Thinking Theologically Discussion Courses
posted on August 30
Thinking Theologically provides intellectual renewal through small group, discussion-based courses focused on a single concept, theory or reading. Together we’ll connect these theological thoughts to aspects of congregational ministry, including preaching, community formation, age-level ministry, pastoral care and community involvement.
FALL COURSE OFFERINGS
The Hero’s Journey: Pathways of Transformative Experience
Option 1: 10:00–11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, September 21, September 28, October 5 and October 12, 2021. Registration closes September 17
Option 2: 10:00–11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, October 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2021. Registration closes October 1
Describing pathways of transformative experience, the Hero’s Journey is a set of principles for living, a handbook for life and a manual in the art of being human. Set forth by Joseph Campbell as a way of reading myths, past and present, the Hero’s Journey has been adapted and revised, mostly notably by Christopher Vogler, whose Writer’s Journey has become the sacred text of Hollywood screenwriters. Heroes, which include common people, are summoned on a journey, face trials and challenges, sacrifice and suffer, and emerge as wiser, more virtuous figures.
In this four-part series, we will journey with the hero from the ordinary world to the special world and home again, exploring life experiences, such as callings, thresholds, ordeals, rewards and return. On the way, we’ll meet mentors, allies, and threshold guardians, heralds, shadows, and tricksters. The Hero’s Journey offers language, patterns and archetypes for interpreting individual and communal narratives. From film buffs and travelers to pastors, chaplains and spiritual directors, the series offers a sojourn of personal renewal and professional development. Following Vogler’s easy-to-read book, the series will rely heavily on small group discussions.
Session 1: From the Ordinary World to the Approach of the Innermost Cave
Session 2: Ordeals, Rewards, and Return
Session 3: Mentors, Shadows, and Allies: The Archetypes of the Hero’s Journey
Session 4: Betwixt and Between: Applications of Liminoid Experience
The Exploratory Function of Metaphors
Fall Option: 10:00–11:30 a.m. on Mondays, November 1, 8 and 15, 2021. Registration closes October 27.
Have you ever metaphor that you didn’t like? Or, tried to describe the inexplicable Other? We know that we speak metaphorically, but how do metaphors function? What’s at stake in the use and neglect of our religious language? How can we create better metaphors for interpreting the world and exploring the Christian life? This three-part series focuses on metaphorical theory as a theological tool. It has direct application for preaching, Bible study, pastoral care and congregational formation.
Session 1: Juliet is the Sun: The Incremental Theory of Metaphor
Session 2: The Inexplicable Other: Metaphors and Religious Language
Session 3: Life is a Journey: Conceptual Metaphors