Sunday, April 25, 2010

Job as poet: a “sensitive-in-suffering” and post-colonialist reading

There is a superb reflection on the Biblical book of Job, in Sacred Australia, Post-secular Considerations (2009). It comes from an Australian poet, Peter Boyle. Whether he is of faith is unclear. Irrespective it is a creative, absorbing engagement.

The first window is the note that Job is a poet, describing his inner world in the deep experience of suffering. We glimpse authenticity. Which, in relation to Job, if we are honest, none of us seek, given the experiences Job describes.

My links: Such a window saves Job from being exclusively religious or Christian, because the Bible is the gutsy narration of human experience.

The second window is the note that other poets have suffered and in their suffering, like Job, have accused God.

My links: Such a window saves Job from being exclusively religious or Christian, opening a dialogue between the Bible and the literature of any, and many, who name pain.

The third window considers that Job is wealthy, and asks the question as to where Job has gained his wealth from. Could it be that his wealth has come as the expense of others? If so, Job becomes like so many Westerners, well to do in a world in which others suffer. At which Peter Boyle offers one of his poems in which he offers a way forward.

  • Be silent in the face of suffering, willing to let the oppressed speak until they also are silent.
  • Give back what we have taken.

What a treat – a reading of the Bible which accesses themes of how to live in a suffering world.

Posted by steve at 10:46 PM

Monday, April 19, 2010

future of religion in australian society paper acceptance

Email today from Melbourne College of Divinity, notifying me that my paper proposal – The art of gentle space-making: responding to a de/colonizing God – has been accepted. It is part of their 2010 Centenary Conference, with the grand title ” The Future of Religion in Australian Society.” Being held 4th to 7th of July 2010, they have billed it as a seminal event in theological reflection in Australia. Nice to have landed a paper, only now, in the midst of all the other things I’m juggling, I have to find time to write it! For those interested, here was the proposal I sent it back in February … (more…)

Posted by steve at 08:38 PM