Saturday, June 21, 2008

Conference Observations

The conference is going very well so far. Some of the sessions really feel like "gathered Meetings."

A theme that I keep noticing both in sessions and in my conversations with people is "living with creative tensions." Don't try to force resolution. Or, more importantly, don't berate yourself for not being able to force resolution.

Yet, funnily enough (as they say here), this bit of advice itself stands in creative tension with another theme I notice: the quest for the integrated life (in contrast to the divided life).

Do creative tensions mark a divided life? If we should not try to find resolution, how then do we find our way to the integrated life?

The conference theme is "Where Faith and Practice Meet." The tension we talk about as Quaker academics is the tension we often feel between our Quakerness and some of the demands of the academic life.

One suggestion that emerged yesterday that I found especially helpful: "Where do faith and practice meet? Answer: Love. Or: Grace, the highest form of Love."