How I think Research is like the Spiritual Life.

By Dr Stuart Devenish, Postgraduate Coordinator (MTC)- Tabor Adelaide

In this article I want to explore some of the ways in which I think research and spirituality intersect with and overlap each other. As I do so, I invite the reader to look for ways in which your own spiritual lives can connect with and grow your understanding of research. I appeal to the work of Richard Rohr – the well-known Franciscan priest and specialist in the spiritual life – to identify congruencies between the inner task of spiritual growth, and the outer task of research in whatever capacity this is undertaken. Read More

Breaking Calabashes: Becoming an Intercultural Community

book review

Author: Rosemary Dewerse
Publication details: Adelaide, SA: Mediacom Education Inc, 2013

Summary: Framing her book around the true Maori story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai, Rosemary Dewerse invites readers to confront ideas of what is acceptable and unacceptable in their communities and to break culturally ingrained mindsets. Rosemary challenges a static concept of multiculturalism and argues the dominant group, in particular, must be proactive in promoting interculturality. Each of the book’s four chapters addresses a particular ‘calabash’: Caring for Identity breaks down the concept that “stereotypes are useful for understanding people”; Listen to Silenced Voices challenges the tendency to think “my voice is most worthy”; the third chapter confronts the idea that “cultural ignorance is bliss” by inviting readers towards a life of Nurturing Epistemic Ruptures; the final chapter, Dealing in Justice, addresses the attitude that “our kind are better than your kind”.    Read More

Foundations for Pastoral Care: Practical and Personal Availability

Image Bruce Hulme, Lecturer in Spirituality and Practical Theology
Christians often discount themselves from the ministry of pastoral care because of a perceived lack of knowledge and skills. ‘What would I say? What would I do?’ Although knowledge and skills are important for pastoral carers to develop, even more foundational is the gift of presence that comes through two forms of availability.

Firstly, practical or pragmatic availability is the presence of sufficient margins—e.g. time, physical/emotional energy, finance—to enable a caring response to another’s need. We often succumb to fast-paced, frenetic and distracted living, leading to marginless, ‘just-in-time’ lives. When opportunities to care happen upon us, our response is limited if we are simply too busy, exhausted, or broke. A lack of margins is always a good cue to ask ourselves: am I living as a called or driven person?

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