Most recent review, written for the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture.
“The term pneumatology comes from two Greek words, namely, pneuma meaning “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit” (used of the Holy Spirit) and logos meaning “word,” “matter,” or “thing.” As it is used in Christian systematic theology, “pneumatology” refers to the study of the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Generally this includes such topics as the personality of the Spirit, the deity of the Spirit, and the work of the Spirit throughout Scripture.” https://bible.org/seriespage/4-pneumatology-holy-spirit
Understandingthe anointing of the spirit is more central than much theological study makes it. The Spirit was visible in all of Jesus’ life and mission – he was anointed, and a man of the Spirit.
Logos Christology has ‘towered’ over other interpretations, the divine word became flesh.
Spirit Christology – views Christ as an aspect of the Spirit’s mission, rather than the Spirit as part of Christs.
“The Almighty has inserted himself into history and humanity in Jesus – as weak, powerless and dependent on the Spirit – in order to become what we were meant to be, the communion of God and humanity. By the Spirit he has also become through resurrection the first fruits of the new humanity.” (p81)
Jesus coming opened a dfoor for humanity to enter God’s presence – transformed and glorified – unity with God, which is the destiny of creation
The Spirit is not subordinate to the Son, the two are partners in the redemptive process.
Luke, in describing the birth of Jesus, describes the Spirit of God hovering over Mary – reminders of the Spirit brooding over the waters of creation. (Lk 1:35). The Spirit has aways been present/working in the world. Jesus offered the same grace that has always been there, but is being explicitly offered – unambiguously.
Creator Spirit? Brought forth intelligenct creations for communication and fellowship with God – capable of appreciating more dimensions of the sound. The Spirit is working to orient people towards the ‘mystery of divine love’.
(p84) As shown in the story of the prodical son. “Love is not forced on the beloved, who is allowed freedom to make his own choices, even if it means siding with the darkness.” In having ;allowed’ evil, God made salvation available, creating hope, reissuring an invitation to glory. We can see evidence of the Spirit in the Old Testament – rescuing Israel from danger and distress again and again. Jesus in coming to earth made himself as dependent on the Spirit as everyone that he was living with[and us].
Jesus rarely spoke about the Spirit, but demonstrated its reality (rather than developing a doctrine). The conception of Jesus was an act of new creation. There is a fresh start for humanity, restored into communion with God.
Baptism of the Spirit in water … baptism … Noah and Jesus’ anointing – see the spiritual and the physical flowing together. Jesus’ time of temptation – the Spirit led him down the path of suffering, as with us, not “let” to avoid it. Jesus was only able to resist temptation because of his dependency on the Holy Spirit (was not play-acting, or living as a God = fully human) – modelling a lifestuyle of faith and trust for us all. Defining Kenosis: “He emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”.
The Spirit enabled Jesus to live within the limits of human nature – to be ‘truly human’, rather than drawing on divine attributes. The Spirit was clearly with Jesus in his Ministry – providing healting – “a God who wills human wholeness”, setting people frree from entrapment, bringing hope, and liberating relationships. Because the relationship between the Spirit and Jesus is so critical, those who dismiss/discredit it (or see it as Satanic) are judged harshly. Miracles, etc. were not performed to impress, but for salvation of the body and soul – demonstrating the entrance of the Kingdom into the present. Jesus’ activities of liberation were powerful, but a threat to the status quo – leading to the Cross, where Jesus had to rely on the Spirit to get him through, and the Spriit enabled the Resurrection.
Spirit/Logo Christology are complementary, not antiethical. Logos = the Person, Spirit = his work. Neither are subordinate to the other, but reciprocal.
Why did the outpouring of the Spirit/Pentecost wait until Jesus’ death? “End time salvation could not come into play until this mission was completed and this representation had taken place.” Salvation == becoming one person with Christ, dying with him to sin and sharing the promise of his resurrection. Jesus’ death was an act of atonement that includes us (not excludes) rather than replaces us. “Christ became what we are in order that we might become what he is.” It can hard to grasp that Christ came to stand alongside us, as we tend towards individualistic thinking. Others act on our behalf all the time – e.g. govt leaders.
Soteriology is the study of the doctrine of salvation. Soteriology discusses how Christ’s death secures the salvation of those who believe. It helps us to understand the doctrines of redemption, justification, sanctification, propitiation, and the substitutionary atonement. http://www.gotquestions.org/Soteriology.html#ixzz3L1QCYiYB
Theologically – “once we grasp the fact that we are saved by Christ’s life, we may be open to fresh thinking about how we are saved by his death.” (p99). Too much theology focuses on the idea that we are saved byChrist’s DEATH on the Cross, whereas it’s his resurrection that saves us… his power OVER death. Both sin and death are problems for humankind, because death entered the world with sin. The RESURRECTION is not just proof of God’s divinity, but cause for salvation and transformation as we share life with him.
“We were created in the image of God, with a view to growing into the likeness of God”. Lost with Adam, Christ restores this likeness., is our representative on the journey.
(p101) “Humans are open to the future. They make plans and strive to realize goals. But we are mortal, and ultimately the future lies in God’s hands.”
Representation/solidarity – God entered deeply into the human situation to overcome all our alienation. Spirit Christology – centralises resurrection – conceptulise the cross as recapitulation, and give the Spirit back the world of atonement.
Popular view sees Father as Judge and Son as victim, rather than understanding that this was a united action.. the enemy defeated by an act of defenceless love. Jesus did not give himself as an appeasement, but surrendered himself to God on our behalf. C.S. Lewis spoke of Christ as the carrier of good infection – we need to get close enough to catch the virus of new life. Delicate topic = “divine wrath” – but Christ was both victim and victor on the Cross. Strange theologically as grace then appears conditional upon penal satisfaction… but it was the Father who took the initiative in reconciling the world. Jesus was not the solitary victim but representative of the whole of Adam’s race.
