Tuesday, May 05, 2009

La la la la

It's always so hard to concentrate when there are only a couple of things left to do, but they don't feel particularly pressing. Well, the final doesn't feel that way to me. Maybe it should, but it's for a year-long course on Dante and it's basically doing some very close readings of the passages. No one really knows how to prepare for it, so I've just been taking some notes and reading the footnotes and hopefully if I do that enough they will stick.

The other thing I'm working on right now is a paper on Charles Gore's incarnational theology as the basis for Christian ethics. It's actually really interesting. People in general are pretty hard on Charles Gore, claiming that he's got a very kenotic christology (which focuses on a complete self-emptying of God in Christ...the problem is that people say this focuses too much on the human side and not on the divine). The more I've read of Gore, though, the more I think he's a little more rounded than it seems from his 1891 Bampton Lectures. He does talk about and sin and the cross, although I don't think he does so as well as Michael Ramsey (who, incidentally, was a big Charles Gore fan).

Anyway, back to the paper. My whole argument is that the Incarnation of the Word not only allowed us to have a new relationship with God, but also allows us to have new relationships with one another because we have the living example of Christ-the "crown of nature"
or "real man" as Gore would put it. There's a danger here of focusing too much on the idea of progress (although Gore was still writing post WWI he was trained before the Great War and thus reflects ideas of progress inherent in that time period). So what I'm arguing is that the Incarnation allows us to approach relationships with one another in new ways that are modeled on the humanity of Christ. Hopefully I'll be able to draw in a few comments from Rowan Williams, who critiqued incarnational theology in his "On Christian Theology" book, but who I think draws on Gore-perhaps unintentionally (although no Anglican theologian worth his salt could ignore Gore...nor do they, I believe) when he talks about the Christian community standing over and against all other forms of community because we share in Christ incarnate, crucified, and risen. Gore lays the foundation for all of this (as does F.D. Maurice but I only have 8-10 pages so I'm focusing on Gore because he's the less obvious choice, thereby making a greater contribution to scholarship...in my dreams at least).

So that's what I'm working on. Hopefully I'll get comments on my Herbert and Eucharistic theology paper back on Friday, so I can start working it up for this competition I'm going to enter it in. And getting it polished for PhD/ThD applications.

And then it's time to read whatever I want for the year. I've started compiling a reading list. Thus far it consists of:

Into Thin Air (own it, never read it)
Life of Pi
Dear Fatty (Dawn French's Autobiography-out in the UK but not here until October I think)
The Brothers Karamazov (only made it half way through about 3 times. I'm determined to
finish it)
King Lear
Everything written by Rowan Williams in book form, as well as sermons on his website
More Michael Ramsey
Maybe some Lancelot Andrewes (if you can't tell I'm trying to widen my reading in Anglican theology and spirituality for PhD stuff)

And in there I'm going to sprinkle a whole lot of fun not very heady books. And I want to write a short blurb on all of them so that I can keep track of what I've read.

Oh and I'm thinking about teaching myself Latin this year, or at least starting it. And reviewing my Greek. I'd like to take Hebrew if I decide against Latin, but that will largely depend on where I'm working this next year. If I'm in a college town, I could audit a class at a local university. I'd just like to be able to do some solid biblical exegesis in the original language. I know enough Greek to be able to do that with the NT (and have used it in preaching, which is the real reason I want to know it) but I'd like to be able to do the same for Hebrew. And Latin would just be helpful since I tend to find myself in sixteenth century when I'm studying. But that's something to decide in August. I thought about taking my Greek textbook, NT, and middle Lidell home, but decided that I wouldn't study it anyway this summer so why carry it all there. It will be easier in the fall when I'm in more of a routine and when it's not so nice outside that I would rather be sitting in the pool. And I'm not sure flashcards would work out so well while floating in crystal clear chlorinated water...maybe a better mind could do it, but I'll take some Diana Gabaldon instead. : ) (speaking of which I think she has a new one coming out this fall! Yay for Clare and Jamie!)

OK must read Dante now...


m. connor sullivan said...

I read King Lear recently.

Hilary said...

Nice. I bought it recently...I took a Shakespeare and Collaboration class last semester and finally got to read "The Scottish Play," which I loved, as well as Henry VIII. The others were great too, those just stood out. It was nice reading lots of Shakespeare and finally not feeling hampered by the language (like I did in High School). I guess I'm so used to it by now. King Lear I want to read largely because Frederick Buechner uses it as the foundation of an argument he makes in a book of his that I absolutely adore, but I feel that I'll understand the book more if I've read Lear. And I just want to read it, basically.