Two weeks ago, my good friend and former College chum, the Rev’d Deacon AO sent me the links to the videos for this year’s Dubose Lectures at Sewanee’s School of Theology. I went with AO to the Dubose Lectures a few years ago when Fred Craddock spoke. He graciously invited me to go again, because Barbara Brown Taylor delivered the lectures on Learning to Walk in the Dark: Negative Theology for Emerging Christians. Knowing me well, AO thought I’d benefit from going to them, but I wasn’t able for sundry reasons. So, he was kind enough to send me the links when they were posted.
Yesterday morning, I listened to them a second time.
If you’ve been following the ole’ blog for sometime, you might remember that Darkness (or the Dark Night of the Soul, specifically) became a major component of my faith several years before I started writing openly about it in 2010. During each of the Dubose Lectures, I kept thinking, “My God! She’s the only living person who is describing my spirituality perfectly, down to the late-night walks, the frightening thoughts on your bed, Song of Solomon and reading the mystics!” Many times while listening to it, I had to hold back tears; other times, I let them flow freely. Honestly, though, I can’t tell if she is spot on because she and I are on the same journey, or because she is a spectacular writer and everyone feels this way when she speaks.
I’m a big fan of Barbara Brown Taylor. A few years ago, I had the privilege to hear her speak at King College’s Buechner Institute, just up the road in Bristol, Virginia and it was at that lecture that I first heard that proverbial phrase, “Writing is easy: all you do is sit down and open a vein.” After hearing her speak and reading several of her books, I always come away with a Salierian jealousy: she says what I want to say, but always so much better than I ever could. And even though, I am slightly uncomfortable with her turn away from the Church as of late, I always come away a better person for having read or heard her.
The lectures are no different. Seriously, give them a listen. Bookmark this page if you have to, so you can come back to them. You will be blessed by them:
Lecture 1: Scary Angels,
Lecture 2: Night Guides,
Lecture 3: Treasures of Darkness,