Vindictive anger … no … God’s saving action = serving grace. The Cross and resurrection is a trinitatarian event. Doesn’t discount http://www.theopedia.com/Penal_substitutionary_atonement, but wants to raise the question of a judge that loves us and desires our friendship – the two can work together.
[Interesting in a digital age] – presence (what people miss, and what cannot be taken place by any form of media (phone calls, photos, etc) – for shared life, loved ones need to be present. God made us in his own image because he is a personal, relationship being – we have lost our vision of God, and therefore our relationship with God. For Paul – the coming of Christ/the Spirit changed this forever. The Spirit represents both continuity and discontinuity between the old and new covenants. The Bible focuses a lot on Presence – from Genesis to Revelation – The Israelites saw themselves as a people of Presence, among whom God had chosen to dwell on earth. Old Testament = Tabernacle/Temple = where God is seen as most Present. The Fall of Jerusalem – lost the presence of God in their midst. For Paul it was important that this was seen as the Holy Spirit.
If people reject Paul’s call to holy living, they are essentially rejecting the Holy Spirit in the New Testament – as this is where the New Covenant is. .. the Holy Spirit will indwell in individuals – who are the new temple(s)? The gathered/corporate church is God’s temple in the community = incredibly important.
Hellenistic dualism – understanding amongst the Corinthians about the distinctions between physical, material reality and the immaterial, invisible realm – the human spirit not affected by what is happening with the body. God, however, created us in his image – in body as well as spriit. We have been purchased by God, and therefore minds/bodies are not their own to do with as they please. The Spirit filled life is not just contemplation, but the ethical life that the Spirit produces. The Spirit has removed the veil – between us and God, so that we can face the glory of God in full. We are in the image of God in the ‘now but not yet”.
The Spirit is not an impersonal force or influence or power – it is the fulfilment of the promise that God would once again be present with his people. Do we therefore need to downplay the impersonal images of wind & fire, etc and think instead of the Spirit as the personal presence of the eternal God.
Jesus doesn’t have a God-switch to turn on e.g. miracles – he does his works through the Holy Spirit as he is fully man. Jesus wants us to know that it’s to our advantage to go away… if we wanted to meet him face-to-face we may be able to meet with him once in our lifetime, queing with billions of others – because the Holy Spirit means that He lives in each of us individually.
We will go on to be God’s representatives within the world – looking at various readings from Acts to show how the Holy Spirit of God can be received by all.
Some of the gifts include actual people? (Ephesians) These people are sent to help equip us and train us to represent God. Ministries (1 Cor), Spirit’s graces (Romans). The Holy Spirit characters – love above all (1 Cor) and fruits of the spirit (Galations). If not giving to the poor/information/knowledge, etc. but if it’s not done through love, it’s pointless. Fruits of the Spirit are more than ‘emotions’. The character of Christ imparted to us as we grow – so we can deal with those we don’t like, want to hit, etc. but still deal gently and lovingly with them.
We are given the Holy Spirit at conversation as a gift of the New Covenant, (baptismal) although Pentecostals would note a ‘second blessing’ for those who were already believers. The Holy Spirit as character, but also ‘being filled with’ (is it given, came upon, them, received it, , etc.) .
The Nicene Creed – we believe in the Holy Spirit (the triune God). In some churches known as a troublemaker, in heaven he’s known as God. When I’m praying, am I praying as me, or is the Spirit praying – once we can’t tell, that’s a good place to be. Is our flesh in communion with God’s spirit, or in communion with the world? We have each been anointed, and have the teacher within us… relationship not mediated through the Bible, priests, etc (which may help), but within you. 1 John 2 – identifying discernment. There are Christians or false prophets – as all Christians have the prophetic Christian spirit within them.
During interactions with JISC and ALT in particular, MOOC’s have been hot news for quite some time. MOOC is an acronym for ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ – freely available to all. They don’t have the best reputation for completion rates, which has opened up a number of discussions at JISC/ALT events as to whether completion, and particularly full completion, of a MOOC is the point of these things. In 2012, JISC ran a session ‘What is a MOOC?’ – one of the early slides here:
Last year, I decided to get my head around these, wondering whether CODEC could usefully develop a MOOC (as the financial imperative is not clear, except as a marketing exercise, for many of these courses). I cheerily signed up to about 3 courses, and… didn’t get started on a single one of them, as other work priorities took over. As we were developing potential funding bids earlier this year related to ‘religious identity online’, Pete suggested that I undertake the ‘Corpus Linguistics’ module that he’d had a go at last year. I had no idea what that was – so as all good academic researchers do, popped across to Wikipedia first for a definition:
Corpus linguistics is the study of language as expressed in samples (corpora) of “real world” text. This method represents a digestive approach to deriving a set of abstract rules by which a natural language is governed or else relates to another language. Originally done by hand, corpora are now largely derived by an automated process.
so I could see how this would be useful for analysing words collected from Twitter, Facebook, etc. to analyse large social and cultural questions.
The course, hosted on Futurelearn, and presented by Tony McEnery, Lancaster University, was designed as a practical course for humanities and social science researchers, with the following stated aims:
Combined with all the recent changes in CODEC, the first week’s material seemed a little overwhelming, so early on I made a conscious decision to focus on the theoretical explanations each week (likely to take around 60-90 minutes per week, rather than 3-4 hours), so that I could grasp an understanding of the method, and the kinds of questions it can allow us to ask, rather than the practical aspects of the software (also provided), although having just finished the course, I am now checking out some of the optional videos, especially one from Claire Hardaker re trolling, as recently I’ve been asked to contribute to debates about trolling, bullying (and the place of restorative justice in these debates):
First things first was making time in the diary for this. Originally expecting to take around 3 hours a week, this did drop, but I wanted the process to not just be about the course content, but about thinking how a MOOC works, and what it contributes to our learning, although much of this may have been absorbed at gut level, rather than laying it all out here, so this is more of a ‘quick and dirty’ response!
