Monday, December 19, 2011

Media: Statement by publisher of refWrite, Albert Gedraitis 'Here we go ...'

Here we go: 

about Albert Gedraitis,

refWrite's publisher

I'm 71, plagued thru much of my life by a complex of illnesses, problems of both physical and mental health.  I'm now at the best period of my existence.  Thru the whole implied journey of life with the health issue in the background, I became a student of philosophy, and from reading the philosophical apologetics of Cornelius Van Til in h+ school, I continued on to the start of my studies of Herman Dooyeweerd in college and spread the word at Shelton College (now gone into the mires of history).  I did some studies at Faith Theological Seminary, but dropped out after my brother's death by lightning (he was 18, I was 21).  

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My OT prof told a really bad joke the day after I returned to classes, having buried my brother Sterling.  In the joke, the prof told the story of a father and son hunting-team, where the father saw movement in the underbrush of the forest, and shot his rifle.  We students in the class were all set up to anticipate the father shooting the son to death.  I remember distinctly the floor opening and me wanting to jump into the abyss.  Instead, after the class was over, I got up from my seat, gathered my books and walked to the little road that led to the campus gate of Faith Theological Seminary, Elkins Park, Philadelphia.  I left the seminary and walked to the wooded suburb's closest bus stop, got on board, and rode into the city center where I took the train to my mother's home in Levittown, Pennsylvania.  And never went back to seminary — except for a visit to Westminster (from which Faith had split off decades before) near Philadelphia, where I presented my manuscript for my later book, Worship and Politics, to the Kuyper Club, sponsored by Dr Robert Knudsen.

The second severest event, emotionally, as a young adult (21) was the death by suicide of my mother, Ruth, who died of pills and a laundry see-thru plastic bag.

I'm homo, I'm a vowed celibate (tho my libido is now next to zero) and I live an urban neo-monastic eremitic life in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (I was influenced by Thomas Merton's Contemplation in a World of Action and Maggie Ross's The Fountain and the Furnace: The way of tears and fire.)  I started using a computer 11 years ago, and have found an outlet for my writing as a service to Christ and, in my own distinctive way, the Christian community.  I follow the 24-hour newscycle in my blogging, altho sometimes I stop for a day, a month.  It's just too much sometimes to confront the mayhem abroad in the world, and there's not much I avoid when functioning in a somewhat-role of journaletician (I dislike English-language words ending in -ism or -ist — except when appropriate, indicating an absolutization).  In ad hoc journaletic practice, I am seeking to establish online a signpost to a future daily Christian reporting of news and opinion in the English language and of a reformational editorial perspective, serving in the first instance an international intellectual readership, but not at all in an intelleltual tone (ahem!) and one in which I can generate my own opinions and stands on a wide range of issues — toward, as Steve Bishop says, "all of life redeemed" (that is, the oncoming of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ here on earth).  In my blogging, I select what I want to recommend and entice others to take at least a glance, a look at, maybe somebody will read at length whenever I have something to offer.

I do this on my Google > Blogspot > blog, refWrite (but , as to spelling of my actual title, Facebook makes me elevate the first letter of the name to produce "RefWrite" [ugh!]).  I have four main pages, each has a number columnists who post in their own memnomic name, all of whom are refWrite columnists for the various pages — refWrite frontpage is devoted mainly to politics, juridics, economics, and enviro; refWrite page 2 focuses on pisteutics (faith and faith communities, world religions, ideologies which try to be their own Archimedean point, and the pisteutic aspect of everything), sciences news, and a related free-standing section on journaletics.  refWrite page 3 is concerned with Special Features, which for instance at the moment consists of a free ad for upcoming scholarly conferences;  detailed and illustrated book notices, sometimes with only the publishers hype and data. reWrite page 4 is the stay-in-touch-with-culture page, both pop and fine-arts cultures -- our team for this section this session, this season -- consists of Audiovisiotor, Musikos, Sportikos, Techknowlb, Country Gal, Musicman, Satirikos, (and here we're getting fictional, textually mixing serious-about-the-world realities with our own brand of fiction), and refWrite's general editor for that team, me Owlb (get the last word on all posts) .  There's also a much-neglected fifth page, free standing entitled, refWrite refBlogger Insert (rrI), a blog advancing my call for civil disobedience against attacks upon freedom of speech, whether by activists or by governments, corporations, institutions.  Americans especially must retain all the clauses of the First Amendment of the Constitution, seeing them respected and enforced by the Congress of the USA and the Courts all the way up to SCOTUS — that woud be a good project of an american affiliate of rrI. But, that strictly American concern, there's the broader goal of report instances of censorship wherever the take place, the status of blogger and journalist, freedom of blogging a form of freedom of speech. We oppose the corporate behemoth of Google (which I love and criticize), Facebook (which I love and criticize), YouTube (which I love and don't criticize much), Twitter (just starting to get the hang of it, and a few others — which said mega-corporations are concertedly  trying to take control of what you can get on the Net and what the Net can get from you to deliver wherever4 you see fit — but no spamming! At least in the USA, with a lot of pressure on Canada to conform.

I promote Christian thinking, including Christian philosophy in the tradition founded by Herman Dooyeweeerd and, my personal fave, Dirk Hendrik Theodoor Vollenhoven, famous for his history of philosophy, his historical charts, and his development of "the Consequent Problem-Historical Method" for that discipline.  My mentor in that latter endeavour is Dr Robert Sweetman who holds the Runner Chair at the Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto.  He's also an excellent medievalist, well-received by some Roman Catholic historical scholars in regard to Orders of Religious.  In Dr Sweetman's case I know he specializes in Augustine, Aquinas, Dominicans, Cistercians, select Franciscans -- including both St Francis himself and Bonventura who interpreted ("superseded") the Founder of the Order, by giving it the Platonic twist, says Mathew Fox, Catholic -> Episcopalian maverick.  I've read the manuscript for Sweetman's forthcoming book, Delineations, so I'm very hot on his work at the moment.  Another of the academics I follow is Dr Thomas McIntire who teaches at University of Toronto in the History Faculty and the Study of Religions Faculty.

I'm a poet (but that's another story).

I'm a believer in Christian organization (which raises the problem of strategy and geostrategic studies in the various realms of life).  My chief organizational concern is the pattern suggested by CNV Netherlands, Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), Christian Labor Association USA, and my big prayer project along these lines is the establishment of a Christian Labour Association in England (CLAE).  I won't here asses (evaluate) each of these organizations and projects, but may I say the pattern is one of uniqueness in representation of workers, organization, and relations in the various industrial sectors and business firms (from co-ops thru small entreneurships to Big Business ... demonization of business is not the answer). There are some experts writing on these matters from a Christian perspective, with philosophical awareness, in these countries mentioned.  There are also Catholic-inspired unions these days, some of which have travelled the route in the last three decades to take the path of Christian Marxist identity (widespread in Brazil), some have simply dropped their Catholic identity in their representation of workers (the unions have "secularized").  I think what we call the reformational movement thru-out the world is tragically remiss, not taking on as a project of interaction and support (however otherwise critical) the structurations of work, the work community, and the plural representation of labour organization around the globe today — and forthrightly supporting Christian labour organization around the globe.  Readiness for the development of Christian labour unions in China is the great goal envisioned for us, I believe, by the Holy Spirit of God at work in the world today.

I'm going on far too long.  For now, yours, Albert

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