RE-SOURCE #1 — February 2, 2023
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On the Welcome page, RE-SOURCE is called a “space” that is “virtual, occasional and experimental.” It has also been described as a “dedicated” space where sisters and friends can probe their understanding of Incarnation. Whatever adjective may precede the word “space,” the essential purpose of this webpage is to make space — for being, breathing, seeing, wondering … about the mystery of God with us.
Often, when we make space for whatever it is we need, we discover that one kind of space leads into another. Maybe we started out with a theological question and found ourselves reading poetry in the process. So there’s interspace as well as space because spaces overlap and together make a new space. A good image for this is the mandorla. When one circle partially overlaps with another, a new, almond-shaped space is created, as in this picture. It will be good to keep that possibility in mind as you begin to explore this webpage and even consider contributing something of your own, eventually. Here are three excerpts from other sources to stir further thinking about space and interspace:
- We can draw inspiration from Image, a journal of art, faith and mystery published both on line and in print. The editors say it’s their business to “make space for timeless conversations” through the pages of Image. One editor recently described Image’s mission in this way:
“Most writers I know have “secret rooms” of faith and doubt. These emotional and intellectual “rooms” are often the spaces from which their creativity arises; places of tension, illumination, and discovery. Yet many writers hesitate to engage those rooms directly in their work. Their reasons range from the personal to the professional. Image, invariably, is the magazine where great writers feel comfortable—and perhaps confident—to reveal those secret, beautiful rooms of belief and wonder. Within the pages of Image, writers can ponder their truths and doubts.” Image, December 27, 2022
- Rowan Williams (theologian, poet and former Archbishop of Canterbury) speaks of space in the sense of making space for others who are denied space and voice to be the carriers of God’s word that they’ are created to be. He spoke at the Swindon Festival of Literature, May 3-9, 2021. The whole talk is called “Look East in Winter,” available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a2sPJOovLg. Of special interest to us are the four minutes from 31:32 – 35:12, which are transcribed here:
“We’re not to be acting from the top down; we’re all receivers as well as givers. Christians are supposed to be parenting other people into life, so that we can receive life from them, not just giving life to them. Every Christian is in a mutual relation of bringing people to life. So often we think of our love and service as what we generously try to give to the less fortunate. The world we’re trying to build is the world in which everyone shares, gives. We don’t have this active love and a passive recipient, a generous donor and a poor receiver.
In working for a more inclusive church, especially on the racial front, we’re saying “here are voices that have been silenced, gifts that have never been allowed to be given.” How do we actually make space for them to act and give and speak as they’re supposed to? Every created being, not just human beings, carries a word from God, is balanced on a word from God, almost like surfing on a communication from God. When we encounter another person we’re encountering that word that is sailing towards us – encountering something of love that is from God’s communication – something of love, and intelligence and vision and energy pouring out toward us.
So, how do we make space for that to be received, not just for us to be giving, but for us to be sharing in that exchange? The ordinary circulation of life in the body – that’s what we should be pushing for, and it’s hard work because we like to be in control, and be the generous givers. Being nice to other people isn’t what it’s finally about; it’s about being part of a world which together is reflecting the abundance of God and together building something new in the world.”
INTERSPACE: an example: the space between theology and poetry
Also from Image, Issue No. 115, 2023 – In a conversation with theologian Rowan Williams and poet Shane McCrae, the Image editor asks these questions about the intersection of their perspectives:
“It’s a treat to have the two of you in a room together: a theologian who is also a poet, and a poet who is well versed in theology. How do you each see this space between theology and poetry? Are there ways that poetry informs a theological imagination? Are there ways that theology is a fund for poetic reflection and creativity? Is there a kind of chemical reaction between the two in your lives and work?”
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