My YouTube channel can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCslUDWxnzC1O2hqH6gaK0vw/videos. The videos that follow are accessible on it.
Ubuntu – One of my favourite words: This video accompanies a blog with the same title at www.johnshortt.org/ubuntu-one-of-my-favourite-words. Ubuntu (I am because we are) is neither individualist nor collectivist. It is neither the ‘I’ at the expense of the ‘we’ nor the ‘we’ at the expense of the ‘I’ but a third way, a way of community which values both ‘I’ and ‘we’.
Welcome the Stranger: This video accompanies a blog with the same tittle at www.johnshortt.org/welcome-the-stranger. It draws upon Miroslav Volf’s Exclusion & Embrace and David Smith and Barbara Carvill’s The Gift of the Stranger to call for a welcoming attitude to those who are different from us rather than the exclusivist ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitude that pervades tribalism, racism, nationalism, sectarianism, and social or intellectual snobbery.
If Paul had Zoom …: This video accompanies a blog with the same title on www.johnshortt.org/if-paul-had-zoom/. I reflect on the nature of the fellowship we were experiencing via phone and internet during lockdown in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And the people stayed home: This video accompanies a blog with the same title at http://johnshortt.org/and-the-people-stayed-home-a-longing-for-shalom/. ‘And the people stayed home’ was the first line of a prose poem that went viral in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. I suggest that the amazing response to the poem was an expression of a deep human longing for what the Old Testament scriptures call ‘shalom’ and I go on to discuss the nature of shalom.
Seekers of Shalom: This video accompanies a blog with the same title at www.johnshortt.org/seekers-of-shalom/. The focus of this video is on three examples of contemporary seekers of shalom: Charles Strohmer who researches the norms of biblical wisdom and shares them with people who are active in efforts to promote international peace and justice; Francis Su, author of Mathematics for Human Flourishing, the central concern of which is to show that mathematics is intimately tied to being human because it meets basic human desires and cultivates virtues which are essential if we are to flourish together in shalom; and Joe and Sharon Donnelly and their team in the Anchorage Project in Dublin’s docklands which has community as a core value.
My Favourite Hymn … albeit with a ‘but’: This video accompanies a blog with the same title at http://johnshortt.org/my-favourite-hymn-albeit-with-a-but/. I had been asking myself why a particular hymn (‘How Great Thou Art’) stands out for me from all other hymns and songs and I came up with three reasons.
It’s about Time!: This video accompanies a blog with the same title at http://johnshortt.org/its-about-time/. It is about three aspects of our experiences of time in lockdown and what we can learn from them. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, the last four minutes are an extended prayer composed by Australian writer Robert Banks, a wonderful piece entitled ‘A Prayer about Time’.
God’s Many-Coloured Works of Art: This video accompanies a blog with the same title at http://johnshortt.org/gods-many-coloured-works-of-art/. It is about God’s creativity and what we can learn about it from things Paul says in his letter to his friends in Ephesus. It has particular relevance in the context of current debates about racism.
Walking through Cancer Valley INTRO: This is an introduction to a set of five videos telling about what I’ve been learning in the experience of cancer diagnosis, major surgery and more recent hospitalisation when I became ill as a result of a side-effect of chemotherapy.
Walking through Cancer Valley: 1. Backs to the Future: This is the first of a set of five short videos under the general title ‘Walking in Cancer Valley’ in which I talk about what I’ve been learning in the experience of a diagnosis of bowel cancel, the major surgery that followed and the more recent complication which had me back in hospital over Christmas and New Year.
Walking through Cancer Valley: 2. All Real Living is Meeting: In this video, I reflect on how relationships are what living is all about. The title is “All Real Living is Meeting” (a quotation from the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber).
Walking through Cancer Valley: 3. Nurses and other Wonderful Human Beings: This video is about the impact upon me of the care of the nurses, doctors and other hospital staff that I met in the course of my two recent stays in hospital. It includes a tribute to Britain’s National Health Service.
Walking through Cancer Valley: 4. The Shalom-ful Gift: In this video, I reflect on the experience of peace, of shalom, that I had in my two recent stays in hospital and more generally on peace as a gift from above and not simply something from within.
Walking through Cancer Valley: 5. Creation Sings and Creation Groans … and My New Body: In this fifth and final video in the ‘Walking through Cancer Valley’ set, I talk about the wonderful world in which we find ourselves and of which we are part but also about what we human beings are doing to it in our greed. I go on to talk about my own physical body, what has happened to it and what I believe it will be like one day.