Monday, May 21, 2007

Jane's Summer Series

After an intense year of teaching and academic politics, I am taking a much needed and long overdue chunk of time for solitary research, thinking, writing, and editing work, some of it at home and some of it out of town.

In consequence, I will be both less and more present in the blogosphere this late spring and early summer.

I will be posting less at other blogs and probably reading them with lesser frequency.

On this blog, I may post less of the usual and perhaps much less frequently. But at (unpredictable) times I will be posting much more frequently in the form of quotes from and reflections on what I am reading and perhaps bits of writing-in-process.

Sharing in this way helps me clarify my thinking. I write also because I like sharing my intellectual and spiritual journeys. Ministry and writing are what I do as I breathe. And friendship. Teaching, too. So in that sense the sharing of ideas is nothing new, but the form of blogging is new and we are all still learning about the ways in which we can read, listen, and converse out here. I wonder how this (the blog thing) will affect all our various vocations. I’m interested in your thoughts about this, by the way. (And I have an article cooking on the back burner about what happens to prayer and spiritual life in this wired age, but it needs to cook longer, and I need to live and practice some more before I write it in full.)

I also won’t be preaching much this summer, so this is probably compensation. Girl gotta preach even when she’s alone in her room. Jesus said so. (He did?)

So, as promised earlier (way at the bottom of that Grouchy post), I’m offering, out of both selfish and generous motives, a Summer Series. Theological, mostly, but I have a very broad definition of theology, so don’t panic.

Themes that will come up in this series of reflections and quotations (related to organized writing I’m doing but in random appearance here):

* faith and justice (Christian faith and practice mostly; social as well as ecological justice);

the church (in general; not Anglican politics – that’s not the work I’m doing right now, though I hope this work will make its own contribution to the Episcopal and Anglican conversations); what it is, what it’s good for, what it should be (and shouldn’t), what some folks say about it;

* feminist and other women-defined perspectives on church, society, and culture from a variety of countries and continents (not just the U.S.), with a focus on feminist ecclesiologies (ecclesiology = fancy word for theology about the church, just as christology is theology about Jesus Christ, soteriology is theology about salvation, and so on);

* ecumenism (= relations between and among various Christian churches, usually with the goal of great unity, through common action for the social good or through reconciliation of beliefs or conversation about them, or in other ways); also (but to a lesser extent) interreligious and intercultural relations;

* liturgy, ritual, and prayer from (international, not just U.S) feminist perspectives.

1. So, Jane, have you got ten years?

2. What are you, crazy?

1. No, just a part of the late spring and summer, but I’ve been working in these areas for well over ten years (more like thirty) in some form and I expect to work in them for the rest of my life, one way or another.

2. Yes.

3. Don’t even try and figure out what I’m working on – there are actually several projects, though they are related. Just enjoy.

Note: agnostics, atheists, secular humanists, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans and all walkers in all manner of other paths besides Christianity are welcome here. I’m just being clear about what my work involves.

When a post is part of the Summer Series, I will indicate this at the beginning of the post, with a link back to this one.

That way you can skip the post if you want, or pay closer attention if that’s your interest.

As always, I will try to make my posts accessible, but some specialized language will probably creep in there.

Know that I always think of friends known and unknown as I write. (Now you’re beginning to understand why I love Thomas Merton, that proto-blogger of monkdom.) I hope these reflections will interest some of you.

Think of the Summer Series as your little online theological magazine, for resources, meditation, and conversation.

As always, your comments are welcome, even when I am less chatty than usual. Keep ‘em coming, I enjoy the company. And if you are someone who prays, please keep me in your prayers.

Note: To balance things out, I will also be having a Summer Disco series (heavier on soul and swing than on disco, but anything is possible and boogying will be a priority). For fabulous and more frequent music, though, visit the one and only MadPriest, who posts music a couple of times a day, in a variety of genres, and has great taste in roots music, soul, and heaven knows what else. (Those last two music links may expire within a few days. Just click MadPriest for the latest music on his blog.)

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