Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas and Symbolsim

Yet at this point let us ask a few questions. Are these “symbols” merely “symbolic”? Or is their failure perhaps to be explained precisely by the symbolic value attached to them by Christian s themselves, who ceased to understand their true nature? And did they not cease to understand this nature because at one time (it would take too long to elaborate on this here) Christians came to think that "religion" has nothing to do with time, is in fact salvation from time? Before we gain the right to dispose of the old "symbols" we must understand that the real tragedy of Christianity is not is "compromise" with the world and progressive "materialism" but on the contrary it "spiritualization" and transformation into “religion”. And "religion" as we know already has thus come to mean a world of pure spirituality, a concentration of attention on matters pertaining to the "soul". 

Christians were tempted to reject time altogether and replace it with mysticism and "spiritual" pursuits, to live as Christians out of time an thereby escape its frustration; to insist that time has no real meaning from the point of view of the Kingdom which is “beyond time”. And they finally succeeded. They left time meaningless indeed, although full of Christian "symbols", and today they themselves do not know what to do with these symbols. For it is impossible to “put Christ back in Christmas” if He has not redeemed-that is, made meaningful-time itself.”

Fr. Alexander Schmemman, For the Life of the World pp 48-49

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Library Journal reviewed my presentation!

Wow! Earlier this month I attended the Charleston Conference: Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, which I've attended for years. This year was something new, as on Friday I got to do my first major conference presentation.

I spoke about a big project from last year, the receipt and ingestion of a very large donation of books from the estate of a former faculty, Dr. Homer Blass, who reposed in 2013. May he rest in peace.
The most "-phile" bibliophile I've ever known.

The presentation, which I called "Emptying the Dump Truck" was all about the planning and execution of receiving large donations to your library. I spoke about the critical necessity of planning, most of which can be done before a large donation appears, as often donors don't give much advance notice of a donation being given. 

These were just two of the many, many shelves of books he had.

Well, rather than talk about it all here, I'll share this instead. Library Journal's online edition published a review of my presentation!  You can read about it here.  I'm very grateful to LJ for taking notice of my work, calling it " perhaps the most actionable information of the conference".  Who knew?