar Substack newsletter where he reflects on the meaning of our work in the world, philosophies and theologies of work, and occasionally tells a story from his time in the field. He lives in Georgia with his wife, Kayla, and their two daughters.
The frictionless existence we were promised, one that freed us from slavish obedience to place and tradition and family bonds, turns out to be one in which we amorphously float about in a gelid atmosphere longing for the halcyon days of family farms and quaint communities.
In this piece, I turn from the abstract idea of the marriage between the outer world of work and the inner world of the spirit to centers of education that are midwifing this renaissance of theologically-informed labor.
It almost feels heretical to say that at the center of our religion, indeed our existence, is a God that can be wounded and broken, but this is precisely the Christian claim. We live in a world that can be degraded, and God entered that very degradation in Christ. So might there be a connection between what we do in the world and this world's wounded God?