All tagged Listening

Having a Good Fight

I was reading Proverbs the other day and Proverbs 18:13 hit me. It was particularly poignant because I have been thinking about how I communicate to people. Whether it be talking to Taryn, friends at New College, people at church, or in my thesis.

Learning to Listen

Most of my PhD work consists in reading and then writing down my analysis of what I read. Often I disagree with the people I am reading, yet I still need to represent them accurately. I can't pick and choose the quotes that I work to advance my argument and ignore the context in which those quotes appear. What I am learning over the course of this PhD is that a solid 90% of my writing is just learning to listen carefully.

Slow to Speak

Living in another culture always gives you moments where you learn about yourself or you grow in a way that has been difficult in your home context. Every time I have moved to a new culture (Colombia, Scotland, Middle Tennessee), I have found that there are aspects of my personality that change. The one aspect that regularly gets morphed is a slowness in responding to people.

Looking to the Other

This week at New College, there was a conference. It was the inaugural conference for 'The Christian-Muslim Studies Network'. The topic was Reframing Christian-Muslim Encounters: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives. I didn't go to a lot of the conference. In fact, I only went to two sessions. In one, a friend of mine delivered a paper, and I wanted to hear it. Another was the English book release of conversations between a Christian scholar and Islamic scholar who live and work in Lebanon.

Reading Hard Texts

So I am reading Hegel these days. It's dense. I am also reading about Hegel. That is not quite as dense, but it's still dense. The research that I am doing has lead me down a path that requires a lot of time in Hegel. When I realized that this was going to be a huge part of my project, I laughed and said, 'I thought I could make it my entire academic career without seriously engaging with Hegel.' It turns out I can't. The more intimidating part of this is whenever I talk to a fellow PhD student about this, their response is 'Good luck.'