Theological Practice: Enquiry and Poesis
'Theological Practice: Enquiry and Poesis' focuses on the practice and craft of writing theology and philosophy.
Writing (books, articles, chapters, PhD theses, etc.) is integral to intellectual life, yet the practice, process and experience of our writing is rarely thematised within our research. Our project asks about the desires that animate our writing, the relationships (to readers, actual or imagined; to our subject-matter; to ourselves) that shape it, and the forms of life that may facilitate and/or obstruct it. We are interested in whether theological and philosophical writing has a distinctive configuration of desires, relationships, and forms of life. Our research is drawing on the experience on non-academic writers - poets, novelists, journalists, essayists, biographers - in order to gain deeper understanding of the writing experience, and to bring to light the specificity of theological and philosophical writing. We are also exploring a réssourcement of pre-modern "spiritual practices" of enquiry, contemplation and devotion, which structured the intellectual traditions we have inherited and which find both continuities and contradictions in the modern university.
At the centre of the project is a series of writing retreats designed for established academics and for PhD students.