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Correlating Gallwey’s Inner Game of Tennis with Luther’s Theology
Also a Book Review of W. Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis
Since writing the post, time-slows-down-in-the-zone back in 2008, I have wanted to deal with W. Timothy Gallwey’s Inner Game of Tennis again, because many of his insights can be correlated with Luther’s theology. I will present those insights and Luther’s correlations, which are also basically features of the Christian faith, the way it is experienced and lived. Then it will be important to answer the question, why do all these correlations exist?
In my dissertation, Sword of the Spirit, Sword of Iron, I argue that Martin Luther (1483-1546) championed spontaneity. Medieval times were characterized by mediation, that priests mediated the faith to the other estates, the princes, peasants, and burghers, for example. Luther championed immediacy. All, everyone was part of the Christian estate and they were the priesthood of all believers, who had immediate access to God and a specialized priestly estate was not necessary to mediate their relationship with the sacred.
My emphasis on spontaneity in my dissertation is well placed. Timothy Gallwey speaks of a deeper sense of confidence, while Luther emphasizes a deeper intensity of faith, which he also refers to as trust and confidence. For Luther faith is an overarching confidence in God, while Gallwey places trust in a second self. From Luther’s point of view, which is basically the Christian one, Gallwey’s Self 1 and Self 2 can be considered the old and new self in Christ. In the fourth article on Baptism in Luther’s “Small Catechism,” he writes
that the old Adam and Eve in us, together with all sins and evil lusts should be drowned by daily sorrow and repentance and be put to death, and that a new person should come forth daily and rise up, cleansed and righteous, to live forever in God’s presence.
 W. Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis: the Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance, (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 1974-2008). Throughout this study, the numbers in parentheses are the pages of his book.
Note that Gallwey is describing how to get into the zone with physical performance. As a trumpet player he has really helped me, even though he coaches tennis players. But imagine getting into the zone intellectually and getting into the zone spiritually! That might be where Martin Luther of old comes in to help us.
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Instrumental Rationality as opposed to Hegel?
Hegel and Augustine’s Triads
by Dr. Peter Krey
If Hegel is right, could the structure of reality be triadic reflecting creation by the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity? Or do triads have a privileged place as Augustine argues in their being the traces left by the Trinity? Contrary to all Hegel disparagement since 1801, he did not deduce a missing planet between Mars and Jupiter. But where Venus, the second planet is twice the distance from the sun as Mercury, and Mars the fourth planet, four times that distance, why is Jupiter, the fifth planet 13 times that distance away? In this essay that searches for a non-instrumental rationality in Hegel’s dialectical logic of life, the question also comes up: in the violent birth of the moon, when the Mars-sized planet Theia struck the earth, where did it come from? A hypothesis requiring scientific feedback is presented.
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Love Poems for your Valentine
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Instead of chocolates, why not buy some poetic confections for your Valentine? This collection of poems contains nuggets from the treasure trove of chivalrous Medieval love poetry. Believe it or not, many of these poems, from the Carmina Burana, were found in a Benedictine monastery! Some of the poems are also written by knights. Such poetry eventually developed into our modern conception of romance. Some of them are also my poems.
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These Medieval Love Poems are from the German:
Three Versions of „du bist mein, ich bin dein“:
You are mine, I am yours.
You can be sure it’s true.
Into my heart, I’ve gotten you,
Locked its lock,
Lost the key,
So you’ll never get back out, you see.
I love you, you love me.
We’re in each other’s hearts, you see.
So let’s lock the lock,
Throw away the key,
So we belong to each other eternally.
In Shakespearean English
Thou art mine, I am thine!
Certain of this, thou must be.
Locked thou art
within mine heart.
Lost is the key,
Thou must therein forever be.
Here’s the Love Poem transposed into modern German:
Du bist mein, ich bin dein.
Des sollst du gewiss sein.
Du bist verschlossen
in meinem Herzen;
Verloren ist das Schlüsselein.
Du musst immer drinne sein.
If this Whole Wide World Were Mine
If this whole wide world were mine,
I’d give it up any time,
My queen of charms,
Just to have you in my arms.
Translated from old German (ca.1050-ca.1450)
Were this whole world mine
From the great sea to the Rhine
I’d leave it without qualms,
if only the queen of England
were in my arms.
Could this have been for
Eleanor of Aquitaine or of Poitiers?
