A Dream Denied? At Least Deferred
Hi, Gentle Readers. Some of you know that ever since I stopped academic teaching and began working for various peace groups (especially Every Church a Peace Church from 2002-2006), I have had a dream for founding & editing a Journal of Peace Theology for pastors and scholars, aimed at the kinds of audiences which would read Theology Today, Interpretation, Evangelical Quarterly, Modern Theology or Review and Expositor. It wouldn’t be as “newsy” as Sojourners, Christianity Today, or The Christian Century, but it would be much less technical than the Journal of Biblical Literature or Catholic Biblical Quarterly. This journal would concentrate on various aspects of Christian nonviolence as it relates to overall Christian theology. I was seeking an international board and international contributors from numerous Christian denominations: theologians, biblical scholars, ethicists, philosophers, and nonviolent activists and pastors who are theologically informed.
Well, from July ’07 until tonight it looked as if that dream was on the verge of becoming reality. There was a funding proposal for 5 years and I would have begun on 01 January ’08 to lay out a first issue and seek contributors. I was considering how far back I would have to scale my work on this blog or whether even to shut it down altogether and get someone else to host the Christian Peace Bloggers ring (which is very little work). Alas, it is not to be. The organization which was going to host the journal received a fraction of its proposed funding. If the journal is launched, it will have to be when this organization gets additional funding or when I find another funding source.
I am deeply disappointed. I was going to work full time on the editing of this journal and I deeply believe that such a resource is needed and could be an incredible resource for the transformation of the global church in the 21st C. On a personal level, this arrangement would have allowed me more time with my family, would have allowed the fiscal and time resources to rejoin the Society of Christian Ethics and participate in their yearly meetings (something I have greatly missed for 5 years, now), and would have enabled me to visit parts of my scattered family that I have been unable to visit for some time. None of that will now happen–not this year.
I will have to regroup and try something else. Frederick Buechner says that we find our calling where our passion intersects with the world’s great need. But I have been unable to follow such a call either in the classroom, in faith-based peacemaking, or in writing. I am now middle aged and not using my gifts for the work of God’s Rule–at least not in anything approaching a full way. It is frustrating in the extreme.
Tonight, I go back to a job which keeps my family fed (along with my wife’s 2 jobs!) and pays for our healthcare and other benefits, but which could be done by trained gorillas, is mind-numbing, and soul destroying. Tomorrow, I will look at my resume, look at book proposals for publishers, and try again.
The good news for those of you who find this blog useful is that it is in no danger of being shut down in the near future. It is my only regular creative outlet and keeps me sane.
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