Tag Archives: anamnesis

Transcending Memory

I am usually in bed by 9:30, to fall asleep reading by 10:15, 10:30 or so. It’s been years since 10pm marked the start of my evening rather than its end. But last night I made an exception, trudging out of the house at 9:20pm and making my way down to The Power Plant at the Toronto Harbourfront to see if I could pull an all-nighter to watch a good chunk of Christian Marclay’s, The Clock.

I expected long lines and a minimum 1-2, probably 3, hour wait, which is I why I aimed to be there for 10. I wanted to be in the room when the clock struck midnight. But I arrived just in time to be the last person let in before the line-ups began.

The Clock is a 24 hour video compilation of short clips from films (and some tv shows), each of which contains some reference to the time, Continue reading

The Hospitality of Yoga

Before I left for the Camino, I purchased a livingsocial deal for an overnight yoga retreat a couple of hours from my house. I wasn’t able to use it before it expired, but the man who runs the centre was kind enough to let me book my time there for after my return. This was only the beginning of the kindness I experienced in this place.

On Friday afternoon, I thought I had budgeted well for a timely arrival – I did not, however, budget time for getting lost, nearly running out of gas, a chiropractor appointment to treat a herniated disc on the way out of town running waaaaay over time, and a nightmarish amount of Friday afternoon Toronto traffic. What was supposed to be 2 hours in the car turned into 4 hours, and by the time I arrived I was in quite a state.

It’s one thing to mess up my own plans through failures of planning, but I just hate messing up other people’s plans. Continue reading

Praying in Pictures

Last week I wrote about how faith crises can lead to identity crises – if my life is organized by my faith, a loss of faith tends to result in a loss of order to my world, a loss of understanding about who I am within that order. But there have also been moments in the midst of that crisis when I have experienced the surprise of grace, where I have experienced a fresh perspective on God that has come, it seems, as a pure gift from God. This week I want to share a story about that happened in the midst of teaching.

I teach theology – this is a vocation so deeply connected to my faith, that it’s difficult to picture it from a place of weak faith. How can I teach my students to preach the gospel when I’m not all that sure of the gospel myself? How can I teach my students about God’s love when I’m not all that sure God loves me… Continue reading

God’s Forgetfulness

I ended up erasing the final chapter of my dissertation and replacing it with another. The one I initially intended was simply too much of a mess, and too risky to do well with the limited time (and, more importantly, limited skill) I possessed in that moment.

In a nutshell, the constructive theological moments in my dissertation were all inspired by conversations between my own academic theological ways of speaking and the everyday theological ways of speaking articulated by people in my church (this conversational process was more formalized through certain forms of academic methods, but I won’t bore you with that here). The final chapter was inspired by a conversation about God’s eternal nature in one of the Sunday night theology classes I taught at the church.

One of the women in the class said that some time she spent with a friend who had Alzheimer’s Disease had helped her to understand God’s eternity Continue reading

The Enchantment of Nostalgia

In his beautiful book, Berlin Childhood around 1900, Walter Benjamin endeavors to narrate his childhood years without the tinge of nostalgia, but nevertheless, in a way that is enchanted. Nostalgia, he implies, and I agree, does not enable but, rather, undoes the magic of enchantment. Nostalgia – the past idealized – is a weapon easily employed by fascism. It paralyzes our ability to live with our past integrated honestly with our present. It undermines the possibilities of liberation in our future.

Theological themes of memory and nostalgia captivate my imagination. How can we remember well? Continue reading