The Catacombic Machine

The Catacombic Machine


The Catacombic Machine is a Catacomb X expression, curated by Josef Gustafsson.


Conner Habib | Blue Velvet  

Josef speaks to Conner Habib about desires, sex work, identity, religion, politics, activism and much more.

If you want to know more about Conner, check out his homepage:, follow him on Twitter: @connerhabib. Conner also offers an online course on the occult.

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Jeffrey Robbins | Radical Democracy and Political Theology  

Josef talks to theologian Jeffrey Robbins about postsecularism, democracy, movements of resistance, the American election, trauma, radical theology and much more.

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Jonatan Bäckelie | Darkness On The Edge Of Ecstasy & The Subsecular Arts  

Josef talks to theologian and music producer Jonatan Bäckelie about The Subsecular Arts, which is a theological project closely connected to Jonatan's recently released album Darkness On The Edge Of Ecstasy.

James Hill Jr. | Malcolm X and the American Election  

The reactive identity politics of the Democrats reduced the complexity of people's hopes and dreams to "black votes," "Hispanic votes," and so on. Hence both the politicians and the metrics people became blind to the excess of possible worlds hiding beneath the surface of skin color, gender, sexuality, religion. Ultimately they were all reduced to a Hillary or Trump vote--the eternal binary code. The silver lining is that many people's refusal to be reduced to a number in a vicious game for power shows that there's a willingness to scramble the code. So while many mourn the lack of votes for Hillary, we're hopeful since the refusal to vote is a sign of people affirming their own difference, and that's the kind of strength that will be needed to overcome the tyranny that now awaits.

In today's episode, Josef speaks to James Hill Jr., who is a long time friend of the podcast, about the American election, Malcolm X, evangelicalism and the times ahead.

Support the podcast by becoming a patron, and receive access to the upcoming show TCM Extra:

Music by Jonatan Bäckelie

Aron Flam | Nietzsche, Comedy & The Trickster  

Josef speaks to comedian Aron Flam about the connection between philosophy and comedy, Nietzsche, Deleuze, antisemitism, feminism, and much more.

Check out Aron's YouTube channel, and listen to his Swedish podcast Dekonstruktiv kritik.

Support The Catacombic Machine by becoming a patron of the show:

Peter Sjöstedt-H | Noumenautics  

Episode number 1 of The Catacombic Machine features a conversation between Josef and philosopher Peter Sjöstedt-H, about his book Noumenautics, published by Psychedelic Press. The book navigates through subjects such as the sentience of cells, the constrictions of consciousness, the metaphysics of might, the magic of mushrooms, the narcotics of Nietzsche, and the neologism neo-nihilism.

Andreas Engh Seland | Divine Suspense in Fear & Trembling  

In this episode, Joel talks with Andreas Engh Seland, phd candidate in philosophy of religion at Lund University, Sweden. Writing on Sören Kierkegaard's book on the faith of Abraham, Fear and Trembling, Seland develops a innovative concept of "suspense" as a means of explicating a tricky text full of repetitions, paradoxes and references to the philosophy of Hegel.

John Swinton | Disability Theology  

In this episode, we revisit a catacomb introduced to the podcast by our friend Timothy Chilvers, who together with David leads the conversation with John Swinton.

Barry Taylor | A Confraternity of the Faithless  

In this episode of Freestyle Christianity you will get to listen to a talk by Barry Taylor at Wake in Belfast.

Catacombic Session | Desiring Theology of Becoming  

In this episode, Josef, David and Joel catch up on time lost by summarizing the last couple of weeks and especially the events we´ve participated in (Göteborg, Sweden and Belfast, Northern Ireland).

In the second half of the conversation, the triad explore the structure and chaos that is "catacombic theology."

The episode as a whole can be seen as synthesis of the last couple of months of Freestyling, both in texts and podcasts, but also as the start of a new series of podcasts, dedicated to an archeology of the catacombs. A special focus of this episode ended up being a connection between radical theology, the death of god, desiring theology of Charles Winquist,

Join the conversation either by way of critique or commentary, on any of the social platforms associated with Freestyle Christianity; we´d love to hear from you.


Kester Brewin | A Savage Journey to the Heart of the Dream of Flight  

In this episode of Freestyle Christianity you will get to listen to a talk given by Kester Brewin at the festival Wake in Belfast. The subject of Kester's talk was his recently published book Getting High: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the Dream of Flight.

