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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
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Thursday
Aug182005

A great blog to take a look at

I like the fact that you check out my blog from time to time! Well done! Ha Ha!

However, here is a blog from a truly enlightened friend, Peter Woods, called Restless Rock.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Monday
Aug082005

Hospital, time, temperature, Tillich and Podcasts

You may be wondering what these words have in common? They are all connected in some way with the Spirituality podcast. One of the great things about being a person of faith is that one has to find ways to truly live one's faith in the midst of real life and all of the wonderful joys and challenges that brings! So, time has been something of a problem for the last few days. Hence, no recent updates! Sorry.

The first bit of GREAT news is that my daughter is out of hospital. She fell quite desperately ill with a severe infection caused by tonsilitis (of all things!). She spent two days in hospital where the capable nursing staff and doctors helped to get the infection and her fever under control. She will probably return to have her tonsils out in the next week or two. As any parent will tell you it takes a great deal of time and emotion to see a child, particularly a young one, through such an ordeal.

Further good news is that I have three hour-long lectures that I will be posting to the site as soon as I manage to edit them! The lectures were delivered by Dr Tom Cunningham (a minister of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, former lecturer at Rhodes University South Africa, and United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio - a graduate of Chicago University and the University of Southern Africa). The three lectures are an introduction to the theology of Paul Tillich, Dietriech Bonhoeffer and Jurgen Moltmann. So, watch this space for more!

I hope to be able to record a further podcast this weekend. So please do check back on Monday if you are interested in that. I want to take some time to discuss one or two elements of African Spirituality and the Christian faith. I hope it will be of interest to some of you.

Lastly, I am still struggling with hosting problems and bandwidth. Can you believe that there are now close to 70 people who download the podcast via iTunes, and a few more who do so via their web browser!? This however, means that I use up quite a bit of bandwidth (and it also requires quite a bit of web space to host all the MP3 files). So, if there is anyone who is able, and willing, to assist me with this (either by providing space for me to FTP the files to, or to help donate a few Rand to upgrade my bandwidth and FTP space) please contact me! I would love to hear from you! As always, you can either leave a comment on the website, or send an email to: digitaldion@gmail.com

By the way, thank you to everyone who voted for me on podcastalley.com! 5 votes! It all helps!

Many blessings,

Dion

Monday
Jul252005

Spirituality podcast 5 - 23 July 2005 - scast5.mp3 (3.9MB)

This is the diagram I refer to in the podcast.


In this LONG overdue podcast I discuss Ken Wilber's understanding of the Four Quadrants of being in relation to holons and the Holarchy. In short, it discusses how each part / whole of reality has individual, social, interior and exterior realities, and how these realities relate to one another to offer a holistic understanding of true being.

For any person who truly wishes to understand, and make meaning, of life as a whole, this schema is a truly wonderful tool. My introduction is extremely cursory. For a detailed discussion of Wilber's notion I would suggest the following title: Wilber, K. 1995. "Sex, ecology, spirituality: The spirit of evolution". Boston: Shambala.

Download the podcast audio here: scast5.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Thanks for listening! Please drop me a line with any comments, suggestions, or discussion.

Tuesday
Jul192005

Podcast updates

Well, I am back at work after taking two weeks off work to look after my daughter during her school holidays, and to do some work on my Doctorate. The good news is that I managed to complete another chapter towards my Thesis!

The result of this work should be another podcast (which I will record and publish this week) on Ken Wilber's four quadrants of reality. It is truly a fascinating concept that explains the existence of holons (which were discussed in a previous podcast) and how the elements of individual, social, interior and exterior relate to one another bring a holistic understanding of reality.

If you are downloading the shows directly, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to the show via iTunes. This will make it easy for you to get updates to the podcast (iTunes automatically downloads the latest show), and it gives me some fairly accurate statistics of the number of persons that are listening to the show (currently there are about 50 subscribers via iTunes). Here's how you do it:

1. Go to www.apple.com/itunes and download iTunes 4.9 for Windows or Mac.
2. Once you have installed iTunes go to the 'Advanced' option in the Menu items, select 'Subscribe to Podcast'
3. Enter the following feed into the window that opens: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dionsrandomramblings

That's it!

