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Jim Gordon
Westhill, Aberdeen.
I'm a Scottish Baptist minister, an enthusiastic theological educator, a writer and reader, an Aberdeen Football supporter, and seconder of Louis Armstrong's affirmation 'What a Wonderful World'!
Interests: I'm an incurably omnivorous reader. Historical theology, biblical exegesis. theology and the arts, and spirituality are areas of research; but novels, poetry, philosophy and intellectual biography have their fascination too. When opportunity arises I cook, this blog is a quite large tip of my writing iceberg, I design and work tapestry, play with elementary haiku and fibonacci, have begun to enjoy photography and have a small list of places I really need to visit before I die!
Recent Activity
Hello Cindy, and thank you for your question. I'm a long time reader of Levertov's poems, and student of both her life and work. The post was written out of my knowledge of her and her poetry. However there are several important secondary works: Donna Hollenberg, A Poet's Revolution. The Life of denise Levertov. University of California Press.2013 Dana Greene, Denise Levertov. A Poet's Life. University of Illinois Press, 2012 Michael Murphy and Melissa Bradshaw, This need to dance / this need to kneel. Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith. Pickwick (This one is available in Uk on Kindle at a reasonable price) Hope this helps. Denise Levertov, New and Selected Essays. New Directions.
Thanks Donna. I often think these first verses are skipped over, at least in our heads. I've often thought it would dramatise the reading if we had the sound effects of gong and cymbal!
Hello John, and thank you for your question, and for taking time to read and write about the post. I think the transcendent depth Baillie addresses is in God, not in our approach. Both Bailie and Torrance are aware of the need for what calvin called 'accommodation', hence the use of anthropomorphism.While Torrance argued there is no God behind Jesus, he also took immense pains to write and explore the mystery of the Trinity, and the unfathomable depths of love revealed in the incarnate, crucified, risen and ascended Lord. As for the Church's liturgy and song, they too are not reducible to 'humanistic language'. Charles Wesley as one example wrote hymns that celebrated the transcendent mystery, indeed the ineffability of divine love. For myself, I do not see a dichotomy between the language of biblical terminology and the limits of language to capture or encapsulate the full reality of God.
Thanks Ken. One of the reasons the older Dictionary still has considerable value.
Thank you Bob. That too is a powerful interpretation of the Good Friday Christ, and the contrast of triumphal entry and the walk of ignominy up Golgotha. I'll go looking for W R Rodgers. Easter greetings.
Thank you Olivia. Glad you happened by and found something good!
Thanks Anna. Agreed on the prophetic edge of this poem; the prophetic combines the understanding of the past, clear perception of the present, and a hopeful imagination for the future. Re-enchantment with transcendence is both hope and perhaps essential if the world is to survive our human ravaging of it. R S Thomas is one of God's outriders, helping us see and understand the cost and consequences of secularisation's impatience with that which cannot be measured, commodified, exploited, and ultimately consumed. Wonder if the late RST ever read the early Walter Brueggemann?
Thanks for this Bob. I found it fascinating, especially the relation of music to text, and at times the sense that the music was interpreting the scene, mood and circumstances in the story itself. So much to be gleaned, or mined, from such a short text. Thanks again Bob, and all good wishes for your continuing projects.
Incidentally Dave, hope you are keeping well and life is enjoyable, restful, productive, interesting. Choose as appropriate!
Opinions are pretty divided about the architecture Dave. I did most of the research for my first book in Queen Mother Library, especially the basement and stacks which were a treasure trove in which to be let loose. More space, huge upgrade in IT and digital technology required, transitions to new methods of knowledge transfer (e.g. ebooks as opposed to hard copy books, Journals) -not to mention the desire to project an ancient University with a contemporary face. It also has a diversity of study space, seminar rooms, IT and interactive facilities. My admiration for the new building is a mix of all these elements. In Edinburgh, New College was totally redesigned internally because the building could not be replaced - it too has a changed ethos and capacity.
Thanks Angela. They take a while, and mostly don't have a detailed plan when I start them. Some grow organically, though the most recent was very geometric, a colour representation of Revelation 21 and the Holy City. Just started something very different, pastoral with more muted colours - we'll see!
Good to hear from you again Dave, and thank you for your comment. I hope you're doing OK and keeping well. My own prayer and spirituality is often helped by that which is visual, tactile, tangible - times too when contemplative silence before a text, or intentional reflection on that which is mystery, and when adoration is preferred to interrogation, and wonder displaces analysis.