Over the weekend, Sunday Life published a piece of mine on faith (thank you for having me, Sunday Life). Writing on faith for "secular" media is always a precarious business, like having your beliefs put under a proverbial Bunsen burner. In the process God will challenge you, and editors, too, and, of course, the readers.
It was not a feature article, in which case I would have canvassed the views of experts on religion and showcased more of my research into Australian history of philosophy and religion (as did Christine Jackson in her piece for The Weekend Australian Magazine), but an op-ed piece; a talking point.
Believe me, it would be nice to hide in a hole like a hobbit rather than write sometimes, or else stick to topics that are cheerful and safe, but as with those passionate young people at World Youth Day weathering the rain in Madrid, sometimes you need to go out on a limb and risk a storm blowing in.
The piece underwent a couple of transformations. As a writer, you must be adaptable to the publication you are writing for without compromising your position; as such, my theology is not on great display, but a footnote. My thanks to the gracious Fairfax subs, Matt and Jim, who tolerated my, "I feel like I'm doing a Judas on Jesus!", emails and shaped the story into something palatable, and, importantly, to editor Sarah Oakes, for taking a chance on the column in the first instance.
I have posted the original piece I penned back in July under 'Faith Talk' earlier this morning, with minor edits, and will post the Sunday Life story under 'Media' here so you can see how it turned out in the end. As an aside, Sunday Life is fast becoming a cherished weekly read for thinking women (and men) – if only it would go national!
Girl With a Satchel