Also, if you get a chance, please vote for this podcast at www.podcastalley.com. Search for 'spirituality' on the top left of the page, in the results find "Spirituality Southern Africa", click on the link, select details and vote!

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday
Jul092005

My first confirmed listener! Here's a picture of my podcasting equipment

Today I received an email from my first CONFIRMED listener, Patricia-Ann. She is a fellow spirituality podcaster. Thanks for the note!

She asked a question about podcasting, so I thought I would post a picture of the equipment that I use to record my podcast. Here it is:

I use a 12" Apple Powerbook G4 1.33Ghz with 768MB of Ram running OS X Tiger.

I record in Garageband (the first one), export the file to iTunes and then convert it to MP3 and add all the metadata information from there. Once that is done I upload the completed MP3 file to the Web Server via FTP, log on to my Blogger account (www.blogger.com) via the web, add the posting, show notes etc., and a link to the file. I have an RSS 2.0 feed from feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com). My feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/dionsrandomramblings.

The other equipment that I use is a Berhinger UB 802 mixing desk, a Sennheiser 835S microphone, some cheap in - ear earphones (this allows me to hear more or less what the listener will hear when she or he downloads the podcast - a tip I picked up from John and Rob at topofthepods). The desk gives a line out signal (one of the MANY wires you can see on the desk). I take this line directly into the Line In input of my Powerbook and viola, there is life!

Two of the shows I have done thus far have been recorded on portable recording devices (because I was out at the time that I wanted to / needed to record). The two devices I use are: a Sony ICD-MS515 Memory Stick voice recorder (the quality on this is not too good). Alternatively I use my Sharp Minidisc recorder / player with the SUPERB Sony ECM-717 Microphone (the quality on this is almost as good as recording directly through the desk!) If I record on either of these devices I simply bring the sound into my computer via the mixing desk (use RCA cables), I press play on the portable device, record in Garageband, and then I go and make a cup of coffee!

By the way, my very first podcast was simply recorded using the internal microphone on my Powerbook with Garageband... I hope that things will get better from here on in.

The intro music and contact information are two seperate tracks in Garageband which are standard.

If you enjoy this podcast please could you vote for me at Podcastalley? Simply follow the link, search for "spirituality" in the top left corner of the page, click on the "Spirituality Southern Africa" link in the results that come up. Click on details, then click vote and viola! Every vote helps!!!

If you have any question or comments on this please drop me a line at this email) address. Or, alternatively, click on the comments link below and add a comment.

Friday
Jul082005

Spirituality podcast 4 - 8 July 2005 - scast4.mp3 (3.6MB)

This Podcast is a discussion of Ken Wilber's notion of holons and holarchy. The concept is extremely enlightening and offers an interesting critique of hierarchies and heterarchies.

To find out more about Ken Wilber you can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber

Download the audio here: scast4.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Thanks! Please drop me a line and let me know if you're listening! Also feel free to add any comments using the comments link below.

Thursday
Jul072005

Spirituality podcast 3 - 7 July 2005 - scast3.mp3 (1.4MB)

Today's podcast is a short reflection on the bombings that took place in London. Please do pray for those injured and affected, as well as those who planted the bombs.

Please excuse the quality of some sections of Audio. This podcast was recorded on a portable device.

I welcome comments and feedback.

Download the audio here: scast3.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Tuesday
Jul052005

Spirituality podcast 2 - 5 July 2005 - scast2.mp3 (6.9MB)

This Podcast is a discussion of the paper on the functioning of the human brain in relation to spirituality which I presented last month at the Theological Society of South Africa meetings (please not a correction in the MP3 I call it the Theological Society of Southern Africa. It is in fact of South Africa only!)

You can download the full paper from the earlier post below.

Here is an outline of what is discussed.

