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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal: A Lot of Reasons to Make Choices 
11th-May-2009 09:25 pm
Choices/The Seventh Seal
I read an interesting note from Dr. Lysaught a bit ago when I got in from dissertating downstairs at Starbucks, encouraging me to try to grab a newly-posted Systematic Theology position, and noting that:
New Zealand is supposed to be a very interesting place to live. They use the British system -- only teach theology students. That sounds dreamy. I'd say it's worth an application.
I looked at it, and briefly thought about it, but four objections came immediately to mind with astonishing power:

Not to mention everyone else I love. I was willing to consider work in the U.K., knowing that that's a seven-hour plane ride, and having had domestic travel that lasts longer, given delays and connections, but New Zealand is far enough that the trouble of the distance seemed too prohibitive.
12th-May-2009 02:47 am (UTC)
But it's OTAGO!
12th-May-2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
4 compelling reasons. :)

I was reading a book on Celtic Christianity. In the chapter on kin, it suggested that the Celts, even pagan ones, had a better concept of family and community than modern Christians do. (Okay, a lot of that was preservationalist - the individual couldn't make it on his own, but still: food for thought.)
12th-May-2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
While I am in general all for the Celts, even pagan ones, I'd be hard-pressed to justify anything as general a claim as "had a better concept of family and community," having worked my way through plenty of the ancient and medieval Celtic source documents we have preserved. Comparisons like that are just way too unquantifiable. Even as a Catholic, Christian theologian, I'd balk at making any such blanket a claim in the favour of my group in comparison to any group in antiquity. We just don't have data for such broad statements. We can compare points of literature, philosophy, theology, science and such things as they did write down, but detailed data on family life? No to be all Johnny Nay-sayer, but I suspect – even without reading your book – that such a claim has more to do with the point that the author is trying to make, and that it wouldn't so easily fly with serious historians of the period.

There's an awful lot that's interesting to adapt from the sources we have on Celtic Spirituality, but the better material out there seem to me to do one of two things: either to not attempt the adaptation at all, but simply to present the historical material in as undecorated a way as possible and to leave it to the reader to make something of it, or to be very clear about what is historical and what is a proposed adaptation, which is then understood to be such – a modern innovation inspired by something of the past, but not claiming to be a return to that pure, pristine artifact of a glorious Golden Age.

:-) Sorry: I've thought a lot about this, as I'd like to put together a serious Celtic Spirituality and History of Spirituality course at some point, so you pressed my buttons!

Edited at 2009-05-12 07:07 pm (UTC)
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