Oikos: Reflections on Being at Home


Dr. Mark Taylor, Ph.D., is the Professor of Systematic Theology at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. He has taught systematic theology for over 30 years. His scholarship occupies an edge-y interdisciplinary space: between history, cultural studies, philosophy, theology, literary criticism, ritual studies and liturgics, and theories of autobiography. Dialogue partners include 19th and 20th-century figures such as Søren Kierkegaard, Frances J. (Fanny) Crosby, Herman Melville, and Karl Rahner, S.J. He has published many articles, served on several boards including Past President of the Søren Kierkegaard Society USA and the American Academy of Religion.

In his spare time, Dr. Taylor enjoys bird watching. “Bird-watchers discover that things are often liveliest at the edges – not in the forest or the clearing, but where the two come together and meet. At the edges of a pond. Where a river empties into the ocean. The same is true of my theological vocation, expressed in teaching, scholarship, and services.”

Links For You to Consider


Podcast Produced by Steve Wilhelm

Dr. Sathianathan (“Sathi”) Clarke is a presbyter of the Church of South India. Dr. Clarke bridges the world between establishment and the marginalized, the global and the local, and the academy and the congregation. For several years (1996-2004), he was on the faculty at United Theological College, Bangalore, India. He was also a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School. For the last twenty years, he has taught and lectured on global Christianity, contextual theology, postcolonial mission, and interreligious dialogue in India, U.S.A., United Kingdom, Germany, Sri Lanka, Korea, South Africa, and Liberia. In his research and teaching, Dr. Clarke has cultivated specialties in contextual theology, constructive global theology, and theology of religions.


Oikos can refer to a physical structure, or to the web of relationships one has within a physical structure. What words would you use to describe this relationship between a physical place and a human one in your own life?

How can we bridge the divide the walls of a home can sometimes cause us to separate ourselves from others? How can we invite those who cannot return the favor of a banquet to our own banquets?


Discuss with a partner the places you had lived and the effects they had on you. Did one have a particular impact? What does disruption in a place one calls home look like and how does it have effects physically, socially and psychologically?