Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The first running of the first session of a course on the psalms

It doesn't matter how well prepared you are, there are always unexpected things. My eyes are fading so I could hardly see the screen in the light in the church - curious - and slightly ironic. But we got through. In sessions 1 and 2, I have made all the text on the slides bigger as far as I could. I dropped the slide on Psalm 11 - it's in the book and can be studied individually. But most important - the first exercise is quite hard so I have simplified it. (Revised video here). There is no change in the voice over.

Sometimes I wonder about the thesis that word patterns are deliberate. I still think they are. It is poetry after all, but in performance, it is hard to tell, sometimes.

What is most curious to me is the complex aspect of putting an idea across to others - and then waiting for the consequences and questions and group formation that can happen as a result. Time will tell.

First, I will be making sure I can read the slides in lectures 2 to 6 and secondly, that the workshop exercises are not too open ended. Augh! Session 2's workshop could take hours! I have simplified it. The slides for the whole are here - sessions 1 and 2 are revised.

Now - the puzzle problem is this - suppose we see clearly what is in the Psalms - what then do we do about it? How do they help us today? Why is there so much violence? I suggested a direction of consideration - but I deflected the direct question partly because I think the understanding must arise from within the community - fully facing the text and its implications - not sanitizing it.

My book does suggests possible approaches to such questions - but the main task of the book is lay out the poetry for study and I think it accomplishes this.