Dr. Hanna Reichel joined the Princeton Seminary faculty in January 2018 as Associate Professor of Reformed Theology. Dr. Reichel’s theological interests include
Christology, scriptural hermeneutics,
political theology, constructive theology,
poststructuralist theory, and the
theology of Karl Barth. She considers
Barth a great resource for post-modern
theology that points toward timeless
truths and shared modern values. Recently we sat down with Dr. Reichel to ask her about what animates her research and teaching.
Q: What unique take on Barth do you
bring to the Princeton Seminary
A: I am particularly intrigued by his
unapologetic focus on Jesus Christ, by
his antisystematic coherence, by his
hypercritical (and, more than anything,
self-critical) stance, and his relentless
way of beginning again and again with
Q: What impact do you hope your
work will have?
A: I do my work because I feel a deep need
to better understand God and God’s
work in our world as well as a longing
for a more just and humane society. My
research and teaching are expressions
of this aspiration and of my conviction
to share it and pursue it within the
community. If my work is able to incite
in others a similar joy for understanding
and living a justice-seeking life then I’ll
consider my work fruitful.
Rigorous scholarship is more than intellectual gymnastics. It is pursued in order to strengthen individuals and communities of faith.
Q: What drew you to Princeton
A: I am fascinated by Princeton Theological Seminary’s combined commitment to both faith and scholarship. It is a modern example of “Fides Quaerens
Intellectum,” faith seeking understanding. Rigorous scholarship is more than intellectual gymnastics. It is pursued in order to strengthen individuals and communities of faith. Deep faith strives for clarity and understanding and does not draw from naïve beliefs or fundamentalist convictions.
Q: How will your classes prepare
students to be Christian leaders?
A: I don’t know if we should strive for “leadership” all of the time. After all, our
initial calling is to be followers, not
leaders—disciples, not masters. The best
leaders are not those who want to lead,
but those who have found out where to
go and take others with them. We should
focus more on asking what it means to
be “Christian,” to be Christ-followers,
and on asking how we are able to
articulate that and translate it into action
in the different spaces we inhabit. We
may become true witnesses regardless of our qualities and opportunities of
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