Podcast Episode 9: Sister Jeanne Ranek and Dr. Neville Kelly Discuss Christianity, Tradition and Integral Theory.
by Jeremy Johnson
In spite of a busy schedule, darting into one presentation and then out to another, I managed to squeeze in an enlightening conversation with Sister Jeanne Ranek and Dr. Neville Kelly during a lunch break at the conference. Sister Jeanne is the first woman monastic leader to participate in the Integral Theory Conference, and Dr. Neville Kelly is an Adjunct Professor (and former Visiting Assistant Professor) of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Mt. Mary College.
You’ll hear the podcast begin with Dr. Kelly responding to the criticisms being raised at the conference about integral theory’s tendency towards cognitive abstractions (raised by Sean Esbjorn-Hargens himself at the keynote).
What strikes me now, re-listening to this conversation, is what Sister Jeanne says about tradition: “Genuine in-touchness with tradition should really empower one to development.” During our conversation, I began to consider the possibility that it’s not only the monastic community work that might provide a model for planetary culture and inter-theoretical discussions, but also theology, which might provide insight to evolutionary thought (thinking along the lines of Teilhard de Chardin and Omega Point).
There were some lovely responses and critical observations by Dr. Kelly and Sister Jeanne that convinced me of the importance of tradition in our post-postmodern playground of meta theories.
Please listen and enjoy.
This Episode’s Related Links and Information:
Dr. Kelly will soon be published in her latest work: Reweaving the Threefold Cord: Integral Theory and the Christian Tradition-An Introduction.
Roots and Ladders: Benedictine Monasticism and the Integral Christian Future. A pre-conference workshop by Dr. Kelly and Sister Ranek I covered here.