A few years back a nonconformist theology professor at Boston University used Flight of the Goose as a textbook for his graduate seminar - preparing people for the ministry - it listed on the syllabus between spiritual-philosophical works by Herman Hesse and Howard Thurman!
I asked Professor Wildman how it was he came to select my novel, which was (and is) mostly unknown to the world, as am I, and it is not carried in many bookstores outside of Alaska.
He said he found it in a search for "earth-based spirituality" and "indigenous traditions", ordered it, and found it to be what he looked for to get his class thinking about God or the gods from a broad perspective....as the syllabus reads:
“Theological Thinking for Everyday Life and Ministry” is an opportunity for students to connect powerful contemporary understandings of the world to the practical contexts in which they already or will soon work. It adopts the “start where you are” approach to developing theological skills. The newspaper, the Bible, life experiences, science, literature, family life, pastoral situations, events at work, educational research projects—anything can be the starting point for serious theological reflection. However, this approach to theology is more difficult than it might seem at first because to start at all is to open a can of worms. All of the big themes in theological reflection through the ages come wriggling out demanding attention. Managing the resulting chaos can be confusing, but it is also second to none as a way to learn to think theologically on your feet. For theological thinking to avoid superficiality, it is important to have both a solid understanding of the situations that get us thinking and a serious grasp of theological debates and ideas. An ability to think with precision and creativity is also vital. These skills and bodies of knowledge can lead to deep insights and also help us to avoid pitfalls and dead ends as we do our own theological thinking. This course aims to teach theological thinking by doing a lot of it. In particular, the class is designed to place the specific experiences of participants in conversation with each other, with the wisdom of the authors of our readings, and with the classical theological tradition. The result should be a thought-provoking, exploratory process that helps us become more effective theological thinker."
(After the seminars in 2008 and 09 I answered students' questions by email - their interest in Flight of the Goose was strong and I was quite moved by their responses).
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