Jayme Reaves is creating public theology
9

patrons

$90
per month
WHO AM I?

I am Jayme Reaves and I work as a public theologian.  Public theology is where belief about God and politics, gender, race, sexuality, environment, and culture intersect. So, if it’s in the newspapers, public theology has something to say about it. Likewise, I am a theologian for the public, not just for those from a particular religious background.

I write and offer speaking, teaching, and facilitating for workshops, conferences, and other events as well as sessions for individuals and small groups for spiritual coaching and theological conversations.

I’ve worked as a consultant, researcher, project coordinator, advisor, minister/chaplain, teacher, and manager around issues of religion, collective memory, social justice, reconciliation, theology, ethics, community engagement, and education for the last 20 years in the U.S., UK, Former Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland. I’m currently based in Dorset, England.

Born and raised in the Deep South of the U.S., I learned early on about negotiating boundaries related to race, gender, identity, politics, and faith. After university, I worked for two years in post-war Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina undertaking crisis response, humanitarian aid, reconstruction, and educational efforts. I then returned to the U.S. to go to seminary where I ministered in local churches and also worked a year in Croatia working on inter-faith dialogue, peace, reconciliation, and conflict transformation issues. I then moved to Northern Ireland to do peace work and to complete my Ph.D. in Theology and am now based in Dorset, England.  My latest publication is my book Safeguarding the Stranger: An Abrahamic Theology and Ethic of Protective Hospitality (Pickwick: 2016)

I believe that thought and belief informs action; what we think and believe determines what we do and how we behave. Theology does not exist in a vacuum. There’s good theology (healthy, life-giving) and bad theology (unhealthy, destructive). I like identifying bad theology and formulating good theology. When we believe that our faith is exclusive and for a "chosen few", efforts at solidarity for others who are suffering are rebuked or punished. When we believe that our faith calls us to welcome and provide hospitable space to the stranger, our actions of providing sanctuary set up relationships of reciprocity that counter the violence and exclusivity that surrounds us, creating stronger, healthier, vibrant, cooperative communities.

I’m not just a blogger putting my ideas out into the ether of the interwebs (not that there’s anything wrong with that per se). I seek to be in conversation, to engage with people who have deep questions and innovative ideas, and to find new ways to communicate about spirituality, theology, ethics, and what it means to be human.



WHAT MAKES MY APPROACH UNIQUE?

Gender-inclusive language for God – To me, God is male, God is female, God is neither. As a feminist theologian and activist for LGBTQI inclusivity, it is important for me to make space for the feminine, as well as masculine, characteristics of God without assigning a gender identity. God-talk is difficult enough as it is without muddying it up with gendered pronouns and social constructs.

Honesty – I have no formal denominational ties, and, therefore, I answer to no one and can speak and write without having to tow a ‘party line.’ As such, I have no agenda other than seeing the world become a better place for everyone. Also, you may occasionally see colorful language used. I think the occasional use of expletives can be holy; so while I certainly self-moderate, I do not self-censor.

Irreverence – G.K. Chesterton wrote in his collection of essays, All Things Considered (1908), that “it is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” Humor and irreverence are spiritual values for me, and being unable to find the humor in scripture, or to laugh – whether it’s a belly laugh or satire – at religion, church, and the ways we as humans try to relate to God and each other is a good test as to what we’ve perhaps made into idols. 

Doubt as a spiritual value – I don’t seek to know all the answers, but asking the questions is still important. Certainty is often an illusion and I find I’m a kinder, gentler person when I embrace the not-knowing. I think curiosity (rather than cleanliness) is next to godliness, and doubt is essential for healthy curiosity.



WHY AM I ASKING FOR SUPPORT THROUGH PATREON?

Currently, I have a side-gig as my day job.  I'd prefer to be doing this type of work - writing, teaching, speaking, conducting workshops, providing spiritual coaching and theological conversation sessions - as a full-time job.  This is where Patreon support comes in as it enables me to supplement my income in a way that makes the movement toward this work becoming full-time more of a reality.  

