Thursday, December 27, 2012

Knowing and Story

This blog tends to center on material related to knowing and story. The idea being these two things walk hand-in-hand – knowing and story. Can't have one without the other. Some clarification concerning the "knowing"part might be in order. By knowing I do not refer to the mere accumulation of facts. Christopher Flanders, in his doctoral dissertation on shame and honor in the Thai  culture, writes "Proper theological formulation then is not just for increasing understanding and knowledge but also about forging healthier modes of relationalilty." Here in the West we tend to get goose bumps when we learn stuff. Knowledge tends to be king. We take notes, ostensibly so that we can learn something, or perhaps learn better (or sometimes, to learn later). The prize for taking a test is to get enough right answers so as to prove we have mastered the knowledge (regurgitation) element of "education." The child (or adult) who gets the "right answer" in Sunday School gets more stars by his/her name. Valedictorians are smarter because they supposedly know more than the salutatorian. But knowledge is not the end. It is not king. And it should not be the ultimate goal of education – or of life. Interesting that the ancient Hebrew word we translate as "know" was much more about accruing relationship than accumulating facts.

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