Dear readers and followers of Jolly Quaker,
2018 has been a quieter year on the blog than I’d anticipated, and I haven’t produced the bumper crop of posts I’d hoped for, but in many ways this has been a good year for the blog behind the scenes. I’m still operating on the principle that when a blog post needs to be written, it’ll get written, rather than tying myself to monthly deadlines, and I’m very happy with my output. I’ve continued with my series on Advices and Queries, now having got up to number 12. I’ll definitely continue with this in 2019 – I find it a really enjoyable project.
My post ‘Words and Wounds: Reflections from Britain Yearly Meeting‘ has been the most widely read, and it felt like an important piece to write for myself personally. BYM in 2018 was a significant moment for me in understanding how to be a Quaker who works in a Quaker institution, and writing about it was part of that reconciling process. I’m at my best as a theologian and a teacher when I’m my most authentic self.
I attempted to start a new series of posts called ‘Threshings‘, which so far hasn’t gone any further than one post, but I still have plans for it. I want to ask questions about gnostic tendencies in contemporary Quakerism, and whether ‘A Course in Miracles’ is truly compatible with Quaker theology. I’ve already written a lot on these questions, but these feel like more challenging posts, and the right moment to publish them hasn’t arisen.
This year has also seen me reading more theology blogs, and a particular favourite of mine is The PostBarthian. It was this blog that introduced me to German theologian Jürgen Moltmann, inspiring me to begin reading Moltmann’s series of ‘systematic contributions’. It was this in turn that led me to my dissertation topic for my MA in systematic and philosophical theology, which I will complete in 2019. It’s this dissertation that’s the main reason for the scarcity of blog posts. All my reading, writing and thinking has been happening elsewhere. For my dissertation I’m asking: ‘What, according to George Fox, is the Quaker hope? Is that hope good enough in a time of disastrous climate change?’ Moltmann is known as a theologian of hope, and I’ll be bringing Moltmann into dialogue with Fox. I’m finding it all very exciting!
So I hope that throughout 2019 I can share the fruits of my studies with you through the blog, and continue to offer reflections that are relevant and useful for the contemporary Quaker community. Even if I had no readers I’d still write, but having readers makes it so much more enjoyable. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my posts. Thank you for following and engaging with me on Twitter. I really appreciate it! I wish you all a new year fortified with faith, hope and love.