“What did you study in undergrad?”
“Oh, um, Speech Pathology…”
[Perplexed, sideways glace.]
“Yeah…it’s totally unrelated to theology.”
[I chuckle, attempting to shrug off the sheepish awkwardness I feel and move on.]
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this exact conversation. I dissected cadavers in my undergrad classes, could transcribe conversations using the phonetic alphabet, and was able to identify every muscle, bone, and tissue in the body from the waist up. My assumption has been that these things have little relevance to or impact on the ways I’m learning to read the bible and conceptualize what it means (and has meant) to believe in God. Seems obvious enough, right?
But the longer I study theology, the more speech pathology keeps popping up.
Here are a few examples:
1. Articulation: That is, how the formation of ideas shape and are shaped by their social situations, while also managing to disengage from and often challenge those very situations.
2. Words: The power of words to speak reality into existence; dictating how we relate to one another in peace, friendship, and love (or violence, otherness, and hatred).
3. Speech: That creates an imagination and remembers a history; a way of talking that builds the foundation of our life together in community.
At this point, I’m starting to wonder what isn’t related to theology…