During the course of my Reader training I had to write several essays (no surprises there!)
Here are a couple of them, just in case anyone is the slightest bit interested, needs to swat a bibliography for a similar subject, or has some useful comment to make – either about the content or the style.
Once I get into training for the priesthood, it’s just possible a few more such items might get blogged!
My ‘Doctrine’ essay from Aug 2007 (word limit 2500 words). It attracted a mark of 69% and the comments that it was a
“comprehensive and very well presented survey of the main theodicies and the development of thought in this area … More connections with ministry would have been good… [and] mention of how other faiths deal with the problem,… [and] it would have been good to mention Leibniz.”
Some questions posed by the marker included:
- Is God’s will for his creation perfect or permissive?
- Is love powerless in the face of evil?
Some time I need to sit down re-read and consider these.
My ‘Ethics’ essay from April 2008, again with a 2500 word limit, and given a mark of 72% with the comment:
“Good clear explanation of retributive and restorative justice. The outline of what Jesus means by forgiveness as that of a ‘journey towards’ is an excellent standpoint and you show very clear practical examples of this from a Biblical basis, reading, and the experience of others.”
Both these essays strike me as subjects that are much easier to write about than to live out.
This essay I chose, because I needed to connect with the issues; part of the reason why I sought selection for lay ministry was because of invitations to preach as a Mothers’ Union member in the smaller chapel at HMP Winchester, where a handful of members visit monthly with those inmates who are awaiting fairly imminent release. I also have a friend who is an eminent criminologist (see Acknowledgments) specialising in issues relating to prisoners families.