Research in both science and theology has begun to move away from reductionist and mechanistic views of the human person towards approaches that emphasise the interaction and inter-relationship of the various systems of human being. This paper aims to discuss some of the implications that intelligence, and in particular spiritual intelligence (also called SQ), may have upon the wellness of a person as a whole living, spiritual, being. The paper will start with a discussion on the three primary systems that constitute a whole person. Next there will be some insight into the functioning of the human brain. This will be followed by a presentation of the three dominant forms of intelligence (IQ, EQ and SQ). These are commonly identified through a study of the functioning of the human brain. After that some time will be spent looking at the theological implications (neuro-theology) of spiritual intelligence, discussing some possible effects that this form of intelligence could have on wholeness and wellness in human being. Finally, the paper will end with some suggestions on the development of a spiritual life that will be beneficial to wellness.

Download the audio here: scast2.mp3

Please post comments to: digitaldion@gmail.com

Thanks! Please drop me a line and let me know if you're listening! Please listen! Please!

Friday
Jul012005

Good bye old friend....

Well, it is confirmed. My 'old' iblog is dead....

The site itself will still remain, however, I will no longer update it, so please refer to this page as my new main blog!

Here is a list of the titles of the articles on the 'old' blog (they can still be found at www.spirituality.org.za/blog).

- A discussion document on the essential elements of good training for the Ministry

- Challenge and opportunity in Theological Education...

- Ken Wilber's four quadrants of consciousness,

- Videocentrism and the influence of African Traditional culture and religion...

- What's so strange about Satan hurling abuse from a pulpit in Church?

- Logocentrism, Videocentrism and consciousness

- Turing machines, one kind of stuff and artificial consciousness.

- A blessed Easter, and welcome back

- All is well

- Everything is new!

Friday
Jul012005

A paper on Spiritual Intelligence and Wellness presented at the Theological Society meetings of South Africa

I was incredibly fortunate to present a paper at the Theological Society of Southern Africa meetings last week. At the meeting I was also nominated and voted in as a member of the Society. It is a great honor indeed!

Here is the abstract for the paper:

Title: Spiritual Quotient: A neuro-theological key to wellness and wholeness.

Abstract: Research in both science and theology has begun to move away from reductionist and mechanistic views of the human person towards approaches that emphasise the interaction and inter-relationship of the various systems of human being. This paper aims to discuss some of the implications that intelligence, and in particular spiritual intelligence (also called SQ), may have upon the wellness of a person as a whole living, spiritual, being. The paper will start with a discussion on the three primary systems that constitute a whole person. Next there will be some insight into the functioning of the human brain. This will be followed by a presentation of the three dominant forms of intelligence (IQ, EQ and SQ). These are commonly identified through a study of the functioning of the human brain. After that some time will be spent looking at the theological implications (neuro-theology) of spiritual intelligence, discussing some possible effects that this form of intelligence could have on wholeness and wellness in human being. Finally, the paper wil
l end with some suggestions on the development of a spiritual life that will be beneficial to wellness.

Here is the paper itself: (please note that it is not in final form, and so is not yet suitable for quoting. Thank you).

SQ paper TSSA 2005 draft.doc

Friday
Jul012005

A paper on Teilhard de Chardin's post-human evolutionary cosmology

I recently heard that a paper I wrote some time ago will be published in Grace and Truth (a journal of catholic reflection) in South Africa.

Here is a copy of the paper.

Teilhard 1May 2005 Dionb.doc

Friday
Jul012005

Frustration!!!!

Don't you just love it when your ISP decides to suddenly change everything around? Last night I received notification that my site had been moved to a new server. Yippee! The downside is that they moved an OLD version of the site across. Not only that, but they also changed the directory structure. So, now I have had to try and redo all the ftp settings on my accounts.... I hope that I have it right for this blogger account. My iBlog (www.spirituality.org.za/blog) is not working at all....

So, as from today my OLD blog (www.spirituality.org.za/blog) will no longer be updated. All posts will now come to this page.