"An Outlaw's Theology"


Francis X. Kroncke

"An Outlaw's Theology" (AOT) is published in Cross Currents (Vol. 61, No. 2) June 2011. Cross Currents is the journal of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life.http://www.aril.org

AOT reflects my prison experience (1972-1973). I served time in a federal prison for raiding Selective Service draft board offices (July 1970) and destroying the "1-A" files of men about to be drafted into the Vietnam war. I am one of the "Minnesota 8" about whom the play, "Peace Crimes: the Minnesota 8 vs. the war" was produced in 2008. The play was based largely upon my unpublished pre-prison memoir, "Patriotism means Resistance"—which I rewrote during the play's run as "Outlaw or American Patriot?"

In AOT I reflect upon the role and character of the personal stories inmates told me. I use Phyllis Trible's concept of "sad story" to frame how these prisoner accounts functioned in the prison world. As a companion narrative, I forward the notion of a "glad story." This is the story told mainly by the captor and which is the dominant narrative in captor society.

Listening to inmate sad stories led me to listen anew to the two stories of origin in the Biblical tradition—in Genesis 1 and 2-3. I present a "methodology of the twice-bodied" and use it to discern the presence of a Mother Goddess in Genesis. I hold that Augstine of Hippo's personal experience moved him to place greater emphasis on The Rib account and so develop a one-bodied theology where "the male body is the birthing body." Augstine's and the main Rabbinical, Christian and Islamic interpretations and theologyies all pivot on this one-bodied "revelation" that the male body is the birthing body—I label this "Lone Male" imagery and theology.

A challenge that my article presents is a long-standing one, namely, what to do with two stories of origin? Is it definitive or merely trivial that the biblical tradition has two creation stories? I hold that the two stories are to be read in tandem—one as a glad story (Chapter 1) and the other as a sad story (Genesis 2-3)—as part of a spiritual practice. From this practice of discernment arises a vision of creation sourced in the personal experience of each individual seeker.

As of this writing (June 2011), the second part of this article is unpublished—in it I explore this "male body as birthing body" theme.

Here is a link to my other writings.


"Resistance as Sacrament," Cross Currents (Volume XXI, No. 4) Fall 1971.

Prison, Bottoming Out, The Mother,” Cross Currents (XXVIII, No. 1) Spring 1988.

“The Healing of Vietnam,” Voices—“Healing A Generation, The Vietnam Experience,” Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists (Spring/Summer 1991, Volume 27, No. 1& 2). http://www.aapweb.com/ This article is part of "Vietnam Undeclared" (not published in its entirety).


"Presidential Evangelist for War"

"Two Boys"


"Minnesota 8" website

"Peace Crimes: the Minnesota 8 vs. the war" — a play (2008)

"Peace and War in the Heartland"—a website for the campus based educational/promotional project around the play, "Peace Crimes."

Outlaw Visions—2013 site with all publications, interviews, transcript links, etc.


Frank Kroncke


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