I'm hesitant about starting a blog, being used to the scholarly world where everything one posts publicly needs to be documented and annotated. But I keep finding myself in conversation -- either in person or in my reading and listening -- with people who wonder how one could possibly put together a reasonable, intelligent approach to the world and have religious faith. I embraced the Episcopal/Anglican tradition when I was in college because it seemed to provide good ways to do this, combined with a commitment to beauty, sacramental worship and a reverence for a long tradition of contemplative spiritual practice. I have lived in this thought-world of faith for all of my adult life. The explicit embracing of Scripture, Reason and Tradition together as ways of growing in faith do go well with my upbringing, in a liberal Presbyterian household where faith was a given and we talked a lot, around the dinner table, about how we connected our faith and our daily life. So I'm always stopped and puzzled by the premise that there's some sort of fundamental conflict between faith and intelligence or intellect. But in the polarized and polarizing world of religious discourse these days it comes up a lot.
So I guess this blog is a way for me to reflect out loud about this, and also to develop some thinking I've been doing as I reread and teach about Verna Dozier's work and look at the exciting new writing about the "emergent church" and interfaith conversations, and wonder how best to describe what the Church is for in our time, and how we can carry forward what Verna calls "The Dream of God."
- Kathleen Henderson Staudt
- I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.