Making Nothing Happen is a conversation between five poet-theologians who are broadly within the Christian tradition - Nicola Slee, Ruth Shelton, Mark Pryce, Eleanor Nesbitt and Gavin D'Costa. Together they form The Diviners - a group which has been meeting together for a number of years for poetry, and theological and literary reflection. Each poet offers an illuminating reflection on how they understand the relation between poetry and faith, rooting their reflections in their own writing, and illustrating discussion with a selection of their own poems. The poets open up issues for deeper exploration and reflection, including: the nature of creativity and the distinction between divine and human creation; the creative process as exploration, epiphany and revelation; the forging of identity through writing; ways in which the arts reflect, challenge and dialogue with faith, and faith can inform and challenge the arts; power and voice in poetry and faith; and ways in which race, gender and culture interact with and shape poetic and theological discourse. This book will be of interest to poets and theologians, to all who read poetry and are interested in the connections between literature and faith, to those seeking inspiration for preaching, liturgy and pastoral care, and to those committed to the practice and nurturing of a contemplative attitude to life in which profound attention and respect are offered to words and to the creative Word at work.
All the authors in this collection agree that being committed to a religious form of words and practices is not simply 'the conscious occupation of the mind praying' (Eliot's phrase) but a set of habits that allows, and eventually demands, space in us. The authors write, poetry and prose alike, to demonstrate that these habits bring something to life, make space for others. So this is a book about a coming to life and a coming to stillness, together and inseparable; a serious and joyful gift, for which this reader is deeply grateful. From the Foreword by Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College Oxford, and former Archbishop of CanterburyThis thoughtful, generative interaction of poets is a welcome entry into the current struggle for and with faith among us. It is clear that the long-standing prose attempts of memo and proposition produce certitude and absolutism, but not much in the way of energy or courage or wisdom. These poets are knowing in thick ways, elusive enough to invite us to move with them, and critical in ways to hint at fresh connections. In all, a welcome resource.Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary, USA