It was really easy to sign up for Futurelearn, and everything comes in via email, so it was simple to search and find the course I wanted (and you’ll see from the screenshot how easy it is to leave it too):
Each week the available material would appear. Clearly, it is technologically possible for all the material to appear at the same time, but there’s a need to encourage people to work on the material together, with a start date, etc. encouraging use of the well-structured (and well-used) ‘commenting’ space, which Tony himself contributes to frequently (and is clearly gaining insights into his own research), and with a number of mentors who have been assigned and are highly active (I’ve had replies to several, but without having asked for permission, thought I should just share my own comment!):
So, the material appeared each week, looking like this (I’m assuming if I’d completed all the practical activities, those lines underneath would have got longer!), with the most basic, introductory material (usually in the form of videos from Tony) at the top – which was the stuff I was really interested in.
Being able to see how much more to go is always a good incentive – below the fold there was much extra material – more videos, readings, practical software help, etc. but I usually finished at the point of the quiz (which isn’t assessed, but helps you “know” that you have “learnt” some material that week (and where one might want to go back and re-assess):
Well, I may have more to say about this in the longer-term, but for now
I thought the material was well-presented, manageable (once I stuck to the first bits), the intentional interaction was good as well as the usability of the software, and I can see how more can be done in this subject area.
Thank you Tony and team!
This week looking at ‘swearing’ as it is used within language .. so there’s a disclaimer, some of the comments:
The use of ‘bad language’ seems to me to be very cultural specific. For example, young people seems to use it more often than old people. And I see variation of what’s considered as ‘bad language’ between registers and dialects. For example, the same person would never use bad language at work but he probably uses it when he is with friends; and what’s considered bad in some areas would not have this consideration in others.
Of course, you have to define what is meant by ‘bad language'; obscenity is very culturally specific (Northern Europeans: body parts, coition and excrement, Southern Europeans religion, mothers, aspersions re sexuality – the Victorians found the phrase ‘what a cunning hat’ rather racy). The point is well put, though.
Oh dear, the warm up activity is to listen out for the use of bad language in conversation around us … probably more than you’d expect even in my own context! Interesting conversations online about whether language teachers should teach this, as students will come across it (don’t we all remember how funny it was once we learnt ‘merde’ in French classes!)
amazing what you can get used to after a while and how much these words lose their strength through over use.
Why say ‘bad language’ and not ‘swearing’? Definitions of what is ‘swearing’ = complex!
Words developed for the Lancaster Corpus of abusive words – including animal, intelligence, sexuality focused insults. Then had to develop an annotation system for the material – including class, gender, age, etc. Can provide some quite useful distinctions that can be researched. Metalinguistic word – am not using the word, but I’m talking about it/describing it, or quoting someone else saying something.
Who knew there were so many different ways to use ‘fuck’ – fascinating…
Final category = a ‘dustbin category’ for those that didn’t fit any of these categories, and didn’t really need further work.
Commentator suggests that video http://youtu.be/BsRUQCN2lak helps gives further insights into the use of swearing in language – jocular, and ‘fillers’ have been mentioned by other commentators.
Another kind of ‘MOOC’ – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mook&defid=6165831 – such dictionaries allows us to see language develop.
We can use such corpora to see how such language is actually used – but we’ll likely approach such questions with a number of assumptions – e.g. that men swear more than women. In early 1990s, there was no statistical difference in usage, but in looking at the individual words themselves, these are different… words used by men tended to be stronger.
There are levels of ‘strength’ seen, but there are possibilities that these might be used differently … e.g. ‘religious people’ more offended by God/Jesus than the general population [Note to second year housemates, yes…]
Commentators mentioning encouraging people to rethink phrases that have become everyday
Is there ‘surgical cleaning’ where such words become sanitised? Corpus tools, of course, are good at identifying the change in language of words e.g. ‘gay’.
Different people will probably see some of the words as more offensive than others… e.g. people say ‘God’ without thinking – probably more offensive to ‘religious people’ than many realize.
How do the genders interact when it comes to the use of ‘bad language’ words? Is there a difference between or across? Intra-gender use of swearing is the norm (e.g. men direct swearing at other men more than at females and vice-versa), but men do this much more than women (have they been cultured to swear less in front of women?
What kind of words are targeted? E.g. ‘cow’ exclusively at women…
Wow… so much complex!
Different categories of words (e.g. general annoyance) = much milder words, but ‘destinational category’ (reached end of tether = “go away”) = much stronger!
Discussions mentioning new British National Corpus coming this year, where it will be interested to see how words are used/re-used and reclaimed – e.g. African-Americans claiming ‘n****r’, gay people claiming ‘queer’ and women claiming ‘bitch’ as positive interaction words. Also lots of discussion as to regional/cultural differences and how the right corpus might help explore those.
Assumption is that younger people tend to swear more, and data seems to bear that out:
Is it down to age? It’s not necessarily their age that is the issue. The cultural environment may have meant that swearing was less accepted, so don’t swear less as get older! Are they possibly using ‘swear words’ that are so mild that they’ve not been measured as swear words (e.g. golly, blimey), although this doesn’t exist, either. What about the strength of swear words/categories? Mirrors the distribution from the graph above. Frequency/strength distribution are similar.
Commentator notes: ‘When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.’ (Mark Twain). Also questioning whether the extra drop-off is down to being in the presence of children/grandchildren, when people seek to reign themselves in.
How do we draw out the nuances here? Do lower classes select stronger words, and higher class = weaker ones?
AB: 1.81, C1 1.76, C2 2.16, DE 2.47 (General pattern, but AB = stronger than C1)…
What about the type of bad language use? AB/C1 and C2/DE = inverted.
Lots of discussion about whether upper classes = rules don’t apply, and middle classes more cautious…
What happens when try and combine the data – e.g. male AB aged 25-34 = use most? BNC was balanced to get roughly similar amounts of data on single data. May be no examples combining particular factors… that particular group = 2,259 words uttered in the spoken BNC.
How many types of speakers are in the BNC? Not many, but we can combine particular types of data to give insights.
Do you want to argue – are women pre-disposed to use less swearwords? Surely socially constructed, it’s an artifact of the society within which these 2 genders are operating, nothing to do with genetics. Debate? Where did the distinctions come from? What were the social processes that constructed this?
Commentator: People are willing to say things in other languages they’re not prepared to say in their own – http://io9.com/why-its-easier-to-swear-at-people-in-another-language-1536262864.
The start of a journey into language .. with an overview of the kind of things you should have learned, and in a position to build your own corpora [though I didn’t use the practical elements!]… and don’t think that this course has given you everything…
We often want to study language in their social contexts, rather than in isolation. Contemporary social issues or historical issues typically the most interesting.
We need coalitions of the sane to lead discussions about what can reasonably be expected of academics, to recruit and promote accordingly and to mentor younger academics into a way of thinking that says: “Enough is enough. If you want to do extra, we won’t reward you for it.”
You might assume that institutions run by coalitions of the sane would automatically fall behind those run by further achievers. But think again. Universities vitally depend on academics’ ability to productively use their intellect, curiosity and creativity. In business-speak, ensuring a sane working environment therefore safeguards their supply of academic human resources.
A dairy farmer might streamline his delivery routes or negotiate discounts on milk bottles. He won’t run the health of his cows into the ground by demanding that they produce ever greater yields. But that, in essence, is what universities are currently doing to their academics. Fingers crossed that voices like Schell’s will wake them up to how counterproductive that is – preferably before the cows come home.
Read full story.
Exodus 1:1-15 (or chapters 1-15, but there’s only 10!) through to the story of the Plagues … but overall a story of oppression leading to recreation?
Israel is becoming ‘many’ as ordained at creation… but there are several obstacles to be overcome first. Seen alone, misses the ‘new humanity’ destined to restore creation blessing to the world. With Moses, see how it harks back to e.g. Noah, and forward to Israelite experiences. Moses says ‘I am’, which has led to a lot of discussions as to whether he was divine – or God’s representative. Either way it’s important to understand that God was present.
Moving from a time of chromos to kairos (exile is almost over):
Such is the case with chronos and kairos. Both are Greek words which mean time, but they imply different things.
Chronos refers to minutes and seconds. It refers to time as a measurable resource.
Kairos is the word used for time in Ephesians 5:16 (which I examined in more detail here). Kairos means an appointed time, an opportune moment, or a due season.
Constant battle between Israel/Egypt, pre-ordination of what will happen when Jesus comes, and defining the Israelite nation – the importance of the ‘firstborn’ sons, the gradual admittance of the ‘superior power of Yahweh’. The parting of the waves of the ‘Reed Sea’ answers the question of who is in control. The goal of the journey to re-establish the Abrahamic covenant, having passed through the water, now to pass through the human gauntlet, to re-establish ‘Edenic sanctuary’, where God can dwell again with his people. The importance of Mount Sinai to the Torah… a new covenant with God – where obedience leads to blessing/fullness of life, disobedience to curse and death – set apart as a ‘holy nation’, imaging God to the nations. Moses as the mediator between God/the people as God is too powerful, a covenant marked by blood/a sacrifice. An important part of this covenant is to work and rest. The development of the Tabernacle = similarities with Eden, but even before the covenant is made, the Israelites have broken it with false idols. The freedom emphasised by the divine is ‘grace and mercy’. In the 10 commandments, the judgements are given first, but the ‘rear view’ of God emphasises mercy and forgiveness. The golden calf doesn’t represent God, but human beings in converse with him.
Pharaoh felt threatened by immigrants (such as Jacob’s family) – so became ruthless in the tasks they imposed upon them – but despite this – the numbers increased. Considers how this is in parallel with the Latin American experiences (of men currently in jail) – especially when they are given ‘education’ but not opportunities to take jobs, so go back to what they know – a life of crime – in order to live. The ‘baby boys’ were killed before they could become a problem. The Egyptians needed the immigrants because they did the work that the Egyptians didn’t want to do, but the general thinking was for deportation or down-trodden-ness. The midwives were expected to kill the boys, but refused, so were blessed by God. By worldly standards, Pharaoh was at the top, but God was on the side of the oppressed/weak (not the oppressors) and they survived.
Often when people read the Bible, they read it through oppressive interpretations, which can be subverted by careful reading of the text itself. Guided readings can question assumptions and invite unexpected identifications. When Moses impulsively kills a harsh taskmaster, he has to flee – originally a ‘saviour’ he is now absent from the scene, and failing to intervene – how many see God also… but a deeper reading can see a bigger picture coming to fruition.
When working with Latino prisoners, the author – a Caucasian pastor – representative of the prison system, and of God … many in the prison see God as hyper-sovereign – distant judge who has pre-ordained everything, so lives cannot be re-mapped… all negative aspects of their lives are ‘God’s will’. Their theology assumes that God is just/good and therefore that they must be bad/deserving of all the calamities that have befallen them. No redemption is expected. .. and people attend the sessions for reasons such as social interaction, especially once they find that ‘accepting Christ’ does not instantly solve all their problems. They may think that attending will give a lighter sentence. Belief is, however – people are hungry for an authentic encounter whatever the original reason.
The facilitator has a careful role, which subverts those barriers, replacing the old, paralysing theology. .. with a need to distance himself from ‘taskmasters’, and make the prisoners realise that he’s on their side. God’s will happens through covert disobedience, non-compliance, etc… God listened to the groans of slaves, but they remained slaves … author discusses his experience of working with those seeking to find liberation from e.g. heroin addiction – not in terms of the ‘heroic victor’, but weakness/ignorance on how to heal. In Mexico – often become violent – taking frustration out on someone – as Moses did – direct experience of poverty/oppression = violent. No long-term respect however… required for that = respect and humility. God shows up where Moses is (wherever that wilderness is). Moses when called to go back, said that he wasn’t worthy (he was human). “There’s another really important guy in Israel’s history who didn’t feel cut out for this. Look, God used him. God can use me too.” [Imposter syndrome?]
Theology and Social Action…. Exodus – reflected in the way they rebuilt their society – institutionally built into their laws, etc. Moving from being a family, to becoming a nation. There was fear-based oppression … being fruitful and multiplying = in the wrong place/time = threatening to Egyptians. Pharaoh does not know God, and does not let the people rest. God cares and hears the cry of the afflicted. God hears it and responds.
God has power of creation, has concern for poor and the afflicted. Conflict between Pharaoh/God. God displays his power over Pharaoh and over creation with the boils. God “you can’t act this way towards my people and get off the hook.” Why does God harden Pharaoh’s heart? The plagues are not to get the Israelites out of Egypt, but to show his power to Pharaoh… who has fraudulent power… shows future generations his power?
What actions lead to liberation (Exodus 1)? Do we see the presence of God in this text? Confusing – God blesses people who lie in order to protect the innocent? [Makes me think of Corrie Ten Boom – ‘they are under the table’]. What does God do? He’s on the side of the underdog? How does God liberate? Who are the main characters from most powerful to weakest? Who is God with?
Understanding contemporary law enforcement. A challenge to those who believe that deception is a sin – most characters are undertaking this in this story. What does the use of these weak characters tell us about God? How does God save now? It tends to indicate non-compliance. Pharaoh’s daughter uses her privilege to rescue. What would that look like today? Funding people to look after other people? Should we be giving work to denied asylum seekers? Educating them? What are the limits of compliance for us?
The importance of “seeing” human beings (rather than ‘the mass’). [Seeing individuals/telling people’s stories?]. Moses (and most on the margins) assume that God is on the side of law enforcement and the status quo, but Moses’ violence response doesn’t disqualify him from God’s mission to be an agent of liberation. God is looking for similar characters in contemporary culture.
What languages did you learn and how?
Only test I’ve ever got 100% on is a language aptitude test – apparently I’m good at identifying patterns and working it out from there … which probably have noticed “in real language interactions”
French to GCSE level, text books, but to get through the exams = extra spoken lessons, where saying the correct thing was abandoned for getting ‘the right word’
German for a couple of years – got confused between that and French, very particular words and grammar focused
Latin for 3 years – grammar grammar grammar and vocab
Italian – tried an online course – didn’t need to put it into practice
Brazilian Portuguese – Linkwords (linking words to really silly sentences), gave me something to start with for 5 months in Brazil, then have to use language to progress. Now using an iPad app to get back into things – where everything is gamified – largely vocab focused.
Contains data by those learning a particular language… Native corpora don’t refer to the problems that learners tend to encounter (as natives don’t tend to make the mistakes that learners do). Identifying errors in essays, etc. allows development of new leaner corpora. There can be bigger complications than frequency, and what is the background of the original language, so what translates/makes sense, etc.? What about under/overuse of words (especially compared to native speakers).
Interesting differences between the keywords that were used in discussions re the use of mobile phones – where are the different cultural emphases?
Interesting – Americans tend to use personal pronouns (I/individual experiences), whilst Polish tended to use (we/group) – speculates whether Polish is more ‘academic’ writing style [or is it the cultural expectations – definitely assume that Americans talk individually] … or Polish have less mobile phones so probably use in the group, and they rely on abstract nouns anyway = more generalisations. Rhetorical style – can be practical reasons, can be teaching style/vocabulary, societal differences.
More common to come across written than spoken corpa data … more difficult to capture, and also captures a larger range of words than there are, as computer doesn’t recognise spelling mistakes, etc. If analysis is just at a lexical level misses the range of uses. Too much research is not shared.
Before you watch the lecture, create two short dictionary definitions: One is for the word ‘threadbare’ the other is for the word ‘luckily’. Do not consult a dictionary or other reference resource – just use your own intuitions. If you do not think you know either word, just make a list of words that you think may be associated with each. Then watch the lecture.
Threadbare: A condition in which clothes are worn through, nearly to rags.
Luckily: Where a situation could have gone wrong, but the outcome was positive.
VIDEO MATERIAL: History & Development of Corpus Linguistics.
Use large corpora to identify the words that are most frequently used. The most efficient form of language learning ties to the words that people use most frequently. Studies are corpus based in their philosophy.
Early – most was written rather than spoken data, and much was not on contemporary texts (e.g. 19th Century novels and the Bible). By end of 1950s from teaching words to teaching rules (grammar). Verbs = 60% of what we use, but are hard to teach, + irregular verbs. Look for the popular/typify speech words.
Listening to these videos as a piece of history, as the studies have developed over time, identifying various elements of text, speech, and how focus on the words that people actually use etc – a very small number, with a large number of common lexical bundles (less common in academic writing). Developments of dictionary – large numbers of words, especially rare words is not helpful – that’s is required for [e.g. Countdown]. Writing definitions – need examples of how the word is used in context… I like what https://www.wordnik.com/ is able to do with this in making the dictionary digital.
I’m not a linguist (but wanting to interrogate tweets), so I’m multi-tasking on this material and taking fewer notes!
When taking a statement from a witness or suspect, what kinds of factors about them, the crime, or the larger social context should we take into account? One example to get you started: the interviewee’s age – children and the very elderly should be treated especially carefully.
Suspect many would say ideally classless, but their suspected role in the crime, the level of evidence, age, race, gender, religion, class, education level, the recency of the crime?
Forensic Logistics (Claire Hardaker)
Narrow View – forensics = court room views, etc.
Broad View = anything from criminal/civil trial or part of the investigative procedure (they may not have been expected to be forensic data, but they become some).
What is the meaning of this text? (what is the purpose of it?)
Who authored a given text? (actually written by x)
Language of legal texts/processes (e.g. was consent truly informed). Huge area, restricted only by the questions you ask…
Analyse ink/paper, etc. to see if appropriate to era, etc.
Knowing what the author of a particular document knew, usually most people a specialise in only one author as depth of knowledge
Author has deliberately encoded their name into texts (particular to Bible studies/Shakespeare studies). Not particularly serious method of analysis
Conversation/discourse analysis, syntax, stylistic choices, etc. Look in depth at the language being used. Drawback = cherry picking – in a court can support offense/defence.
Computational linguistics, computational stylomotry, and today’s focus… Multi-variate approaches…
Combining forensic linguistics and corpus linguistics
What are the benefits or drawbacks? Combining approaches – don’t just celebrate the strengths, but also understand the pitfalls (especially if it’s evidence for a court case).
Looking at ‘disputed authorship’…
Corpus data = large datasets, that has often been cleaned for consistency of spelling, etc.
Forensic data = often small, e.g. a text, so difficult to analyse. Often quite messy.
May allow to set e.g. a text against a larger dialect set.
Looking at ‘style’, are looking for things that are ‘unconscious’ and therefore unchanged from general style – e.g. a forged suicide note. Can be hard to identify unconscious material.
Corpus – easy to search large datasets, whereas forensic information is difficult to encode – e.g. a thread, sarcasm, etc.
Adopting a corpus means that have made assumptions – e.g. that you are going to have something to count/that count will be meaningful. On e.g. Twitter how account for variations of e.g. ‘and’ = +, &, n, etc… Looking at texts, if always seems to write xx at end of texts, but doesn’t on this text –therefore not theirs = needs more context.
If no restriction on author, not going to be able to identify this. Corpus forensics works better at narrowing between a & b, rather than across the sector. Words have range of meanings, can end up with redundant data.
These 2 can still work together
The Case of Derek Bentley: the crime
Diagnosed with mental age of 10, reading age of 8, 66 on IQ test (unusual). Who armed him (with knife/knuckle dusters), what he said, ‘diminished responsibility’ was not recognized.
The case of Derek Bentley: the evidence
Saying ‘the gun’ = was assumed (shared knowledge) that there was a gun that Bentley knew about. Police had to write down longhand, but couldn’t ask substantive questions (ask for repeat, but not, what time was that?). Bentley ‘witness statement’ was presented to court = a faithful witness of what he’d said. Throughout the trial Bentley said he didn’t write it himself, but 3 police officers said he did. The statement clearly demonstrates that a conversation has been turned into a witness statement = crucial to his conviction.
The Case of Derek Bentley: the analysis and conclusions
Note the use of ‘then’ (temporal = sequences of events). Typically monologic statements don’t display this, so suggests that there was intervention.
Can’t use this alone, but is another indicator, also see the pre/post-positioning and which is un/usual constructions (I then/then I). 1,000 times more often in Bentley’s statement than in entire Cobeld corpus.
Along with other features, if it becomes clear that Bentley hadn’t written the statement, and he was convicted largely on ‘the gun’, then how reliable is that evidence. Not fully pardoned til 1998. Can’t give Bentley back his life, but can challenge a miscarriage of justice.
PART 6: Other cases and datasets
Look at language he used – doesn’t help prevent a crime, but does help understand triggers, etc. and may provide notifications for other crimes.
Offers a set of forensic data, including Old Bailey, Unabomba, OJ Simpson, Harold Shipman, David Irving vs Penguin, Enron, Anders Breivik, Paul Ceflia vs Mark Zuckerberg, Conrad Murray, etc.
Be aware of version control, ethical nature of the material, whether edits have been made, etc. Ensure rigorous nature of the work that you do, as other’s prison sentences could depend upon it.
Find an article in which the word ‘refugee’ is mentioned – make notes about how refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, etc are talked about. Chose: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/lebanon-stems-influx-refugees-minister-claims-countrys-internal-security-risk-1470743
Oh, maybe it was supposed to be a British newspaper – ah well, pretty familiar!
Methodologically – need large amounts of data, frequency data, hunt for co-occurrences, annotation/grouping, quantification and statistical significance.
Merits – helps us get ‘the big picture’, identify the ‘aboutness’/areas of interest that can be interrogated – can work qualitatively/quantitatively and check on ‘gut instinct’
Core terms – keywords, cluster, collocation, semantic prosody, discourse prosody.
In UK universities is access to many newspapers, but need to define the keywords [x OR x OR x AND NOT x]
How derive a query? Collected a quick corpus of texts from a pilot study, then compared to ‘general English’ to define the ‘aboutness’, then used keywords/intuitions/concordancing to include/exclude from collection. Data was split into ‘tabloids’ and ‘broadsheets’ (interesting distinction). More data in the broadsheets, but articles in broadsheets = longer (so they are not ‘more obsessed’ about them.
Finding ‘topoi’ = finding key ‘theme’ in the data. How do ‘collocates’ (associated words) help construct that theme?
Statistical significance important. Red = tabloids; blue = broadsheets.
High probability for collocates. Red = tabloids, blue = tabloids; black = equal.
Related to numbers/quantity – different ways of doing it, but both speak in quantity metaphors, and also in the idea of ‘plight’ (based on number of collocates).
To look with the word ‘illegal’ – manually checked it, then right-sorted to see what followed the word illegal. Identifying origin, ethnicity, religion, age, type of work, etc.
Number of clusters – some are more ‘emblematic’ of tabloids…
Equivalence is being ‘forced’ – terrorism, crime, fraud, etc. all being brought together in the discourse, rather than representing ‘reality’.
How many occurrences per million ‘normalised’ amongst words? Expect to see more in the tabloids than the broadsheets.