We all know that our current context is increasingly secular, with the rise of the "spiritual, but not religious" or "no faith" people growing each year.  And yet, people long for safe places to have significant conversations, to ask questions about faith, religion and theology and why it matters with someone who has no agenda other than seeing the world be a better place.  I have no denominational affiliations, no desire to evangelize or recruit new believers.  I am simply interested in delving deeper; indulging curiosity about God and the world around us; working to support social justice around issues of gender, race, sexuality, and violence; and helping to create safe places for people to explore.  

Any support you can give to make this happen will be greatly appreciated.

You can visit my website and more information about my work at www.jaymereaves.com

If you would prefer to give a singular donation rather than a recurring one, please visit Paypal and use my email address jaymereaves [at] gmail.com
Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
3 patrons
For $1 or more per month, please know you will get my undying gratitude and a personal acknowledgement of your support.
Pledge $10 or more per month
4 patrons
For $10 per month or more, please know that you are making it possible for me to do this work and engage with a greater number of people.  You will receive a personal acknowledgement of your support and an invitation to be an advance reader to any future publications.
Pledge $25 or more per month
1 patron
For $25 per month or more, please know that your gift helps to make the work I'm doing more sustainable and consistent, enabling me to provide support for those who may not have the resources to pay for workshops or sessions themselves.  You will receive a personal acknowledgement of your support; an invitation to be an advance reader to any future publications; and a print of my "dirty apron" haiku, painted in watercolor by friend and artist Suzanne Stovall Vinson.
Pledge $50 or more per month
0 patrons
For $50 per month or more, I will helpfully be well on the way to making this work my full-time occupation as this would cover about 1/2 a day per month and will help me expand the audiences with whom I work and listen.  You will receive a personal acknowledgement of your support; an invitation to be an advance reader to any future publications; a print of my "dirty apron" haiku, painted in watercolor by friend and artist Suzanne Stovall Vinson; and a copy of my book (signed or unsigned, depending on your preference).
Goals
$90 of $500 per month
I'm trying to build up my work as a public theologian, doing speaking, teaching, and lecturing for workshops, conferences, and bespoke events as well as offering more spiritual coaching and theological conversation sessions.  For every $500 contributed, it pays for me to dedicate 1.5 days per week to write and publish more, post more content on my website and social media, pay overhead costs, and have greater availability for sessions and events.  I also want to be able to institute a system whereby workshops, sessions, and other things I do are available either for free or at a subsidized rate for those who need it and your support would enable me to do that.

1 of 2
WHO AM I?

I am Jayme Reaves and I work as a public theologian.  Public theology is where belief about God and politics, gender, race, sexuality, environment, and culture intersect. So, if it’s in the newspapers, public theology has something to say about it. Likewise, I am a theologian for the public, not just for those from a particular religious background.

I write and offer speaking, teaching, and facilitating for workshops, conferences, and other events as well as sessions for individuals and small groups for spiritual coaching and theological conversations.

I’ve worked as a consultant, researcher, project coordinator, advisor, minister/chaplain, teacher, and manager around issues of religion, collective memory, social justice, reconciliation, theology, ethics, community engagement, and education for the last 20 years in the U.S., UK, Former Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland. I’m currently based in Dorset, England.

Born and raised in the Deep South of the U.S., I learned early on about negotiating boundaries related to race, gender, identity, politics, and faith. After university, I worked for two years in post-war Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina undertaking crisis response, humanitarian aid, reconstruction, and educational efforts. I then returned to the U.S. to go to seminary where I ministered in local churches and also worked a year in Croatia working on inter-faith dialogue, peace, reconciliation, and conflict transformation issues. I then moved to Northern Ireland to do peace work and to complete my Ph.D. in Theology and am now based in Dorset, England.  My latest publication is my book Safeguarding the Stranger: An Abrahamic Theology and Ethic of Protective Hospitality (Pickwick: 2016)

I believe that thought and belief informs action; what we think and believe determines what we do and how we behave. Theology does not exist in a vacuum. There’s good theology (healthy, life-giving) and bad theology (unhealthy, destructive). I like identifying bad theology and formulating good theology. When we believe that our faith is exclusive and for a "chosen few", efforts at solidarity for others who are suffering are rebuked or punished. When we believe that our faith calls us to welcome and provide hospitable space to the stranger, our actions of providing sanctuary set up relationships of reciprocity that counter the violence and exclusivity that surrounds us, creating stronger, healthier, vibrant, cooperative communities.

