A fantastic day of studying. Hooray! I made great progress in gaining a better, more defined understanding of liberation theology, especially as it was imagined by Gustavo Gutierrez. Liberation Theology has long been one of those schools of theology that has seeped into my bones, but never one I studied systematically. Rather, I had picked it up through reading so many other people who were influenced by it. In that regard, I celebrate the extent to which Liberation Theology has shaped theological thinking. Not in all parts of Christianity, I know. But in the parts of Christianity that I tend to be engaged with, anyway.
Part of my breakthrough in studying today was to take the question I'm working on and think: how would I prepare this information for a lecture, if I had to give it? This was a great way to turn it on its head. It had three immediate effects: 1) It took out the emotional element of preparing for an exam; 2) It helped me think about what I would most want to say in order to distill the ideas and get them across in a clear, memorable way; and 3) It made the exam seem less like a hoop to jump through, and more like actual preparation for a lecture that I would likely, truly use someday. Beautiful.
After a good, solid morning of work and synthesis, we walked downtown to our current favorite Indian restaurant and enjoyed a fantastic meal. Then walked around a bit, to the post office (to finally buy two-cent stamps!), into a gorgeous store that was like being in a museum, and finally to get some good coffee for the rest of the walk home.
I love walking through our town. There are always flowers blooming. And interesting architecture. And beautiful colors. And amazing sights. Today, I saw someone had put an elephant in their side yard. It's the coolest thing! Maybe I'll go back and take his picture for you to see, because describing him will not do justice. He's made out of old tires! Stands maybe six or seven feet tall. And from across the street, had the most amazing eyes. I don't know how they did it. It didn't look junky. It looked, well, living.
Tonight is symphony night again! I cannot wait . . .