November 23rd, 2005

I See You!

Theological Notebook: Feast of Lewis, Julian of Norwich

Yesterday was the Feast of Lewis, dead now these forty-two years. In celebration, I gave a somewhat jaded but wickedly-bright student a very particular assignment for her final paper, which I think might be of spiritual as well as intellectual value. They have to write on Julian's Showings or Revelations of Divine Love, whichever title you prefer. (The Long Text, to be specific.) She had proposed a really interesting analysis of all the trinitarian names/patterns in Julian, but that was perhaps more of the level of a Master's thesis than a 6-to-8 page essay. Taking what she had done on listing the names and characteristics she'd found thus far in Julian for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I asked her to speculate on how Julian's vision of God in those forms informs Julian's understanding of Love, given that Julian said that the chief content and meaning of the showings was Divine Love.

I think she's in for a worthwhile and interesting write, and I'm in for a worthwhile and interesting read.
I See You!

Random: What is "Southern?"

This was a rather fascinating sociological AP story that grabbed my eye today, and was interesting enough for me to share it. Who knew that you could marry your first cousin in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island? This was definitely not encouraged in my family....

Definition of South, Southern Is Changing

Nov 23, 9:42 PM (ET)

By ALLEN G. BREED

CARY, N.C. (AP) - The joke around here is that this town's name is really an acronym for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees." As far as Vernon Yates is concerned, they haven't been contained well enough.

Nearly surrounded by pricey subdivisions, the cinderblock Yates Grocery and Farm Supply sells neither anymore. As if things weren't bad enough, style maven Martha Stewart has chosen this Raleigh suburb to build a signature neighborhood of houses designed after her homes in Maine and New York.

Holding court near a potbellied stove, the 69-year-old man in the suspenders and NASCAR shirt laments that his old customers have been replaced by fast-talking, SUV-driving Northerners who don't seem to be able to read a STOP sign.

"It's all gone," Yates, pausing for another spit of tobacco juice, says of the Southern town of his youth. "Everything is completely different from what it used to be."

Things are indeed changing in the South. And so is the notion of what it means to be "Southern."

In this most maligned and mused-upon of American regions, the term conjures a variety of images. Magnolias, front porch swings and sweet tea for some; football, stock cars and fried chicken for others; lynchings, burning crosses and civil rights marches for still others.

We've had the Solid South, the Old South and the New South.

But are we heading toward a "No South"?

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