I started my second semester classes last week. It will be a little busier than last time, but I'm doing what I love, so I'm sure it will go by quickly. I'll be reading and discussing works from Ignatius, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Athenasius, Egeria, Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom and others in my Early Christian Writers course. This one has been a real delight so far.
In the second half of my core course, we'll be working our way through the Augsburg and Second Helvetic Confessions, Council of Trent and Vatican II, as well as the topics of biblical criticism, industrialisation, science, ecumenism, and BEM; considering the contexts in which they were formulated and how they interacted with and helped shape theology over the centuries.
Also for this semester, I figured I should learn a little about Scotland while I'm here, so I have a course that looks at the position of the church in late medieval Scotland (1400-1550). I've already had to do a fair amount of background reading just to be able to be a part of the discussion. I think I'll pick up a lot of good research techniques from this course. We'll be taking some field trips to some of the local museums and art galleries to familiarise ourselves with the period.
All of my classes have closed circuit blogs that we post on prior to class to try and get discussion going before we arrive. We take turns posting on a topic and then everyone else in the class adds their thoughts or criticisms. It seems to work very well. I also like how in the middle of our 2 hour class, we all break for tea and biscuits (cookies) and chat for ten minutes. It really helps make it a congenial and relaxed atmosphere.
So this is life as a student again. I think it is a little easier this time around getting 8 hours of sleep every night and having a wife who makes sure I eat right. De has been a big support and a wonderful sounding board for my wacky ideas.
I hope I haven't bored you, but just wanted to give you a little idea what this semester is going to look like. Thanks, everyone, for the occasional packages, emails, and cards--we appreciate it!