Sunday, March 18, 2007

Still in Nashville; quick conference update

This is one of the best academic conferences I've been to, which is to say that it is a) heavy on the connections to reality b) collegial and friendly and c) academically excellent. A real treat and very nourishing. I've been taking notes and will blog about it, probably sometime after my return.

I'm in a rare insomnia on Saturday night. Usually I sleep very easily (if you see a late time on a post, which you often have and will, it's that I worked a long day or stayed up voluntarily) but it ain't happening right now.

Once I'd given my presentation on Friday night I was able to be selective about what I attended. The conference was packed with seminars and talks, but one can overdose. So I tried to pace myself. Stay tuned for brief (maybe) reports on the First Amendment and education about religion in the public schools; the interface of health, gender, sexuality, religion, and health; three civil rights leaders you've probably never heard of AND an appearance by one of my heroes, the Rev. James Lawson(one of the senior Civil Rights Movement leaders, still at it, and who happens to be at Vanderbilt here in Nashville this year) (see also this interesting piece on his visit to one of my alma maters); intelligent design and the ongoing conversation between religion and science; and various creative pedagogies. And, at last, the promised info on my "Health, Spirituality, and Justice" course, which was actually part of what I spoke about in my presentation. (The paper I gave was pedagogical rather than theoretical, though of course there is plenty of theological thinking behind the course design.) I also got to hear briefly some wisdom about writing from womanist biblical scholarRenita Weems.

Also, there is a French(-style) bakery in downtown Nashville with good organic multigrain bread.

Life is good.

But I haven't been near the Grand Ole Opry. I'll have to come back sometime for that scene. Wait a minute, I don't even like country music. But I should learn about the culture and give it a chance. (For now, I am listening to the "Ave Gracia Plena" CD by the Cambridge singers directed by John Rutter on my computer.)

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