Covenant in Wonder with the World, A

By J. Edward Chamberlin

Covenant in Wonder with the World, A
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In this 2010 Grand River Forum Lecture, Ted Chamberlin describes how stories give shape and substance to the things we believe in, from scientific theories and sacred texts to literary tales and philosophical propositions. They promote ideals and identities, and sustain institutions ... Read more


Overview

In this 2010 Grand River Forum Lecture, Ted Chamberlin describes how stories give shape and substance to the things we believe in, from scientific theories and sacred texts to literary tales and philosophical propositions. They promote ideals and identities, and sustain institutions and communities. They raise questions about the nature of truth and the character of belief. And they create a covenant in wonder that is at the heart of all storytelling, a ceremony of belief that may be different for each tradition of story and song—ancient or modern, oral or written—but eventually becomes as familiar as “once upon a time” or “let x be such and y be so” or “hallelujah.” In his progress across the continents and centuries, Chamberlin explores the art and ideas of William Wordsworth, Lorna Goodison and Wallace Stevens as well as the oral stories of the ?Khomani people of Africa, the story designs of Blackfoot warriors, and the spiritual ideals of Mongolian herders.

J. Edward Chamberlin

J. Edward Chamberlin was born in Vancouver, and educated at the universities of British Columbia, Oxford, and Toronto. He was Senior Research Associate with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and Poetry Editor of Saturday Night magazine, and has lectured widely on literary, historical and cultural issues. His books include Come Back To Me My Language: Poetry and the West Indies (1993); If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories? Finding Common Ground (2003), which was nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction; and the best-seller, Horse: How the Horse Has Shaped Civilizations (2006). He lives with his wife, the Jamaican poet Lorna Goodison, in Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia.

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