Who uses the term ‘Pose As’ in relation to RASIM? Tabloids use it 8 x times more than broadsheets…
Beggars, crooks, etc. are identified as ‘posing as RASIM’ = taken ‘as fact’, and therefore positive stance towards ‘tougher measures’ – this is particularly in the tabloids. It’s there in the broadsheets too, but the opposite view is presented (if with less words).
Identifying problems in the asylum system by police/reporters ‘posing as’ RASIM.
The tabloids focus particularly upon asylum seekers ‘posing’ as nurses, etc…
Criminals may pose as RASIM to harm RASIM – also in tabloids, but very low numbers…
Focus upon words ‘suffocated’ and ‘drowned’ – focus upon whether they were represented as ‘illegal’ – directly (illegal immigrants) or indirectly (sneaking)?
Dictionary may have a range of different meanings, but the press gives a range of terms that ‘mean similar’ … used in a particular way continuously.
Remember that there are distinctions within newspapers, rather than labelling ‘tabloids’. Question how helpful your distinctions are.
Move between largescale analysis, and closer/more-detailed readings of the text.
The second week of the MOOC ‘Corpus Linguistics‘ via Lancaster University:
I want you to think of two words – ‘diamond’ and ‘cause’.
Without consulting anybody else, or looking at any reference resources, write two short definitions for these words. Take no more than two minutes to complete this task.
A diamond is a compressed mineral whose rarity ensures that it has high value. It has gained meaning in recent centuries as a valuable gift, especially to signify love, and is commonly used in engagement rings. As an anniversary it signifies a long marriage.
The word cause may refer to ‘a cause’ that one supports, including charitable causes, or ‘to cause’, as in cause something to happen.
Recap and Introduction to Collocation
Collocation, colligation and related features
Change over time and lock words
A recent piece, published for The Conversation UK, under Creative Commons licence (republished on Durham University):
By Bex Lewis, Durham University
Brenda Leyland, a 63-year old woman from Leicestershire who had been accused of publishing a stream of internet abuse about the family of missing child Madeleine McCann, has been found dead in a hotel room.
Her death raises important questions about the wrongs and rights of how we handle people who express unpalatable views online.
Leyland had been exposed in a Sky News report as the person behind the Twitter account @sweepyface, which had been used to post offensive messages about the McCanns. These included the accusation that Madeleine’s parents were responsible for her disappearance. When confronted by a Sky News reporter about whether she should have posted such messages, Leyland said: “I’m entitled to do that.”
Days before Leyland’s death, BBC Radio 4 ran a story about how the police were investigating abusive social media messages sent to, or published about, the McCanns. Madeleine’s father Gerry McCann featured, suggesting that these messages are fuelled by press reporting. He added that he thinks more people should be charged for internet abuse and revealed that his family tends to avoid the internet because of the nature of threats and insults they receive.
For obvious reasons, the McCanns had encouraged a high-profile press campaign after Madeleine’s disappearance. But without answers about what happened to Madeleine, conspiracy theories have abounded. Brenda Leyland was one of many to discuss the McCann case online. As Rev Pam Smith, one of my Facebook connections said, are we really saying that people are not “entitled” to share adverse views online?
Leyland said she “hoped she hadn’t broken any laws”, but the Malicious Communications Act 1988, which covers Twitter, notes that it is an offence to send messages to another person which are “indecent or grossly offensive”, threatening or false. If the message is intended to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient, they breach the law.
We have to consider whether Sky has a case to answer in this particular situation too though. The broadcaster’s correspondent approached Mrs Leyland on her own doorstep in a live broadcast. She evidently had no idea that she was going to be confronted or that the footage would be broadcast to the world.
Whether or not we like what Leyland had been doing, she was clearly just one of several people who had been expressing their opinions online. She was certainly not the worst. Is doorstepping people, outing them on TV, and ensuring that their face circulates the internet, really the answer? Had Sky done any research into this woman before they put her face in the public domain? Did they know anything about her mental state? Did she just have the misfortune to be the first person who could be made an example of?
Her case carried echoes of the recent media treatment of Cliff Richard. The BBC was heavily rapped for broadcasting live from his home as police raided it. The police of course need to investigate such stories but it is a worrying sign of our culture that trial by media and even trial by gossip appear to have become acceptable.
Media ethics are typically concerned with truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, public accountability and limitation of harm. After the Leveson inquiry, there has been increased emphasis on press responsibility. But in a time of rapid media change and fast-moving news, broadcasters must ensure they too meet their ethical responsibilities.
Bex Lewis does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
Here’s my notes from week 1 of Lancaster University’s MOOC ‘Corpus Linguistics’ (Haven’t got time to do the practical exercise, but this is twigging some thinking re my PhD thesis database!):
What is a corpus?
Why might I use corpus linguistics?
What is your research question/hypothesis?
What is annotation and markup?
Computers do not have the cultural knowledge that we have, so we have to mark-up the text so it can read the nuances, etc.
Types of Corpora
Come in different flavours, so different things can be assessed – e.g. date, time, genre, etc. Specific = outline the areas, but are also general ‘corpora’ – especially language (note difference between spoken/written).
Frequency data, concordances and collocation
A search, how often does it appear, but also how frequently per million words, and what kind of documents/context does it appear within.
Corpora and Language Teaching
This is less relevant to me, but interesting that need to identify the right words that help people understand which words are used frequently, so which to come first within a textbook – could be helpful within digital literacy training.
What can’t we do with corpus?
A really interesting piece about the place of ‘introverts’ in higher education where action learning means not speaking up is no longer an option:
However, university students are no longer allowed to be shy. “Active learning” has become a modern mantra. Students must ask questions, express opinions, lead oral presentations and participate enthusiastically in community projects. To collaborate is sacrosanct. Passivity, on the other hand, is considered the enemy of learning. They must be vocal, expressive and assertive. The extrovert ideal, as Cain calls it, is all the rage.
