Friday, February 11, 2011

lament: the conference in one corner, the colloquim in another

Here in Auckland I’ve been attending the theology of lament academic event. We’ve bounced between Isaiah, Maori lament, new media, rock concerts, liturgy and responses to Middle East. We’ve got folk from Scotland, England, US, Australia and New Zealand.

What I’m loving is that this event is a colloquium format, in contrast to the traditional conference. The colloquium format asked for a full paper, ideally a month prior. This gives time to read the papers prior. Come the colloquium, there is time for a brief 5-10 minute introduction of the paper, which is then followed by 20 minutes of discussion. This starts to allow significant time for interaction and cross-fertilisation. Common themes begin to emerge. Repeated questions surfaced. Motifs recur.

The input I shared in seemed to go well. Got to show a U2 and a Paul Kelly videos 🙂 I love being a serious scholar :). It produced a really rich discussion.

  • how to tease out the fusion in Biblical lament of nation and faith, with the fact that contemporary society separates sacred and secular?
  • is protest another space in which contemporary lament is occurring?
  • is the occurrence of lament outside sacred space in danger of reducing lament to a commercial transaction?
  • how important is it to ensure the space for multiple responses and postures within lament?
  • is lament a genre in terms of a form, or function in terms of common human experiences of unique episodes of human suffering?

The goal is a book, not of disparate papers pushed together under a theme, but coherent threads, links that enable the chapters to keep talking to each other.

The take home memory is of rich discussion that moved constantly between Biblical (OK Old Testament) material, human experience and pastoral practice.

Posted by steve at 01:23 PM

1 Comment

  1. Pleased it all went well. Let us have the book publication details once they come to hand… enjoy your weekend.

    Comment by Paul Fromont — February 12, 2011 @ 6:25 am

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