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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008
    Through a glass darkly

    So they've told me at the Urban Theology Unit that every morning for the next four (or possibly six) years I should get out of bed, stand in front of the mirror and remind myself, 'I'm a scholar'. I tried it in my digs in Sheffield this morning, but the bleary bloke in front of me in the looking-glass didn't look too convincing. Maybe I'll grow into it.

    It's exciting but daunting standing at this end of a MPhil/PhD research project, looking ahead to a very large amount of work, but after three days' orientation there it strikes me that UTU is a fine group of people to do it with. They've got over thirty years of experience of helping people practicing ministry in urban areas to flesh out a theology for what they're doing. Amongst other excellent staff there it's a privilege to be supervised by John Vincent who established UTU in 1970 and has been a pioneer of liberation thinking and radical community action throughout the intervening years. Eighty next year John is sharp, insightful and wise and has sent me home with two typically challenging books to read, Vamos Caminando: a Peruvian catechism by the Pastoral Team of Bambamarca and God-Walk: Liberation Shaping Dogmatics by Frederick Herzog. Blimey.

    I guess the MPhil may impact on my blogging. Maybe there'll be fewer blog entries as the written work kicks in. Maybe there'll be just as many and they'll be sidelines to the project. Plenty of stuff which has appeared here over the past few years may well find its way into the thesis. I tend to blog at night; so to complement that perhaps I'll regain a good habit I had a few years back, of doing my reading first thing in the morning. After, of course, that questing look in the mirror.