Thursday, June 23, 2005

Everybody is somebody's weirdo

So today was weird-out day in my intro philosophy class, when people usually first realize how postmodern "Sophie's World" is--that the lead character in the book, Sophie, is beginning to suspect that she's a character in a book about philosophy. The fun part of teaching.

It's a billion degrees and won't rain again til September. Bleacch.

Dawn is working hard on the (memorial) prayer labyrinth, but it's all in-the-ground stuff that doesn't show much payoff given the amount of effort expended. But of course it'll be cool eventually.

Dawn and I started reading Richard Foster's "Prayer" this week. Good stuff. Relationships have to be tended, fed and watered and weeded, in lots of ways. Dawn and I have real different devotional styles, so it's nice when we hit something we both like. She got a Comfy Chair for her birthday, blogfans may remember, and we're using it for our prayer/reading time.

I've launched into Alister McGrath's "The Science of God," a mostly tedious title but one which might actually attract an appropriate audience. (Ambrose Bierce suggests that "tedium" may derive from the "Te Deum" prayer in the mass. Ouch.) The guy has doctorates in, I think, both molecular biology and theology. You don't know whether to say Wow or Ugh. Both, I guess.

Speaking of, I'm reading him for the Ethics and Technology group, which met tonight. I am getting more confirmed in my thinking that trying to find shelter in the halfway house of 'appropriate procedures' won't cut it in the tough stuff. I just think you have to go to an anthropology, a theory or description or bottom line as to what a human being is and what she is for, or people will always find a good reason to exclude this or that person from whatever: access to the best healthcare, decent education, fair opportunity, equal treatment, whatever.

I'm also finishing John Wilkinson's "The Bible and Healing" for that group. He's pretty thorough biblically, but there is only so much to work with when discussing the Bible and medicine (as distinguished from the Bible and healing in general, where the data is a bit fuller). It sounds poorly grounded of me to say it, although I don't think it is, but I really think healing is better grounded theologically than biblically. I don't of course mean to draw an opposition between those two, it's just that when you're working with so little data, it's general biblical principles--i.e., theology--rather than specific examples or teaching on that precise subject--that end up having to be our guide.

I told somebody the other day that as long as the weddings and births combined in your life (like among your family and friends) outnumber the divorces and funerals in it, you're ahead of the game. So along similar lines I was also thinking about the sadness of losing the various Loyds and Adam and (in slow-motion) the Willies, or about at least losing their proximity. And I sort of tallied up and mentally observed that I am still meeting and making new friends, in and out of the Body. And that, O best beloved, is all right.

mark

2 Comments:

Blogger some chick said...

"I just think you have to go to an anthropology, a theory or description or bottom line as to what a human being is and what she is for, or people will always find a good reason to exclude this or that person from whatever: access to the best healthcare, decent education, fair opportunity, equal treatment, whatever."

exactly -- and this is a good (almost perfect?)phrase to use to explain what my photo project is about. can i use that? you almost even used the exact same words - it's titled, "what a woman is for." anyone want to be a part (isert shameless plug here)?

8:46 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

T S Eliot supposedly said that mediocre writers paraphrase, great writers plagiarize boldly. be bold.

3:10 PM  

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