Today at school, I was humbled to be able to sit and listen to incredibly talented postgraduates from over the world – Canada, Mexico, Britain, Germany, amongst others – as they shared passionately about their various geographical research projects. Such examples include: The resilience of people and societies to natural disasters in India and Nepal, critiquing the social construction of highly politicized notions of the “climate change refugee” in Western imagining and its implications, self-taught forensic science as resistance to inefficient governments, embroidery memorials in London and its link to the deathscapes of Mexico, the politics of asylum, Agamben’s “bare life” of large hordes of refugees held in transit at the border of major port cities… the list goes on. Fascinating. I was left in awe.
The injustice in this world being examined, prodded and dissected as academics seek to theorize, explain and address the injustice in this world.
I marvel at the vast plethora of these fascinating research subjects. I return home, and here I continue to sit and marvel. It had suddenly hit me again this morning, how thankful I was for the education we receive here at University, learning more about the kaleidoscopic world God has made and how, in our various positions, as student, as academic, as worker, we may contribute something significant as a means of intervention.
We acquire knowledge, vast amounts of it, we critique, we appraise, all for the advancement of ‘common good’. But what is the ‘common good’ on this earth, and would it ever last?
With all these vast knowledge, isn’t the most important, still this:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom” – Proverbs 1: 7
“Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” – Proverbs 2: 3-7
“And because of God you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” – 1 Corinthians 1: 30
Yes I marvel, yet I marvel with this caveat: I believe it remains axiomatic that any social action in this world, academic, activist or otherwise, be motivated and implemented in a spirit of understanding true Christian justice, grace and love, with a rightful knowledge of who, and indeed where, God is, in all of these.
“The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the Glory of God gives it Light, and its Lamp is the Lamb” “And night will be no more.. For the Lord God will be their Light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
Revelation 21: 23; 22: 5.
As Christians await the Glorious coming of His promised Eternal Kingdom, May God use academics for His Sovereign purpose, and for His greater Glory.
A video shared by a fellow academic, which remains beautifully etched in my mind. Is it representative of ‘moments’ in all this world though? I’ll leave the question for you.