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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two Day Forecast: High Winds of Excitement With Occasional Blogging

I am leaving in a few hours for "The Big Cambridge Adventure."

If there are, perchance, one or two of you who may not know what I'm talking about, here's the 'skinny'. I'm going to be Proctor Fellow (Scholar) at The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA for the Spring Semester, 2011.

I have an appointment with my allergist in Dover, DE later this morning, then it's onto NJ to spend some time with Ms. Conroy and tending to some last minute chores.

I leave bright-eyed and bushy-tailed early Thursday morning for MA, hoping to arrive in Cambridge around noonish, depending on the traffic. The cable guy arrives sometime between 2-5 so I can have WiFi and local TV (I know! What will I do without HBO, right? I think I'll manage.) I hope to have time to get my keys and ID and lug my stuff up three flights of stairs so I can begin to settle in.

I'll sign up for classes and get my books on Friday and finish unpacking. I hope to visit friends and relatives on Saturday.

On Sunday (oh, be still my heart), I will be worshiping with the congregation at St. John's, Bowdoin Street, Boston, where I spent an absolutely glorious 2.5 years as seminary intern and the first few months of my diaconal ministry. I'm simply thrilled to be returning to one of the places that nurtured and nourished me and my spirit and helped to shape and form my understanding of priesthood.

After church, I'll be joining my dear friends of 34 years (!!!), Sheri and Lois, for a late lunch / early dinner.

Classes begin on Monday.

Did I mention that I'm excited?

The faculty with whom I'll be living have been gracious and generous in their hospitality. It's been delightful and heartening to be so warmly welcomed with a spirit that embodies everything Jesus could ask for or imagine from those who profess to follow His Way.

You can be certain that I'll keep you posted about what and how I'm doing. I did receive the course syllabus for one of the courses I know I'm going to take.

I'm still deciding about two courses, but I'm very excited to be taking "Contemporary Christologies" with the most brilliant Dr. Patrick Cheng. Here's the list of the course requirements and required reading.
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Christology: A Global Introduction (hereinafter “Christology”), ISBN 978-0801026218, $21.84

Kelly Brown Douglas, The Black Christ, ISBN 978-0883449394, $11.66

Robert E. Goss, Queering Christ: Beyond Jesus Acted Up, ISBN: 978-1556351617, $25.20

Kwok Pui-lan, ed., Hope Abundant: Third World and Indigenous Women’s Theology (hereinafter “Hope Abundant”), ISBN 978-1570758805, $22.44

Robert J. Schreiter, ed., Faces of Jesus in Africa, ISBN 978-0883447680, $18.09

R.S. Sugirtharajah, ed., Asian Faces of Jesus (hereinafter “Asian Faces of Jesus”), ISBN 978- 0883448335, $22.70

Optional texts include:

Virginia Fabella and R.S. Sugirtharajah, eds., Dictionary of Third World Theologies, ISBN 978-1570754050, $35.00.

Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas and Anthony B. Pinn, eds., Liberation Theologies in the United States: An Introduction, ISBN 978-0814727652, $23.00.

Course Requirements:

1. Weekly Posts on Blackboard

No later than 11:59 p.m. on each Tuesday prior to a class session, post on Blackboard one paragraph for each of the following three questions:

1. What in the readings surprised and/or excited you the most and why?
2. What in the readings troubled and/or upset you the most and why?
3. What in the readings would you like to see covered in class for clarification or further discussion and why?

2. In-Class “Creative” Presentation

Each student will make a presentation to the class of no more than five minutes about a given week’s readings. Creativity is highly encouraged, whether it is the use of handouts, liturgy, art, music, video, dance, and/or other forms of media.

3. Constructive Christological Paper

For your constructive christological paper, you are asked to write a 10-12 page essay in response to Jesus Christ’s question in Mark 8:29 (“Who do you say I am?”). That is, construct a christology from your own social location and enter into dialogue with at least two of the theologians assigned for this term. You will present a shortened version of your paper (2-3 pages) at the last class on April 27, 2011. For graduating students, the final paper is due via email by Monday, May 2, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. ET. For all other students, the final paper is due via email by Monday, May 16, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Pretty impressive, eh? I'm hoping you'll join me in this journey by reading some of the assignments with me and engaging me in conversation about what you've read.

