A monthly get-together in which we share perceptions of different theologians over a glass of wine (or gluhwein) and cheese.
Friday 10 March at 7 pm in the Tidbinbilla Room at Curtin. All are welcome.
Julian of Norwich
Julian of Norwich (1343 - after 1416) was an English mystic and anchoress. Her writings, now known as Revelations of Divine Love, are the earliest surviving English language works by a woman. She recovered from a serious illness at age 30 after seeing a series of visions of Jesus, which she wrote about shortly afterwards, in a work now known as the Short Text. Decades later she began a theological exploration of the meaning of her visions, and produced writings now known as the Long Text. This remained largely unknown until 1670, until it was published by Serenus de Cressy with the title XVI Revelations of Divine Love, shewed to a devout servant of Our Lord, called Mother Juliana. With Grace Warrack's 1901 edition, which included modernised language, Julian became more widely known and appreciated. Her theology is optimistic and emphasises being loved and protected by God.
Leader gives a brief introduction on why this theologian or thinker is important to them. How has it changed their life or thinking?
Others who know the work of the theologian are asked to share their thoughts and impressions.
The leader then presents a short paper on the life, key theological thoughts and impact of the theologian.
The discussion topic then is how does this theologian have relevance to us in Australia, to society, to the church or to our personal lives.
Thomas Merton (1915 1968) converted to Catholicism in his twenties and initially was a relatively conservative Catholic. He joined the Trappist order and became a monk. Gradually he transformed into a person concerned both with social justice and wider peace issues such as the war in Vietnam, as well as becoming much more appreciative of other religious contemplative traditions. A good overview of his life can be found on Wikipedia .This rather lovely short film about Thomas Merton is worth watching.
In this tape of Thomas Merton you can hear him speaking about prayer and other matters in his own words.
Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest and activist for gender justice and eco-justice. Read about Matthew Fox here and here.
Dr Anne Pattel-Gray is an Aboriginal woman who is a descendant of the Bidjara/ Kari Kari people in Queensland. She is recognised within Australia, nationally and internationally as an Aboriginal leader, scholar, theologian, activist and prolific writer.
Dorothee Soelle was a German theologian, whose theology was deeply affected by the reality of Auschwitz. She felt that after Auschwitz, theology could never be the same again. Originally, she thought of herself as writing “political theology”, but later developed a feminist/liberation theology approach. She also came to see that mysticism was integral to good theology.
Charles Birch (1918-2009) Biologist, ecologist and theologian. Charles Birch had a long association with the University of Sydney (1948-83), and finally Emeritus Professor.
In addition to his academic work, he wrote widely on theological topics including the idea that all life has intrinsic value for which he won the Templeton Prize for Religion in 1990. Charles Birch was a member of both the Club of Rome and the World Council of Churches.
List of possible theologians or thinkers for future discussion, not in any order:
Abraham and Susannah Heschel
Roberto Che Espinoza
J R R Tolkien
Roberto Che Espinoza