Crossways - Journeyings into the Emergent with Open Source Theology
In late 2007, Andrew published a book called ‘Otherways - in Search of an Emerging Theology’, which consists of OST posts (his own) between 2002 and 2007. ‘Crossways’ is a half-reference to Andrew’s publication, also providing a selection of OST posts: from 2005, when I first encountered the site, to late 2007, and a subtext which dialogues with ‘Otherways’, just to provide a postmodern frisson for literary types. Up to 12 different contributors are included, permission to do so having been solicited and granted, but instead of trying to provide a cross-section of views, I have shamelessly weighted the contributions towards my own. But you will get a feel of the site, the conversations, and the plots, machinations and shifting alliances which (to me) give the enterprise its dramatic interest.
In fact, as the preface explains, the compilation of posts is more than an attempted debate, but seeks to reflect my sense of having entered into something like a parallel universe, a developing literary world, in opensourcetheology, inhabited by diverse highly engaging characters, each on some kind of quest or pilgrimage - which initially put me in mind of Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’. The function of the site as a cyberhome for spiritual vagrants also had its part to play in the ‘Sir Toby’ narratives, some of the earlier versions of which are included - the dramatis personae vaguely resembling some of the site’s contributors at the time.
Readers can note from the title of the book the theological ‘crux’ of the issue, for me. I discussed the project with Andrew, and he encouraged me to proceed with it, and provided some excellent advice, which he may be disappointed to see I have totally ignored! This is mainly because I got tired of the work involved, set the project to one side, and only got it published out of sheer frustration because I couldn’t see myself doing any more work on it.
This book has actually been ‘on the stocks’ for over a year, as I began compiling it well over 18 months ago. It needed whittling down to less than its 358 pages, and some judicious editing and continuity links. So I got fed up with it, and let it lie fallow on the lulu self-publishing website. Until last week, when the site informed me I had published it. Actually, this meant only that it was ready for publication - but I thought, whatever, and had it published and printed.
So now I can advertise it. It is available online through the lulu bookstore, at the knockdown price of £7.31 (that’s around US$10.50, and cost price). You can see what the book looks like online, read the description, and get a preview of the first 10 pages. It’s a good bedtime read, guaranteed to send you into deep and peaceful slumber. And then, go on, buy a copy. I dare you.
If anyone wants to review it, you are welcome, but you will either have to order your own copy, or call by and pick one up from me personally!