Several years ago, my mom gave be a small volume called Aquinas for Armchair Theologians (by Timothy Mark Renick, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002). It was well written with great wit and a fun spirit that made very heady ideas accessible. About the same time I discovered podcasting, especially iTunes U, bringing great colleges and speakers to my iPod over dishes and dinner prep.
When I think of an armchair, I think of a poorly lit, cozy room in solitude with a glass of something yummy with time to spend in contemplation or rest. My life does not unfold that way. I have a family rather than a 9-5 job. I like doing things with my hands, knitting or quilting, seldom making my chair time a solitary or leisurely endeavor.
Carolyn Custis James wrote a book (When Life and Beliefs Collide, Zondervan 2001) whose introduction was subtitled “No Great Women Theologians.” In it, she calls for everyone, including women, to think about God because everyone is wired to know God, independent of gender, intelligence, aptitude, or training; we all were created by God to know Him. I do not aspire to be a great woman theologian. A good one will do. Since I am a woman it would be difficult to do anything, least of all theology, as anything other than a woman. I do aspire to know God more fully and to let Him inform me how to do life. And it is fun to think big thoughts, especially snuggled in a rocking chair with yarn in hand and fuzzy slippers on feet.