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The Light of Unknowing?

No, I have not got my title muddled up, I think there is a light of unknowing - of realising what it is I don't know, or don't understand, that is constructive.

I am now technically ~8 weeks into my "Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology" but despite the best efforts of teachers and supervisors have yet to make much progress.  In the last week or so, my unknowing has coalesed (however that word is spelled) into some sort of knowing - I now know what it is I don't know or understand that would enable me to get going with any degree of confidence that I was on the right track.  Hurrah!

Way back when I started to learn theology one of my then tutors told us not to worry about big, grand sounding words, we'd soon grasp them and it would be the little words like 'sin' or 'God' that would cause us to wonder as we began to realise the enormity of the concepts to which they referred.  He was right, but as time has passed I have discovered that it is not just the theological words that matter but the grammar and punctuation that trips me up!

I once wrote a shortish piece on 'Credo in Ecclesiam' vs 'Credo ecclesiam' (Kung and Barth) which hinged on the import of the 'in.'  I have even pondered on one occasion the placing of the comma in the Isaiah 'voice of one crying in the desert.'

So now, here I am wondering what the university actually understand by "Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology" with the key question being over the word 'in.'  Am I meant to be undertaking an exercise in the study of the disicpline called 'practical theology' i.e. that it is the subject of my research?  Or I am meant to be conducting a piece of academic research employing the skills of practical theology in a new application?  I thought it was the latter but now I am not so sure!  At least I now am a little clearer what it is I do not know, and have begun tentatively to pose the question to those who may be able to help me.  I think I have a light of unknowing - but that still leaves me with an enormous task to turn that into a cloud of knowing!



  • Huge congratulations!! I am, unfortunately, still groping around in the dark. :)

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