21.04.22 / 04.20: Two diary entries I found while mapping my introduction

[I just got off the phone with Jeff who said the thesis idea is shit hot and I should do it how I do it. Tell the story. Tell mine too. Tell it how it feels. Do the oral history. Don’t gotta mince words.

I felt the call to search in a box of old journals after that. I lost a lotta stuff in so many moves. But I found two entries from last year. I told myself from the get-go that part of this site, fallen into disrepair and left abandoned so many times–right now as I’m writing it’s reverted to a dot wordpress dot com even though they just charged me a domain refresh without consent–was sharing the journey of how I come by the research. How it gets done. What it looks like for a novice researcher to go on this journey. Coz that might be something someone else needed to hear or see. They might find their own paths or get a clue to something they were tryna dig into.

Here’s those journal entries. [21.04.22]

My room was tidy before this.

April, 2020 sometime

It’s the 10th or 11th of April, 2020.

In a few days I’ll be 30 years older than I was when I was born into this world. I’m still not entirely sure how many years I passed in between.

I have been going through old notebooks and workbooks to scrapbook the clues to a life worth keeping, remembering, or acknowledging and letting go.

Seminary. My first relationship. The struggle with the church. My first brushes with, I guess, activism (on the streets). Brueggemann. Moltmann. Liberation Theology. And how I was so ernestly [sic] yearning for a faith that seems as distant and improble to me now as a place where they wear shoes on their heads and hats on their feet.

It’s been good going through the old journal entries and assignments, marvelling but not embarrassed by the young man in there. If I had words of wisdom for him I wonder if he’d listen.

It’s interesting. Seems like I followed much the same path my liberation theology ancestors [did]. Pietist, moderate, questioning, developmentalist, moderate, liberal, and fundamentalist at once. Reformist but for the pushback so punitive that reformism gives was to revolt. [I think I mean: even reform got such pushback that I was led to outright revolt] I can see from my assignments that I spent much time on sexuality, trying to find a way forward for my church, still carefully balancing my language, or maybe actually believing that there was some balance to be found.

As we were still apparantly [sic] living in the 1950s I made an argument from the 1960s, along the lines of faith and the secular, the church within society, laicization, and other manner of appeals that would be at home in Vatican II.

I was becoming interested then also in inter-faith dialogue and ecumenism, particularly with Catholics and Muslims, whom I had as friends, and who seemed like our most urgent partners in the task of peace making. My view was situated between the wider world of politics which I interpreted through Chomsky and through the lessons learned in Latin America (namely, that the USA is not your friend), the cosmopolitan view of my country and the city of Perth (as the child of migrants and as a “[***]”[ethnic slur, often self-applied to us Mediterraneans–Greeks, Italians, Lebanese, the lot–in Australia, but offensively meaning something else where I live now in UK so I wont even write that word now]), and the parochial concerns of my church and friendship groups (where the other two worlds seemingly never need encroach on the suburban sprawl.) [I was living in a mostly affluent, mostly white area, with a friendship circle that, within the church at least, reflected the same]

I have memories written down of those worlds colliding in my own mind as a young man committed to all three and others too. And it’s interesting to read because I was pragmatic, and when pragmatism ran out I was furious. The one betrayed me, after so long making me betray myself for it, and then claimed I had betrayed it and not the other way around. That’s how it felt then. It was magnificent. How then could I face the other two worlds that weren’t a home but a journey? It killed me off for years to come. I had to leave the country just to save face, and to replant somewhere.

I actually found the still point, the glitch, the first chime of the breaking clock. [Dunno wtf I’m talking about here. Something internal in me it was]

2020 Undated

As I sit down to write during this virus lockdown of 2020 we are roughly 50 years from the irruption of a new method and perspective in theology

It was already history by the time I was born, in 1990 (not ended)

It is hard to imagine today the scale, impact, controversy, breadth, break this was… (right words?)

How many continents? Everywhere at once! Simultaneous uprisings! LATdL, BT, FT, SAfrican, Pol Theo. Novelties? Praxis, Partisan, Poor. Background. Decolonization, Communism, Vatican II. Two-Third World / 70-80,000 base groups in Brazil.

Equally difficult (actually not, but) equally important…. what I want to do, is to put the human face to TdL. Today, as then, some cannot imagine that these were real people.

Hope. Disappointments. Miscommunications. Hurt. Attempts. Learning. How young they were.

My particular focus is on the dialogues and debates between the proponents of TdLs with each others and with their own backgrounds in which for each of them we find their difference and their common ground. This is a Peoples’ History, perhaps.

Prefaces/Prologues, Memoirs, Indexes, Minutes, Documents = data

So these suck. Scrawled into journals they give me clues, however, today as I sit down to write what it is I plan to write.

Tell the story. Tell mine too. Tell it how it feels. Do the oral history. Don’t gotta mince words.

My room was neat before this.

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