Romp Through Divinity School: Sex, Sacrifice, Sacrament: A Memoir of Four Years at Yale

product image
Anyone interested in exploring Christianity by occasionally wresting scholarship away from the ivory tower and the pulpit will enjoy this surprising memoir. Drawing upon course work, papers and exams, this book brings to life the experience and curriculum associated with earning a master of arts in religion from Yale Divinity School. Accentuated by anecdotes from the classroom and personal correspondence, the text is laced with observations on pedagogy and the differences between teachers, professors and scholars. Along the way, sacred scripture, the timelessness of religious metaphors, and the power of ideas to resonate across cultures and centuries come into play. Unsatisfied by the historical-critical approach to Biblical studies, the author searches for professors and methods that speak to her own sensibility. By a stroke of luck, she happens upon Aristotle's Poetics and her faith is turned upside down. In the end, Trang offers a synthesis of her studies by presenting a chart highlighting the features of "Team A" (the Roman Catholic Church) and "Team 1" (Protestant Christianity). She suggests that Team A is theocentric and works with finite letters that create words to produce sentences and tell stories. The "A" team is materialistic, pays attention to matter and the senses, honors ancestors, and is motivated by eros while focusing on lover and children. "Team 1," on the other hand is anthropocentric, works with infinite integers that create equations and produce quotients. Team "1" is idealistic, pays attention to form, doesn't seem interested in ancestors and is motivated by agape while focusing on neighbors and pets. Trang concludes that both teams are valid and necessary, similar to Mary and Martha. As someone who loves listening to stories, she naturally falls in line with Team A but is grateful that Team 1 is there to do the accounting. Elizabeth Carroll Trang has a master's degree in religion and a bachelor's degree in Chinese language and literature. Her interests include the fourth commandment (honor your father and mother), filial piety, ancestors, desire, the sense of touch, intuition, and the Holy Eucharist. She and her husband have two children and live in Washington, DC.
Publication Date: