Hi there. I’ve decided to start a new series on my blog!
I know what you’re thinking: Luke? Blogging again? When did this happen? Why did this happen? Hasn’t the world suffered enough???
Answers: yes, yes, just now, why not?, and no.
The truth is, I never really stopped blogging. It’s been nine months, but I never officially quit. I was just waiting for an idea good enough that it was worth doing some unpaid writing for. And I got one. So I’m back.
Maybe you read the weekly column I write for Christ and Pop Culture, “LOL Interwebz.” I was working on a recent one the other day, and I gave myself an idea. I wrote:
You gotta go with what sells, which is why I write a column about the Internet and its endless potential for butt jokes, instead of a line-by-line explication of Summa Theologica.
And then I thought: wait, what if someone did write a line-by-line explication of Summa, — BUT WITH ENDLESS BUTT JOKES???
I’ve tried to read the Summa a couple of times, but I’d generally get bogged down in the first third or so because the format and rhythm of the thing makes it feel so monotonous. Still, it’s so, so good, and it contains so much good stuff that so many seeking to think seriously about God, religion, and morality would benefit from.
So here’s my intent: every so often, I’m going to read an article of the Summa, and break it down, and make it funny. I’m not going to make any promises, but I’ll shoot for one a week, probably on Monday, until probably the day I die, because the Summa is freaking loooooooong.
I know you all have questions, so here’s the official FAQ. I’m lying, though, because none of these questions has actually been asked frequently. Or at all.
Why are you doing this?
Because I want you to SUFFER.
…no, seriously, why?
Because I’m starting to learn that one of my strengths as a writer lies in my ability to take somewhat-heady topics and write about them in accessible, entertaining ways. And I think the Summa is important.
Okay, I’ll bite. What the heck is Summa Theologica?
First off, stop biting me. Second, Summa Theologica is one of the most important works in Western Christianity. Written in the 13th century by St. Thomas Aquinas, the Summa is arguably the only serious attempt to explicate everything known about God, the universe, and everything. Sort of like a philosophical unified theory of everything.
Isn’t it, like, thousands of pages long?
Yeah. We’re gonna be here a while. Hope you brought snacks.
This is the worst idea I’ve ever heard. You’re going to crash and burn.
That’s not a question.
Why are you doing this with a Catholic document? I thought you were one of them Protestanty thingies.
In the first place, I think Christians should read across traditions, because we have a lot to learn from each other. In the second place, I generally think of myself as what you might call “Evangelical Catholic,” in the sense that I’m committed to the Lutheran tradition I exist in, but see myself in continuity with the broad Christian faith.
I also appreciate how thorough and consistent Catholic doctrine is. I might agree that it’s got some problems, but it’s certainly the closest mankind has come to a theology that strives to think about everything in a unified, consistent way, while still maintaining an open frame of mind, and I appreciate that.
Luke? Blogging again? When did this happen? Why did this happen? Hasn’t the world suffered enough???
I answered all those questions way up top. If you want to make it through my course on the Summa, you’re going to have to learn to pay attention.
Are you, like, an expert on theology? Or philosophy? Or medieval manuscripts?
Nope. I’m doing this strictly as a layman. I’m doing this so that I’ll learn something. If you learn something, that’s your problem.
What about butt jokes? Are you an expert on those?
Seriously, what’s with your hair? You look like a grown man with a Shirley Temple perm. Are you a supervillain who fell into a vat of radioactive telephone coils?
Are you the same Luke T. Harrington I’ve seen over at Cracked and BuzzFeed?
This raises some intriguing existential questions about the nature and continuity of the self, but arguably yes.
Stop beating around the bush, Luke. When can we expect the release of your soon-to-be-a-bestseller existential literary horror masterpiece Ophelia, Alive???
I’m glad you asked! Ophelia is set to be published by Post Mortem Press on or around April 29th. We’re launching down at the Texas Frightmare Weekend horror convention, so if you’re in the Dallas area, be sure to come by!
Are we done here?
Eh, I guess so. Thanks for reading. See you next Monday.
8 thoughts on “SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES: intro & faq”
I am so excited. I’ve been reading City of God by Augustine and doing the same thing for my philosophy group. Well, with less butt jokes, but pretty much the same. I’ll be checking in. Maybe this can be my new book club.
Pingback: SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES: how we know we know what we know [I Q. 1, Art. 1] | The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism
Pingback: SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES: he blinded me with the definition of “science” [I, Q. 1, Art. 2] | The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism
Pingback: SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES: coveting asses and splitting hairs [I Q. 1, Art. 3] | The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism
Pingback: “Where My Mars Colony At” [SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES: I, Q. 1, Art. 4] | The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism
Pingback: “Y Ur Brain Iz Stoopid” [SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES I, Q. 1, Art. 5] | The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism
Pingback: We All Desperately Need Some Wisdom Right Now, So Let’s Find Out What It Is, Mmmmkay? [SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES, I, Q. 1, Art. 6] | The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism
Pingback: Is Theology About God, or Is It About Drowning Zebras? [SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES, I, Q. 1, Art. 7] | The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism