Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dan Morehead, Interview #45

Name: Dan Morehead
Where you live: (currently) Durham, NC, USA
What you do as a vocation or avocation? I study Christian theology and philosophy and am currently finishing a Ph.D. dissertation for the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Your three favorite books:
Pnin by Vladamir Nabokov
Dogmatics in Outline by Karl Barth
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Your two favorite songs:"July, July" by The Decemberists
"Shelter From The Storm" by Bob Dylan
Why you are interested in spirituality? I'm not, or at least not as such. Generally, when people in Western cultures (and especially within the US insofar as the narrative about the Americas being a blank slate, or so-called New World, further accentuate a false sense of rootlessness) talk about spirituality, this talk ends up naming a scattered yearning or desire to transcend a felt emptiness or incoherence. The assumption that, let's say, someone doing yoga in his or her Manhattan studio apartment is connected to a spiritual practice connected to India's cultural forms of life seems to be more the legacy of American Romanticism's emphasis on heroic simplicity and the exotic rather than organically connecting to these disciplines. In this sort of context, then, I find talk about spirituality without a qualifier to be deeply problematic, ambiguous and too easily co-opted by nationalistic politics. In short, I'm never clear what spirituality means other than saying something such as life, yet the question "why are you interested in life?" seems absurd.

Your favorite quote:

For given Man, by birth, by education,
Imago Dei who forgot his station,
The self-made creature who himself unmakes,
The only creature ever made who fakes,
With no more nature in his loving smile
Than in his theories of a natural style,
What but tall tales,the luck of verbal playing,
Can trick his lying nature into saying
That love, or truth in any serious sense,
Like orthodoxy, is a reticence?--W.H. Auden,
From "The Truest Poetry is the Most Feigning"

Your favorite web sites:

Your hero?: Those who attend to the needs located on the shadow side of our experiment in democracy.
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? Humility.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" If I can change the thrust of the question from where to amongst whom, then I'd answer on a walk or in a conversation with Reno, Lucy, Dave, Abby, or Jillaine, my dear friends.
Dan blogs about theology, poetry, music, and politics at:

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