I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that I may have actually evolved a little in regards to study. This semester we have to post one of our essays on-line for the rest of the class and open it up for discussion/thoughts/questions/ideas. Previously I would have dreaded this, felt nauseated by the concept and avoided it to the last possible moment. However I posted an essay on Friday (The Life and Ministry of Ramon Llull) and am actually quite disappointed that only 1 classmate has responded (as yet). I am quite keen to hear people’s thoughts and am looking forward to their input.
Why the change in attitude? I am still self-conscious about how and what I write and get quite anxious when people read my work. So why the change?
I am not sure exactly why but I think part of it lies in the essay topic, and part of it lies in realising the wealth of experience and knowledge the people I study with have.
I had not heard of Ramon Llull up until I had to write this essay, he is quite the enigma in Christian history. Researching his life and ministry was fascinating. Llull was a prolific writer whose abilities stretched to many genres. There is no complete catalogue of Llull’s writing however there is over 280 titles recorded ranging from poetry, songs, autobiographies, doctrinal thesis, books and letters. Llull’s most renowned work was a method he developed called Ars generalis ultima, The Ultimate General Art, which was essentially a debating tool to be used for converting Muslims to Christianity. The document was a theological reference by which a reader could introduce an argument or question about the Christian faith and then be directed to the appropriate page to find the answer. Llull’s methodology and style was revolutionary as it developed the notion of applying logic to science or philosophy, or any number of other disciplines, to demonstrate the truth of the Christian God. I think I am excited to share a little bit of Ramon Llull’s life with people and am keen to hear how, or if, they found him as interesting as I did (I hope so!).
Once again I also find myself in a class full of interesting and intelligent people who I am growing in respect for. It is lovely to journey with a group of people who are committed to the process and to learning. Slightly intimidating, but mostly lovely!