Reo (Vol 26.2)

The lastest issue of Reo: a journal of theology and ministry, from Stirling Theological College, is out now.


For everything there is a season

‘Growing’ might seem a weird topic for this issue of reo. ‘Surviving’ or ‘struggling’ might be more appropriate to 2020’s challenges. But then, growth is not necessarily good in itself; it depends on what is growing. COVID-19 cases and frustration? Unemployment numbers, housing stress and national debt? Relational connectedness and resilience? Eye strain and screen time? Domestic violence and hopelessness? Fruit trees, vegetable seedlings and a list of completed DIY projects?

This issue of reo explores ‘growing’ in lateral ways. Masters of Counselling student and physiotherapist, Dale Jones, reflects with empathic honesty on growth of the self through the lenses of integrated psychologies and faith. David Schütz, a Masters student at CTC, casual academic at Australian Catholic University and editor of the journal Gesher, weaves a christologically investigative dialogue between four well-known theologians. Clement Papa, Karen Yunia, Stephen Curkpatrick and Graham Hill discuss the importance of growing intercultural partnerships in theological scholarship and research. Geoff Bateman and Angela McCann-Bateman consider the existence of evil in human life, and ask about the growth of hope. And Gabriel Norris reflects theologically, and with characteristic effervescence, on her recent campaign for local council in the City of Frankston, Victoria, alongside fellow theology scholars, Jay Johnstone (UD) and Claire Harvey (MST). Each of these contributions is meaningful, received with gratitude, and is a privilege for reo share. There are wonderful people in our midst, doing wonderful things.

So perhaps ‘growing’ isn’t such an out-of-place concept after all, particularly within these points of focus, and in the knowledge that challenges can generate new learning and growth. This, knowing that challenges can also lead to despair, unless those experiencing them are resourced in a holistic manner to face and surmount them. This occurs when we work together in a spirit of generosity and understanding. Generosity and understanding make good soil for growing good things.

Sarah Bacaller co-edits reo, provides online teaching support at Stirling, and is writing a PhD through Western Sydney University.

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VOX brings members of the University, especially academic staff, into conversation with churches, the community and you. It publishes original material and may republish or link to items from blogs, social media and news media.