Alongside the ‘day job’ and my roleplaying, I’m also trying to complete a Masters Course in Preaching at Spurgeon’s College. The fun thing is that in this my gaming and theology are coming together – something I never thought I’d say. I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the work of a leading Old Testament scholar called Walter Brueggemann who’s written some important works on preaching in a Post-Modern culture. Picking up on the writings of a French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, he suggests that the way we interpret the world is through language. This being the case, it is possible through language to change the way we see the world. In preaching, we are trying to help the congregation re-imagine the world through the lens of Scripture, rather than through the lens of contemporary culture.
‘The core of our new awareness is that the world we have taken for granted in economics, politics, and everywhere else is an imaginative construal. And if it is a construal, then from any other perspective, the world can yet be construed differently. It is the claim of our faith, and the warrant for our ministry, to insist that our peculiar memory in faith provides the materials out of which an alternatively construed world can be properly imagined.’
Brueggemann, W. The Bible and Postmodern Imagination: Texts under Negotiation (London: SCM, 1993), pp.17-18
I find this a rather exciting concept and am toying with the idea of basing my dissertation on it. The fun thing is that in roleplaying, as a GM I am also trying to do the same thing – for that moment I am trying to enable the players to suspend their usual way of seeing the world, and through imagination enter and engage with a different one!