WELCOME to the Discussion Forum for the "Experience Into Words" Seminar - Philip McShane 24 Aug 01

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You have arrived at the Internet Discussion Forum for the seminar:

"Experience Into Words: Writing The Theology We Need"

My name is Philip McShane OP. I am a Catholic priest and a member of the Dominican Order and I will be running this seminar. You can contact me at: The Priory Institute, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24, Ireland (tel. 01/404 8100) on Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings. Otherwise I am at: St. Saviour's Priory, Limerick (tel. 061/412 333). My email: philipmcshane@hotmail.com

The seminar meets at: The Priory Institute, St. Mary's Priory, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24, Ireland. It meets every second Wednesday evening from 8.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m., beginning September 19th, 2001 and continuing on Oct. 3rd, 17th and 31st, Nov. 14th and 28th, and Dec. 12th. The Seminar will take up again in the New Year, following the same rhythm.

If you missed the start of the seminar, but would like to join in, please contact me and we will discuss the situation.

Participants in the seminar should have some background in Theology or Philosophy (you should have done some kind of course or followed some seminar).

Our general orientation and work in the seminar is to explore, discuss and write about our experience of the Christian life. We will try to put words on how things appear to us. We will talk about our struggles, our questions and answers, our own living in reason and faith. And we will try, in this seminar, to write accounts of the matters that appear important to us: ourselves, our world, God... --in short to write the theology we need today.

We will begin with open discussion of where we find ourselves in our Christian understanding. Then we will decide which topics we want to spend time on and we will begin writing about them--if necessary breaking into groups. Groups and individuals will submit written material for discussion by all the participants. Our first concern is to do something to help ourselves afterwards, we *may* look for a way of making our work (our methods, our results) available to others.

In addition to the work done at our meetings, part of the ongoing reflection and writing in this seminar will take place through questions, answers, comments and other exchanges in this Internet Discussion Forum. Any member of the seminar can ask a question or contribute an answer or opinion. The hope is that we can grow through our discussion.

Please do not give the password for the discussion group to people who are not actually members of the seminar. The question of making this discussion site available for others can be discussed after we have gone some distance ourselves.

The Internet Address of this discussion forum is:


The password (as you must already know to have arrived here) is: priory

I look forward to us finding our way together in our exploration.

The cost of the seminar is 35 (concessions)

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001


Response to WELCOME to the Discussion Forum for the "Experience Into Words" Seminar

Some suggestions for those beginning on this site:

Try things out: ask a question, answer it yourself, respond to what someone else has written. Experiment and see how it works!

To contribute to a discussion already under way or to answer a question that has already been asked, do so *within* that discussion: at the very end of it you will find a button called: "Contribute an Answer".

If you want to start a new discussion or ask a new question, you do this at the opening page (the one you arrive in after entering the password), on the top left, where it says: "Ask a Question".

Experimental beginnings can be tidied up later if needs be. I, as the administrator of this discussion forum, have my own password access to an administration page in which I can delete things or correct things that need attention.

As regards content: feel free to use this discussion forum as you wish!

Note that contributions don't have to be long! Quite short things can work well. In fact, for reading on a computer screen, it is perhaps best to keep things short.

You can ask questions, put forward positions, outline your theology... as you wish.

You might be looking for a book, and you can ask if anyone in the group knows the exact title, or where it can be found.

You might have come across a puzzling word and are looking for a first foothold for understanding what it is about...

And then you can respond to what someone else has asked about, or you might like to comment on any other contribution.

Note well: While contributions can be personal (that is your choice), do be careful about what you write here. Test the waters first in our group discussions on Wednesday nights.

Questions and discussions can also be of a technical (philosophical or theological) character. Again: your choice in using this discussion forum.


-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001

Response to WELCOME to the Discussion Forum for the "Experience Into Words" Seminar

One final point: Because I am the admininstrator of this forum, the software puts my answers at the start of the answer list--which is just not fair, particularly if I want to come in on a discussion at a particular point... So my solution is to use a different Email address when I am just taking part in a discussion. However my normal email address is still: philipmcshane@hotmail.com

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001

Response to WELCOME to the Discussion Forum for the "Experience Into Words" Seminar

" Contribute an answer" is the only button i can see to press . How do I get to the chat? R.B.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2001

Response to WELCOME to the Discussion Forum for the "Experience Into Words" Seminar

Rita, Welcome! You have arrived in the first topic on this discussion forum, which is simply a welcome letter from me and some further remarks on our use of it.

If you want to make any comment on this welcome notice etc., then to "Contribute and Answer", as you have done, is the way to do it.

If you want to see the other topics that people have already begun, you should "back up" one level (by clicking on the "back" button on the top left of your browser (I am refering to Internet Explorer, which I am using at the moment). Then you will see a list of topics (all underlined in blue). These have been started by various people. This is the page you arrived at after entering the password, "priory". You can look at any of these underlined topics by clicking on them. Then, at the end of each of those pages, you will find that you can contribute an answer yourself on that topic--if you wish.

If you wish to start a new topic yourself (for example, one of the topics you mentioned at our meeting on Wednesday last), then, instead of clicking on one of the existing discussions, you should click on the "Ask a Question" spot on the top left of the page which has the list of topics. That will open a page where you will be able to write whatever you wish and submit it. Once you submit it, only I, as the administrator of this discussion forum, can change or delete it.

If you have any other questions, please go ahead and ask them.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2001

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