“There is a day when the road neither comes nor goes and the way is not a way but a place” (Wendell Berry). With some recent exceptions, a Christian theology of place has been much neglected. We live in an age that favors time and space over place, and the doctrine of God’s omnipresence has tended to view place in universal terms. The incarnation tells a different story. God embraces the particular, and the particularity of place mediates our relationship with God. This three-part series takes a nuanced approach to sacred places, explores the theological distinctions between space and place, and discusses the spirituality of differentiated places. Emphasizing the embodied nature of the Christian life, the series presents language, theories and concepts that resonate with our modern-day journey of faith.
Session 1: Space, Place, and the Sacred
Session 2: The Spirituality of Differentiated Places
Session 3: Mental Maps and the Proximate Other
Course information, including recommended readings and session descriptions, coming soon.
Cost: $30Spring Option: 12:00–1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 8, 15 and 22, 2022
Thinking Theologically offers concepts, tools and theories for accompanying people on their journey to God. Showcasing practical resources that have been largely overlooked in theological formation, these courses provision church leaders in relevant approaches to everyday faith. Consisting of teachings, exercises and small group discussions, each of the courses has practical applications to personal faith, church leadership and congregational development, including preaching and pastoral care. Thinking Theologically invites church leaders on a sojourn of personal renewal and professional development.
All courses are held via Zoom.
Courses will be led by Rev. Rodney Aist, PhD. Rodney grew up in the First UMC of Warrensburg, Missouri, where he received his call to ministry as a teenager. An ordained elder in the New Mexico Annual Conference, he has served Christian communities in Arkansas, Scotland, Jerusalem, Italy and the Navajo Nation. A Holy Land scholar with a focus on Christian pilgrimage, past and present, Rodney directs a Doctor of Ministry program in pilgrimage and spirituality at Drew Theological School in New Jersey. His recent publications include Jerusalem Bound: How to be a Pilgrim in the Holy Land (2020) and Pilgrim Spirituality: Defining Pilgrimage Again for the First Time (forthcoming).
Rodney received his MDiv from Duke Divinity School and has a MA in Celtic Christianity and a PhD in theology from the University of Wales. His travels include an around-the-world pilgrimage and the Camino de Santiago. He is an associate of the Iona Community and a writer for Iona Books (Wild Goose Publications). He lives in Milan with his wife, Janet.