It’s not true, of course, that September is entirely grim. Being back at work means colliding with cheery colleagues in the corridor, each of us ruefully clutching course-packs and exchanging sympathetic smiles; it also means spotting suntanned students with newly stylish “second-year haircuts” sauntering around all the familiar spaces. I’ve missed them all. But there is a certain pang that strikes you like the memory of a lost youth – or, more precisely, the memory of an article you were meant to finish, a book proposal you intended to start, a research proposal you thought you would concoct and never did as July sank into August and then, whoops, suddenly September started impudently banging on your door.
Read full article.
Who would do a PhD? Who would willingly submit to spending endless hours, over three or four years, in the laboratory or library, racked by self-doubt and money worries, in preparation for a career for which vacancies were never more oversubscribed? …
But do doctoral students really feel prepared for life beyond the ivory tower? And how ready are they to embrace it? Here, we speak to five current and former doctoral students from a range of disciplines and universities about why they did their PhDs, what their experience was like and where they see their futures now.
I’m really interested in group dynamics (see mini project undertaken as part of PGCLTHE), so an interesting case study here:
“Academically ambitious students contribute to moving the average up – unenthusiastic students and shirkers do just the opposite,” he added.
Indeed, some hard-working students may even defect to “the dark side” of the slackers if they saw their classmates getting away with minimal effort, he continued. To combat this problem, students were offered the chance to gain a higher mark for their group assignment if they managed to raise the grade scored by the weakest student in individual tests on the same subject.
Read full piece.
I am SO EXCITED to be reading this piece in Times Higher Education – over the last year I’ve been seeking to work in a healthier pattern (although ironically this week has been a 6 day-week & I need to do some more over the weekend so that I can take a week off… to write a book proposal … carefully planned this is though!)
Some years ago, I heard that a colleague characterised me as “someone who didn’t work weekends”. This description was not meant as a compliment. It’s true that I make a concerted effort to keep something approximating normal working hours of 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. But I haven’t always worked like this. As a postgrad, I anxiously counted my hours and consulted with fellow students, worried that I wasn’t spending enough time at my desk. Eventually, I allowed myself one full day off weekly. When I became a lecturer, I stayed in the office until seven or eight in the evening, in part imitating the working patterns of my new colleagues, and continued to work weekends. Yet when I reduced my hours at the desk some years ago, my productivity did not decline. Instead, my mindfulness to follow regular hours means that my productivity is the same as or even greater than it was before, when I worked 50, 60 or whatever hours it was per week.
Further down, there’s a series of historical figures, and their living styles (most were writers)
The common feature in these workday schedules is walking, bipedalism, that form of locomotion that distinguishes us from the other primates. Walking and thinking seem to go together so naturally that perhaps it’s walking that made us thinkers. Aristotle famously taught while walking along the colonnade connecting the temple of Apollo and the shrine of the Muses. That link between philosophy and walking has stuck and was memorably parodied in Monty Python’s sketch about the Philosophers’ Football Match. Rebecca Solnit, author of Wanderlust: A History of Walking (2000), concurs that walking is good for thinking: she concludes “a desk is no place to think on a large scale”.
Exercise and sleep are highlighted as of key importance to being creative (and I’ve certainly been working on my sleep), and then How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (2007) is quoted:
His suggestions are simple: write and do your research daily in small blocks of time (schedule it in and don’t cheat on that schedule); keep track of what you do in that time; stay attentive to your writing goals and, ideally, get yourself a group that will help you keep to these goals. You might protest, what good are small blocks of time? But small, regular amounts of work build up to significant productivity. A few pages often make a big difference. If you were learning how to tap dance or play the French horn, you wouldn’t set aside one full day a week for practice or cram it into your Saturday afternoons; instead you’d practise for short periods, daily. Why should research and writing be any different?
As academics, we are used to research, so we should research our own habits (oh yes – and being ‘completely detached’ from the good and the bad of a job – is key) –
It is in our best interest to not only be productive but satisfied with our work, because work is vital to our identity and self-definition. We need work not just to put bread on the table but to feel of use, to serve, to contribute, to make and to connect. But the long-hours culture and the cult of busyness saps meaning away, as we tick through never-ending “to do” lists, becoming chronically tired and working less efficiently with each overtime hour.
There’s mention that even in the factory shorter hours have demonstrated increased productivity .. and I remember this from my research in the Second World War – it was SO essential to get arms out, that an extra day was added to the ‘week-cycle’ … productivity went down! And, even in times of crisis, this is key:
Before, Red Cross workers put in as many hours as necessary until the job was finished. Now the Red Cross recognises that workers need breaks in order to be able to respond effectively to the humanitarian crises they face.
This is an enjoyable hop, at which am wincing in recognition at 10 ways that it is possible to badly treat a guest speaker, who has usually spent quite some time (and probably years of study) in preparation of a talk for your delectation… but also some thoughts for academic speakers as to ways around some issues:
I later realised that my title of professor had probably intimidated them. Most bird-keepers are working men: miners, steelworkers, bricklayers and decorators, with little experience of the academy. Once they knew I had kept birds myself and cared about the same things that they cared about, there was no problem. Their close contact with birds gave them extraordinary insight and several of them went on to help me with my research on this topic.
Read full story.
The question “Why am I here?” often strikes in the 73rd minute of a droning lecture. Don’t misunderstand – I love lectures. But only if the person delivering it knows how to allow learning. And yes, I do mean “allow”, for academics don’t create learning – only the student can do that. Unfortunately, most if not all lecturers are crippled by misunderstandings about their students and ill-founded assumptions about education itself. If we can filter the mud from the Pierian Spring, then they will have far less frustration in their lives and students will stop wishing that they were somewhere else. So one afternoon, after a particularly frustrating day with my professors, I sat down and wrote my lecture to them. I pray that they are taking notes.
Read full story in Times Higher Education.