I’m not just a blogger putting my ideas out into the ether of the interwebs (not that there’s anything wrong with that per se). I seek to be in conversation, to engage with people who have deep questions and innovative ideas, and to find new ways to communicate about spirituality, theology, ethics, and what it means to be human.



WHAT MAKES MY APPROACH UNIQUE?

Gender-inclusive language for God – To me, God is male, God is female, God is neither. As a feminist theologian and activist for LGBTQI inclusivity, it is important for me to make space for the feminine, as well as masculine, characteristics of God without assigning a gender identity. God-talk is difficult enough as it is without muddying it up with gendered pronouns and social constructs.

Honesty – I have no formal denominational ties, and, therefore, I answer to no one and can speak and write without having to tow a ‘party line.’ As such, I have no agenda other than seeing the world become a better place for everyone. Also, you may occasionally see colorful language used. I think the occasional use of expletives can be holy; so while I certainly self-moderate, I do not self-censor.

Irreverence – G.K. Chesterton wrote in his collection of essays, All Things Considered (1908), that “it is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” Humor and irreverence are spiritual values for me, and being unable to find the humor in scripture, or to laugh – whether it’s a belly laugh or satire – at religion, church, and the ways we as humans try to relate to God and each other is a good test as to what we’ve perhaps made into idols. 

Doubt as a spiritual value – I don’t seek to know all the answers, but asking the questions is still important. Certainty is often an illusion and I find I’m a kinder, gentler person when I embrace the not-knowing. I think curiosity (rather than cleanliness) is next to godliness, and doubt is essential for healthy curiosity.



WHY AM I ASKING FOR SUPPORT THROUGH PATREON?

Currently, I have a side-gig as my day job.  I'd prefer to be doing this type of work - writing, teaching, speaking, conducting workshops, providing spiritual coaching and theological conversation sessions - as a full-time job.  This is where Patreon support comes in as it enables me to supplement my income in a way that makes the movement toward this work becoming full-time more of a reality.  

We all know that our current context is increasingly secular, with the rise of the "spiritual, but not religious" or "no faith" people growing each year.  And yet, people long for safe places to have significant conversations, to ask questions about faith, religion and theology and why it matters with someone who has no agenda other than seeing the world be a better place.  I have no denominational affiliations, no desire to evangelize or recruit new believers.  I am simply interested in delving deeper; indulging curiosity about God and the world around us; working to support social justice around issues of gender, race, sexuality, and violence; and helping to create safe places for people to explore.  

Any support you can give to make this happen will be greatly appreciated.

You can visit my website and more information about my work at www.jaymereaves.com

If you would prefer to give a singular donation rather than a recurring one, please visit Paypal and use my email address jaymereaves [at] gmail.com

Recent posts by Jayme Reaves

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
3 patrons
For $1 or more per month, please know you will get my undying gratitude and a personal acknowledgement of your support.
Pledge $10 or more per month
4 patrons
For $10 per month or more, please know that you are making it possible for me to do this work and engage with a greater number of people.  You will receive a personal acknowledgement of your support and an invitation to be an advance reader to any future publications.
Pledge $25 or more per month
1 patron
For $25 per month or more, please know that your gift helps to make the work I'm doing more sustainable and consistent, enabling me to provide support for those who may not have the resources to pay for workshops or sessions themselves.  You will receive a personal acknowledgement of your support; an invitation to be an advance reader to any future publications; and a print of my "dirty apron" haiku, painted in watercolor by friend and artist Suzanne Stovall Vinson.
Pledge $50 or more per month
0 patrons
For $50 per month or more, I will helpfully be well on the way to making this work my full-time occupation as this would cover about 1/2 a day per month and will help me expand the audiences with whom I work and listen.  You will receive a personal acknowledgement of your support; an invitation to be an advance reader to any future publications; a print of my "dirty apron" haiku, painted in watercolor by friend and artist Suzanne Stovall Vinson; and a copy of my book (signed or unsigned, depending on your preference).