This way, I'll be able to take some of you along with me in this "Big Cambridge Adventure". I think that might be just the kind of thing some of you may enjoy.

I'll post the other readings and requirements of the other courses as soon as I make that decision and get the syllabus for each course.

So, off I go then, to stuff all this stuff into my wee VW Beetle, Lucy Tru Bug. She is so very generous and hospitable, always figuring out a way to squeeze in one more bag of stuff, even when I have my doubts.

Pray for me, and I'll pray for you.


SCG said...

What a cool Cambridge adventure!! Traveling mercies and I look forward to where this ride will take you... and your readers.

David said...

'Excited,' 'thrilled' don't quite cover it- even at this geographical remove, I've been looking forward to this Cambridge adventure of yours with such anticipation and excitement you'd think I was the one undertaking it.

Wishing you every possible blessing dear, dear Elizabeth; the anticipation now becomes for what yuou will be able to share of it with the larger Church.

Revmao said...

Lucky and blessed are you to be going on this wonderful adventure! Say hello to dear EDS for me. I look forward to following along with what you're experiencing. Think I'll check out one of the texts as well. Thanks for posting them.

Anonymous said...

I smile seeing Kelly's name, because I knew her years ago (we won't say how many) when she was a seminarian at the Church of the Intercession.

Muthah+ said...

Bless me, Mother for I have sinned. I have had this attack of envy....

Enjoy yourself, mi'ja

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Muthah+ - I will, no doubt, be envious of next year's Proctor Fellows. If you absolve me, I'll absolve you.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

SCG - You bet it's exciting. I can hardly sit still

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

David = I hope to take you along with me on this blog.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Mary Anne - Indeed I am both lucky and blessed. Your spirit will be with me as I walk the hallways and sit in classrooms. Remember Senior Colloquium? I still remember your senior project. It was fabulous.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

jevcat - I can't wait to see Kelly again.

Bex said...

Gotta get my big girl brain out of mothballs if I'm going to keep up with y'all at Cambridge.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You can do this, Bex. I know you can. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

Jeffri Harre said...

This is so exciting, Elizabeth. Sounds like a great semester with interesting courses and interesting experiences ahead.

When you're at St. John's on Sunday, say hello to my friend Corey.

Mary-Cauliflower said...

I know you have lots and lots of friends in the area. But let me know if you'd like to be taken out to lunch or coffee, or otherwise need cheering up. I live within walking distance of EDS and often use Sherrill Library as my "third place" to grind out work. If you're not quite sure who I am, ask The Pove or Ann Fontaine. I work at that technical school near the Kendall stop on the Red Line.

MarkBrunson said...

Have a wonderful, blessed, soul-growing adventure Elizabeth, you great flame of love!

Oh, and give the brothers of the SSJ my affection, should you see them!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Jeffri - I will look up Corey and say "hey" to her/him for you.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...


I fully intend to visit SSJE often. They'll probably have to ask me to leave.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Mary C - I would love nothing more than a wonderful meal and/or coffee with you. What a delight that would be. Oh, wait. Kendall Square. Isn't there a Legal Seafood nearby? I think it was the "original" location. I can taste the Seafood Chowder already. Give me a week to get my "Cambridge legs" and then we'll meet. You have given me yet another reason to rejoice!

Liz "pansyliz" Toombs Ŧ said...

Your time at EDS is a journey i would love to take. Wish you the best and look forward to reading a few of these things you are sharing. This might be one of the dumbest questions you will ever get, but have you ever defined your own "Contemporary Christology"...i have not interestingly enough. i have a theological statement as that has been in round-about ways been asked in interviews for positios in Christian Education and/or Youth Ministry. As a side question/comment i am trying to work on my own Christology so that the books on your list that have interested me and i await their arrival to see what might be changed or tweaked. Good luck and best wishes. A dream i am sure.
LFS liz

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Liz - Not at ALL a dumb statement. In fact, part of the reason I'm taking this course is to be better able to articulate my own Christology. I really think I can only do that by looking at how other people in their own social locations have articulated their Christologies.

Oh, and BTW, you, too, can become a Proctor Scholar. All you need do is apply. Google "EDS Proctor Scholar" and follow the links.