Friday, June 26, 2009

San Francisco 9.6.1990: Running the Gauntlet and Nurturing Hope

Flying back from San Francisco to New Orleans. Attending academic conferences always stirs up a terrible mix of feelings . . . .

Seeing classmates, some of them cool, others risen far on little merit (these often synonymous with the cool), a few genuinely warm and interested. The Catholic Theology Society of America itself is so stultifying. Everything must be couched in a way that makes sense to the aging clerics who are still the 2/3 majority of the group. Their dead hand clutches hard. I feel tired, so out of sorts, so dispirited at the end of it all . . . .

How to nurture the flame of hope inside? How even bring it to life, when all conspires, breathes together, to blow it out? I feel as I’ve always thought, written, spoken against the threat and counterweight of forces that now are simply too much for me.

I heard little at CTSA that inspired me. Except this: in her presidential address today, Anne Patrick cited a book by Elizabeth Fox Keller re: gender in science. She spoke of the apparent maleness of the notion that nature has laws, and the way in which this notion militates against reflectivity. I think this is a profoundly useful insight to critique the idea of natural law, particularly as it impacts on homosexuality.

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