Sunday, January 9, 2011

Reading Eccentric Existence: Introduction and Reading Plan

The time has come: today we begin reading David Kelsey's Eccentric Existence: A Theological Anthropology. If you would like more information, see my earlier post; essentially, a small group of us, connected by friendship or online acquaintance, are taking the bulk of the year to read through this enormous and important work in order to think through and reflect on it together, in time set apart sufficient to the task. We've got about 15 folks at this point, and anyone is welcome to join at any time.

To cut to the chase, here is the breakdown of the book by sections and page amount:
  • Introduction - 156 pages
  • Part One - 280 pages
  • Part Two - 162 pages
  • Part Three - 285 pages
  • Codas - 160 pages
The breaks between each section are as follows:
  • Chapter 1A begins the Introduction
  • Chapter 4A begins Part One
  • Chapter 12A begins Part Two
  • Chapter 18 begins Part Three
  • Chapter 25 is the last chapter before the Codas
This is how I've broken up the reading for the year, beginning today, Monday, January 10:
  • January - 1A, 1B, 2A (80 pages)
  • February - 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A (95 pages)
  • March - 4B, 5A, 5B, 6 (105 pages)
  • April - 7, 8, 9A, 9B (120 pages)
  • May - 10, 11, 12A, 12B, 13 (100 pages)
  • June - 14, 15A, 15B, 16, 17 (100 pages)
  • July - 18, 19A, 19B (90 pages)
  • August - 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22 (100 pages)
  • September - 23, 24, 25 (95 pages)
  • October/November - Coda A, Coda B, Coda (160 pages)
If you're like me and want to know how it breaks down by the week, here you go for the spring semester (dates are the week ending on that day, that is, the reading should be completed by the date specified):
  • Jan 17 - 1A
  • Jan 24 - 1B
  • Jan 31 - 2A
  • Feb 7 - 2B
  • Feb 14 - 3A
  • Feb 21 - 3B
  • Feb 28 - 4A
  • Mar 7 - 4B
  • Mar 14 - 5A
  • Mar 21 - 5B
  • Mar 28 - 6
  • Apr 4 - 7
  • Apr 11 - 8
  • Apr 18 - 9A
  • Apr 25 - 9B
I'm sure it was already pretty clear, but I figured I'd go ahead and do the work instead of each person calculating it out.

The plan itself will be simple: every Monday, I will post on the section completed the prior week with a brief summary, reflections, and questions for further conversation. I will of course begin the posting myself, but anyone is welcome to do them. Leave a comment or email me, claim a week, and I'll send you the basic (repeat: basic) template I'm following.

Also, I am open to the possibility that posting/reflecting on a weekly basis might be too often, so we might cut it back to twice a month to expand the content digested together.

Apart from that, it's off to the races. A final welcome and thanks to everyone participating, and hopefully this will be prove beneficial and stimulating to all involved. Until next week.


  1. Thanks for taking some of the work out of this for us Brad.

    This reading project has given me the excuse I need to jump into some other related books I've had on my wish list for a while.

    I've started working through a Girard reader, and am attending a Girard themed conference (Violence, Desire, and the Sacred) in Sydney this weekend. Kelsey doesn't appear to interact explicitly with Girard's philosophical/theological anthropology, so I'm interested to see if there are points of intersection.

    I've also received Volf's Exclusion and Embrace to read alongside them. We'll see if it lives up to the hype!

    Happy times :) Damien.

  2. I'm not quite sure how I came across your blog, Brad, but I've had it in my Google Reader for the past couple of months now and have really enjoyed reading what you've posted. It could have been somehow through ACU, since I'm in grad school there (and just officially met your brother a few days ago), or it might have possibly been through Warren Baldwin, who seems to be another of your readers. In any case, I'm interested in joining you all on this, though I don't have a copy of the book yet and am not completely sure I'll always be able to manage it as the semester goes on. It's worth a try, though, so count me in!