This often shows up in my writing in the shorthand: convers(at)ions.
This is a play on the interlink between conversations and how they can lead to dramatic life changes because of new insights, questions, perspectives, and moving stories that people might gain from a deep and genuine conversation and dialogue. It is one aspect of Building a Participatory Pedagogy and relates to Collective Intelligence, because it honors to the deep truths and experiences of others and draws on their intelligence for learning and growing. Adult educator and theorist, Jane Vella says, "we must act upon the subject of our learning through dialogue, open communication and mutual respect if we are to truly learn."
This concept came about through my work as a Quaker pastor:
"It began with the basic thought a biblical teacher’s role was to teach the text. This meant raising key ideas and helping people to get the right answer about how to understand what God is saying in this verse or passage. But over time, my approach has shifted away from this teacher-based model to one that is more participatory and dialogue oriented." See Convers(at)ions With Scripture
Convers(at)ions is connected to the belief that there is an ongoing series of "micro-conversions" that a person experiences throughout their life and that they are often story-centered and experiential, which typically comes through two or more people conversing around a subject.
When I moved from a charismatic non-denominational church to the Quaker tradition I experienced a major paradigm shift that has deeply impacted my life. That experience was one of being adopted into something larger. I began thinking, “I’ve been a Quaker my whole life without knowing it.”
These shifts, or conversions if you will, in thinking so often happen through conversations. Conversation with other people, with texts, with nature, or an experience that works like a “embodied conversation.” This might be seen in those things we go through physically – the death of a loved one, dealing with cancer, the loss of home or job, deep depression – and how they can act as a kind of conversation with who you are prior to, during, and after that experience. In other words, it is a conversation with who you are becoming. See The Contours of Convers(at)ions
Three core characteristics of convers(at)ions are:
These concepts were applied to how I understand the creation and sharing of a sermon:
For Further Reading: