Sunday, 27 February 2011
drunkenness, slander and fornication...
I occasionally worry about my love of the wacky, bizarre, and slightly gross - on the other hand, I do get to harness that into a PhD!
The other day I came across an account from the Burntisland records from June 1604, concerning one James Young.
'James Young confessit that the last Saboth in tyme of the reading of the word he vomit in the kyrk, his stomach trublitt with sundrie drink of new and old aill’
He was required to pay a fine and threatened with banishment if he repeated his ‘knavish tricks’.
Perhaps the moral of the lesson is don’t mix your drinks...and if you do, don't do so before going to church!?
It was an odd week, last week. I gave my first ever uni. lecture - this to a class of honours students. We examined the establishment and purpose of kirk discipline, and talked through the actual disciplinary process, both within the context of a kirk session and then within the framework of worship. I did manage to include the story of James throwing up in church, which seemed to appeal - it got a good giggle, at any rate.
One slightly awkward technological moment when I looked at the powerpoint and realised I should have been a couple of slides further on. Hey ho.
While I'm now no stranger to standing up in front of groups of people and doing things, my more usual context is within worship. So it was a tad strange to be doing the lecture and watch pens flying across notepads/ fingers tapping furiously on keyboards. The thought floated through my mind at one point that I could have said anything and they may have written it down, revised it, and later put it in an exam answer: that was a little sobering! And I hadn't quite thought about closing the lecture - I had the general 'in conclusion' bit to round off, but then, had it been worship where I would normally conclude with a blessing and dismissal, Lecture Room 1 was not the place.... I stopped and said 'thank you'. They all kindly applauded, I blushed, and then stammered 'er, any questions?'
It was all slightly surreal - but it was good fun, and I was totally shattered afterwards. Have even more respect for those who do this full-time. I suspect you get used to it, but even so....
This coming week, we'll actually be walking through the disciplinary process: the students have agreed to have a go at staging the drama of discipline in their seminar - what stars.
Supervisor and I currently organising 'props'.
I get to make a large hat and paint 'penitent' on it as a starter for ten.
Who said history was dull? :)