I started this blog as a means of throwing out possible interpretations of stuff in the world – music, films, books, TV, religion – particularly as it relates to my role as an educator of young hearts and minds. I believe that the world around us is an important part of the ways we make meaning in our lives. It is also an important part of the way we construct our identities and live socially. I think we shouldn’t think about things in the world as objects – as artefacts of our culture – but should consider the ways in which we (individually and collectively) engage with them and use them to carve out authentic human lives. If theology is faith seeking understanding or the search for answers to ultimate questions (or both), then why not use all the resources at hand?
I started a PhD in theology of music at Leeds University in 2009 and began training to teach Religious Studies in North East England in 2010. In 2015 I submitted the PhD, and I took up a new challenge as Head of Religion in a Marist Secondary Boys School in Cairns, Australia. In 2017 I became Director of Mission at the same school. I like to think I am immersed in popular culture, though probably not so much as the students I teach – they often teach me about new music, film, youtube trends, and all of that! I love travelling and take every opportunity to go somewhere new. I enjoy going to the cinema, listening to music, and doing sporty things.
My current research interests continue to be systematic theology as relates especially to the arts, and music in particular, but I have also expanded into more practical areas, as my musical ministry develops (mostly in school). The core business of my teaching is Religious Studies, and this is an area that remains constantly on the backburner, but my work in school has led me more into the fields of Mission and Religious Identity and Culture. As my work develops, I realise more and more that my story is entangled in it, and that I cannot set it aside to acquire some sort of ‘objective perspective’ the researcher is traditionally supposed to aspire towards. Instead, I have been learning more about the idea of the ‘autoethnographic’ approach.
My first book on music and theology is forthcoming (in 2018), being published by Wipf and Stock.