A lecture by visiting theologian Paul Fiddes,

We are juggling semiotics.  Whatever semiotics means.  Ah, semiotics means signs.  The meaning of signs is hidden.  We are venturing into territory where my understanding is weak.  Nothing transcends a world of signs.  “The heavens are telling the glory of God” disagrees with semiotics.  Signs cannot point to the beyond-sign. 

Is “the way of a man with a girl” relational or sexual.

Of course, nobody has told nature that and nature is more flexible over it.  The world is measured in height, breadth and depth, the x, y, z axes, and god knows the position and spin of the atom.  Nature, the book of the world, is encyclopediac because it contains the whole.  The observer is not separate from the whole.  We are part of the order.  The hidden order of the world should stimulate us.  How does x relate to y? you decide.

Undertones . . . overtones . . . (wombling free!)

Is the author hidden in the text, does the creator indwell the creation as presence.  “No appearance of god is more over-whelming than this non-appearance”.  This talk sounds to me that we are back at the school of thought that our god-shaped emptiness places us on a journey to recognise the absense of god, and we journey together as a community that recognises this brokenness within us.  It’s a funny old world.

fahrenheit451In Fahrenheit 451 for books to survive the firemen secret communities have memorised them.  They have become living books.  If Mr Simpson has memorised Marcus Aurelius, then which one is he? an man with a book in his head, or the sign of the memoirs of a Roman emperor?

Let us go then, you and I

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherised upon a table

The dying of the light?  The evening fading like a patient’s consciousness…  So that is how that line can be read.

Mystery engages us to empathy.  See through the world to the purpose of god.  The father gives godself to the son through the spirit.  Each are vanishing for the sake of the other.  The signal is empty.  God is in the movement, the dance, the flow, opening up the relationship, moving to the end-goal of god’s purpose.  God draws us into the dance of life.  Everything is open to inexhaustible meaning, engaging in the life of god, shaped in the story of Jesus.  How can we know the dancer from the dance indeed!

The sense of the text is not behind the text, but in front of the text (in the reader? in the author?)  The true world is ahead of the text.