We are all born flightless, every one. After so many thousands of years each of us still drops into the world smooth-skinned and featherless.' Why have we never been content to keep our feet on the ground? In the 1960s this desire to get high exploded with the LSD counterculture and the Apollo missions. In this unique and dazzling book, acclaimed author Kester Brewin (MUTINY / AFTER MAGIC) explores the history of the human quest for transcendence, and how, following a family tragedy, it blighted his own life. Drawing on a huge cast of characters from the Montgolfier brothers to Renaissance artists, Hells Angels, astronauts, The Beatles, Gonzo journalists and dreaming hippies, GETTING HIGH is a wild trip into the ancient dream of flight, soaring through shamanic ritual, enlightenment science and punching a hole in what we think the 1960s was all about. Interwoven in all of this is Brewin's own story. Growing up in a mining village in Yorkshire, his father was the local vicar, the man tasked with lifting this subterranean community each Sunday and offer it a vision of the above. But this pressure to open heaven has terrible consequences for the family, and a tragic illness sends each of them flying. Skilfully linking ancient history, the story of the 1960s and his own battles with the yearning to 'get high,' this is an important and timely book with an urgent message about religion, the promises of technology, and our need to keep our feet on the ground.

Peter Rollins | The Prophecy of Symptoms  

Peter Rollins and Jay Bakker visited Sweden for our Freestyle Christianity Event "Catacomb" in Gothenburg, and this episode features a summary by Pete of what we talked about during the three days of the event. 

Barry Taylor | Radical Theology  

Josef speaks to Barry Taylor about radical theology, the Internet, Nietzsche, creativity, the pope, True Detective, a radical take on Easter and much more.

Barry is a Brit who has lived in Los Angeles for far longer than he ever imagined, and he likes it. As a writer/speaker/thinker/musician he has talked and played his way around much of the world and can often be found speaking at conferences, teaching classes on art, advertising, theology, religion, technology and all things cultural at various educational institutions in Los Angeles. He is the founder of Lifelabla, a learning environment committed to promoting and nurturing ideas that enrich life and help  people to become self-aware and more focused on creating the lives they want for themselves. He has written a few books, and is writing a new one, a memoir of sorts about epiphanies and catastrophes.  Barry holds his PhD in Theology and Culture, as with most things, very lightly. When he is not working he can often be seen biking around Venice or hanging with friends at a particular unnamed coffee shop and spends an inordinate amount of time exploring LA’s hippest clothing stores. Most Sundays he can be found in West LA making music with friends and talking about life, religion and lots of other things.

Clayton Crockett | An Insurrectionist Manifesto  

Josef talks to Clayton Crockett about his new collaborative project An Insurrectionist Manifesto: Four New Gospels for a Radical Politics, which also features Ward Blanton, Jeff Robbins, and Noëlle Vahanian. Foreword by Peter Rollins, Preface by Creston Davis, and Afterword by Catherine Keller.

An Insurrectionist Manifesto contains four insurrectionary gospels based on Martin Heidegger's philosophical model of the fourfold: earth and sky, gods and mortals. Challenging religious dogma and dominant philosophical theories, they offer a cooperative, world-affirming political theology that promotes new life through not resurrection but insurrection. The insurrection in these gospels unfolds as a series of miraculous yet worldly practices of vital affirmation. Since these routines do not rely on fantasies of escape, they engender intimate transformations of the self along the very coordinates from which they emerge. Enacting a comparative and contagious postsecular sensibility, these gospels draw on the work of Slavoj Žižek, Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, François Laruelle, Peter Sloterdijk, and Gilles Deleuze yet rejuvenate scholarship in continental philosophy, critical race theory, the new materialisms, speculative realism, and nonphilosophy. They think beyond the sovereign force of the one to initiate a radical politics "after" God.

Catacombic Session | Lacanian Smörgårdsbord  

In this episode, we are invited to the first of a series of catacombic conversations. This time freestylers David, Joel, Tad Delay and Ludvig Lindelöf jam on questions about mythology, doubt, psychoanalysis, theology, Tillich and Lacan.

If you like, or perhaps dislike, what you hear; share comments or thoughts here, one of our Facebook pages, or perhaps in the form of a tweet to @freestylechrist.

Be sure to follow both Tad and Ludvig on Twitter!

Peter Enns | The Sin Of Certainty  

Josef and David talks to Peter Enns about his new book The Sin Of Certainty, hermeneutics, inerrancy and a whole lot more.  Peter is the Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University and has authored many books including, Inspiration and Incarnation and For The Bible Tells Me So.

Russell Re Manning | The Religious Meaning of Culture  

David and Josef talks to Russell Re Manning about Paul Tillich. Russell is a philosopher of religion with wide-ranging research and teaching interests in modern and contemporary philosophy and theology.

Walter Brueggemann | Interpreting Inherent  Scripture  

In this episode, David and Joel speak with dr. Walter Brueggemann. The conversation deals with many issues, but is centered around questions of hermeneutics, especially in relation to the Christian Bible.

If you like what you hear, be sure to check out dr. Brueggemann's resources online here, for instance, and/or be sure to order one of his many books.

Austin Roberts | Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Religion  

Josef talks to Austin Roberts about Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Religion, which is a forthcoming volume by Bloomsbury, edited by LeRon Shults and Lindsay Powell-Jones. This episode is part two of our series which will feature a number of the book's contributors, part one with LeRon was published a few weeks ago.

Last week we published an article by Austin which is related to the conversation in this episode: Chaosmic Process Theology | Deleuze and Whitehead

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