Prophetic memoir rejects dogmatism

Prophetic memoir rejects dogmatism

Australian theologian Dr Bill Lawton has just published his memoirs, Leave Love With Me

For Dr Lawton, the book is the result of eight years’ work. It is dedicated to his late wife.  

In responding to the book, the University of New England’s Dr Thomas Fudge said the memoir was “an unpretentious reflection of a lifelong journey towards beauty, love, and awe.” 

“This prophetic memoir rejects dogmatism and rigid claims of truth and righteousness embraced by some sectors of our contemporary world,” Dr Fudge wrote. 

“Without bitterness or malice, the book is an unpretentious reflection of a lifelong journey towards beauty, awe and love. Lawton writes with the breadth of a humanist and the perceptiveness of a social historian. He sees life as sacramental despite the fragmenting and incoherent dynamics of the world around us. This book urges readers to embrace all of life with its otherness and manifest differences in search of new stories.” 
Dr Lawton said the book, which recounts his experiences, is an exploration of desire. 

“Desire is an act of will. It is motivated by more than reward or experience. You meet this in people who live at the edge of community – in people who search for companionship or day survival. They make choices. Every choice is a declaration of self-discovery or affirmation. This will often have no history and no obvious modelling. Desire is a choice from deep within the psyche to own or remake this moment.” 
“Desire is that basic human quality where from birth to coitus to near-death the will-to-be is the mark of our humanity. The will of desire embraces touch and smell and sight as self- fulfilment. The ‘other’ becomes the mirror of self, the ‘presence’ of what I might yet become. The will may well be conditioned by evolution and genetics, but it is independent of experience. I have no external experience of birth or coitus or dying. I may have watched each but they offer no plan or definition for my own life. Each is instinctual.” 

“Desire is the energy of life. It awakens every passion, every sense of beauty, every hope for life fulfilment. Desire is the urgency of our yearning and our creativity. It is a primary life value fundamental to religious faith and to how each of us might reach across social division. Desire releases us to explore difference, and to honor alternatives.” 
“Desire shapes our lives in unique ways. It centers our energies for personal and relational change, where difference can be debated, and variety permitted. We might transcend circumstances that limit us. Desire is more than “meaningfulness”; it is captivation of mind and spirit to life’s possibility. In my discovery, desire is an abandonment to beauty.” 

Leave Love With Me is available now through Wipf and Stock. 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top