In modern German:
Wär alle Welt mein,
vom Mär bis an den Rhein,
des wolt ich keineswegs ersparen,
so nur die Königin von England
würde liegen in meinen Armen.
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Sword of the Spirit, Sword of Iron
Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California
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This dissertation is a pamphlet investigation dealing with Martin Luther’s ideology and theology of the Word. It studies Luther as a pamphlet writer, whose popular sermon pamphlets addressed the laity with affective, performative language. His “preaching in print” greatly extended the scope of his spontaneous reforming movement. As a self-representation of Luther, this investigation is a prerequisite for his reception. By number of editions and language, this investigation ranks the popularity of almost 70 of Luther’s publications from 1517-1525.This dissertation contains two parts, a handbook on his pamphlets and a thematic section containing the argument. Part One, containing detailed bibliographical research for 32 of these pamphlets, and for his longer works, Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and for Bondage of the Will, is a helpful handbook for their future study.Part Two, the thematic section, deals with the interrelationship of the four themes from the title: Word of God, Scripture, Gospel, and Law, tracing these themes through the thirty most often published pamphlets. Four pamphlets from the year 1520 receive systematic analysis: “Sermon on the Ban,” i.e., about excommunication; On Good Works, and their spontaneity; “The New Testament, i.e., the Holy Mass;” and “Freedom of a Christian Person,” the popular version, which is mostly unknown among English readers. I argue that Luther carved out an inward realm of Christian freedom that promoted a sense of self and a sense of social agency which stressed spontaneity and freedom against what Luther perceived to be a juridical ethos of the church of his day. [Let alone a juridical ethos, I discovered that he was up against two ecclesiastical courts under the canon law.] Because of the ideological nature of propaganda pamphlets, this ethos could not be connected with the old archdeaconal and episcopal courts, the temporal jurisdiction of prince-bishops, and papal legislation being challenged by temporal authorities. But, surprisingly,since Luther’s term “spiritual law” meant “canon law,” his hostility can be seen to escalate through these pamphlets until he publicly burns the canon law on December 10th, 1520. He felt it excluded the laity from the spiritual estate, making them feel as if they were not even Christians. His pamphlets called for communion in both kinds, demanding an inclusive Christian estate for the priesthood of all believers. The central concern of this dissertation, however, is not the polemics of these pamphlets, but Luther’s awe-inspiring religious contribution.
What is the impact of language on society, and what role does language play in social change? Although Jürgen Habermas calls language the medium of the life-world, the way money and power are the media of the economic and political systems respectively, can language be so powerful to play a role in changing the systems as well? Robert Bellah notes that people have often tried to bring the world closer to the life-world by making it a more human place, and they have tried to do so through language,
In this way Bellah supports the controversial position I am taking: language can change society. But even if I do not want to short change the media of money and power, I believe the role language plays needs more focused attention, and could reward such analysis and investigation in helping to understand how it is involved in societal change. To discount what Emile Durkheim calls the linguistic culture would be a mistake. He places it along-side of the scientific and historical cultures. If a historicization of totality brings reward, introducing evolution into the study of nature and biology, for example; and the scientific examination of totality also brings untold benefit, then despite the reductionism involved, the investigation of the linguistic totality might also bring reward. Reality is more than the verbalization of it. Thus what role does language play in social change and personal growth?
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Martin Luther and Theologia Germanica and
the Philosophical Influence of Boethius
Part 2: Luther and The Niebuhr Brothers
Part 3: Apologists for Luther’s Theology and the Two Kingdom Theory
Part 4: The Great Peasants War: A Little Known Story
Luther and the 28 Articles of Erfurt
Opening a Psalm and Exploring Psalm Therapy
The opening up of a Psalm can be a powerful therapeutic experience for a person in distress. Oftentimes the reader is helped, when he/she reads the Psalm aloud. But it is not merely the oral recital of a Psalm that reaches a person, of course, but the possibility of a certain oneness [in the distress experienced] by the reader and Psalm writer, or writers if others have added their brush strokes to the Psalm. Given a certain person, a Psalm can awaken a helpful feeling in him or her, putting a person’s dilemma into so many words. In such a way, what brought comfort, catharsis, or celebration to the vibrant and living person of antiquity could touch a person
these many centuries later, break a negative pattern, and open up a new perspective for his or her situation or way of life.
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The Great German Peasants’ War: a Social-Linguistic Approach
What Happened to the Reformation?
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