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This course looks at the story of the Passion as told in the gospel texts and as interpreted through drama, music and other arts. We begin by looking at the Oberammergau passion play (due in 2020) to see the questions of interpretation raised. We shall try to analyse the theological viewpoints behind the interpretations and use them to look at how we view the Passion today. There will be time on Easter Sunday to attend church or meeting for worship.
How does writing help people to share their spiritual lives with their friends, family, and community? In this course we'll use historical and modern examples to explore how and why Quakers and others have chosen to record and publish spiritual autobiographies. There will be opportunities to try writing for yourself and space to consider whether blogging or another format might be a good way to share your work. Come as you are: no previous writing experience, technical knowledge, or saintly spirituality required.
Please note: There is an error in our latest brochure. The correct dates are 15-17 May 2019 (not 13-15 May as advertised in our brochure).
‘Come Holy Spirit!’ is an ancient cry of the Christian tradition. But what is the Holy Spirit? To help us answer this question we will study the Bible together. We will learn about the experience of Christian groups who have prioritised experience of the Holy Spirit, such as the Montanist, Quaker and Pentecostal movements. Throughout the course we will reflect on our own experience of the Holy Spirit, asking how God is present in our lives today.
An opportunity to experience the ancient wisdom of The Beatitudes or blessing sayings of Jesus of Nazareth, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, viewed through the lens of his native Middle Eastern culture and Aramaic language. The course aims to breathe fresh life into these key teachings which encapsulate Jesus’ healing ministry. Following a roadmap provided by the mystical Tree of Life, participants will be offered the chance to walk beside the Aramaic Jesus on a journey towards prophetic consciousness.
Whether newly awakened to injustices or a seasoned activist, high profile or caring unnoticed for one person or place, spiritual activism offers ways of doing, being and understanding that can make you more alive to your deepest purpose. Balancing talk and experience, we’ll go “under the lintel” of power, leadership, movements and consciousness. Here, discernment and psychological honesty are key to a grounding that neither burns out nor sells out, but transforms the burden of awareness into a “precious burden”.
Please note that this course has also been advertised as 28-30 June 2019 - the dates have now been confirmed as 7-9 June 2019.
To what extent were early Quakers influenced by the religious ideas that surrounded them? Drawing on Madeleine Ward’s recent research, we will explore developments in Quaker theology during the seventeenth century. As well as considering the overall shape of the early Quaker vision, we will give particular attention to changing understandings of "the Light within". How much of this remains relevant in the modern world, and how might it inform our faith and practice today?
By exploring the history of Woodbrooke’s gardens through ‘objects’ we will glimpse the story of people, plants, design, water, sculptors and gardeners who have shaped this special space for over 100 years. Using maps, diaries, tools, photographs, books, plants and garden features we will examine the garden through time and assess why and how it matters today. Combining garden walks, interactive sessions examining ‘objects’, discussion and reflection, this is a chance to consider context, detail and management of this historic garden
Postgraduate work at Woodbrooke is twenty years old this year and this is the 25th annual Quaker studies conference. Come and join us to present your work or listen to the latest in academic scholarship in every area of the field. Visit www.qsra.org to see the call for papers. A weekend of celebration and cutting edge thinking.
The discounted price for current postgraduate students is £165 for the full weekend. Please use Code QSPG19 when booking online.
If you cannot come for the whole weekend, why not just join us for one day? Day bookings are available as follows:
Friday 21 June 2019: 4.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. including supper - £35
Saturday 22 June 2019: 9.00 a.m to 9.30 p.m. including lunch and supper - £55
Sunday 23 June 2019: 9.30 a.m to 1.30 p.m. including lunch - £35
The Quaker tradition deeply values silence. But Quakers have also been led to speak truth to power when that has been required. This tension between silence and speech has biblical roots. Drawing on recent work by the radical Biblical scholar, Walter Brueggemann, we will explore events in the Bible – from both Old and New Testaments – which expose times when maintaining silence allows oppression and coercion to continue and the powerful to keep control. When should silence be interrupted?
How do we know when our foundational religious beliefs are true? And how does this truth bind us together as a Quaker community? Drawing on the insights of Pragmatic philosophers like William James and Charles Pierce this course explores how Friends might find new ways of applying the Truth Testimony to thorny questions of shared Quaker belief and identity. At the heart of this exploration is the suggestion that the fruits of Quaker practice are the basis and illustration of its truth.
Our attention is a precious resource. It is essential in learning and love. Religious traditions appreciate its role in meditation and worship. At the same time, commercial and political interests get ever more skilled at attracting and holding it. This course will reflect on the nature and value of attention, its creative role and how we preserve and deepen it. Preparation will include an invitation to engage with carefully selected resources before our onsite dialogue enables us to sharpen our own thinking.
Stories help to shape how we understand and interpret ourselves, our communities and our world. Faith stories in particular have power to influence how we live. In this course each participant will have an opportunity to tell their own faith story, and together we will look at the impact of our faith tradition and how its stories shape our own. Come prepared to talk freely and listen deeply.
This course will use the P4C (Philosophy for Communities) methodology which enables in-depth enquiry into matters of belief and ethics. This approach creates a positive environment for deep discussion and safe disagreement. Participants will be given the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion of the deeper meaning and implications of diversity and inclusion. The group will create their own questions to explore what diversity and inclusion mean in practice for Quakers.
Julian of Norwich: ‘There was a treasure in the earth which the Lord loved.’ Julian’s writings are complex and deep but their meanings are beautiful in their simplicity. We are the treasure. The course will aim to engage with Julian, the woman, her life and spirituality, offering the opportunity to explore her words through reflection, music and laughter. Discover how the message of her Revelations for the world is as relevant today as it was in the 14th Century. There will be times to be quiet, times to discuss and times to Simply Be.
Does the Old Testament puzzle, perplex or put you off? Come and discover some of its riches and beauty, as well as its agonised responses to suffering and violence. We will explore the contexts in which the Hebrew Bible was written, and then trace the different ways in which it has been interpreted in Jewish and Christian traditions. The tutor was commended by a local Quaker meeting for “Profound insights with a lightness of touch”. Anyone welcome – no prior knowledge required.
Judaism and Christianity both have strong traditions of using gendered language to describe God. This has often been masculine but, both historically and recently, there are also feminine examples. In this course we will explore ways in which feminist Christians and Jews have re-read Biblical texts, re-worked their traditions, and found resources to describe a Divine who is masculine, feminine, both, and neither. We will also take time to consider how this affects our own relationships with God.