This Week: Nov. 14 - 20

Published: November 14, 2011

“Open My Eyes, That I May See”

What is theological education? Over many years, theologians, educators, ministers, and communities of faith have wrestled with and debated this question. Responses have been as varied as the persons who give voice to them. 

As we move closer to the end of this fall term, I offer in this post a visual response to the question. Sheila Hunter, a local piano technician and artist, shot the photograph you see here this past weekend, on Saturday, November 12, as a waning moon began to rise up over God’s Acre in Old Salem. The photo was taken during autumn’s 7pm darkness. Sheila did not use a flash. The light in the photo is the light gathered from a time exposed shot taken with a camera on a tripod.

Why so much light in a nighttime image? Photographer Sheila reports that the lens of the camera opened wide and then for as long as five seconds, an eternity in the photography world, absorbed information from the surroundings until it had adequate light for this particular shot. A good analogy is what happens to human vision when we walk into a darkened room.  Our eyes take a moment to adjust to the light. Then, gradually, we can see the shapes of chairs or sofas, thus avoiding stumping a toe.

If this photo were a response to the question “What is theological education?” it might be suggesting that theological education opens ours eyes to take in a more than usual amount of data about “things theological,” for example, God, faith, culture, cosmology, and humanity. Theological education, we hope, increases our capacity to encounter light in the midst of darkness. At least, we might think of theological education in this way as we approach the end of the semester and what, on this upcoming Sunday, will be the last Sunday in the liturgical year.

Notes from the Office of the Academic Dean

  • Last day to register online for Spring 2012:  November 30
  • Last day of classes:  December 9
  • Fall exams:  December 12-17 


Blessings on your week,

  Jill Crainshaw
  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs    




Picture Source: Sheila Hunter, Hunter Piano Service | Used by Permission