Comments on: Letter from St. Paul to the Colleagues History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:24:08 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ann Bartow Sat, 15 May 2010 21:50:49 +0000 I can’t speak for Bridget but I know she manages to roll off a lot of bad colleague behavior because she is both extremely nice and extremely strong. She is the opposite of sanctimonious and very funny as well, but perhaps picking up the humor embedded in the post is dependent on knowing the kind of crap she puts up with professionally.

By: Historiann Sat, 15 May 2010 12:38:24 +0000 Ann–I didn’t read it so much as a parody as a takeoff inspired by Paul’s letter. (That is, although some of it is overblown because of the genre, Bridget Crawford really believes in the value of collegiality.)

Or did I not get it at all?

I agree with Janice: while collegiality can be used as a weapon in some cases (or rather, the accusation of absence of collegiality in someone), it is necessary to get things done around the office. Self-interest alone doesn’t work in an academic workplace. I’ve been in departments that had conversations about re-jiggering the expectations and rewards formulas for our distribution of labor (research, teaching, service) to elevate the importance of service in annual evals and advancement, but they never get very far. The majority of us are apparently happy to perform service to our unis and our profession without demanding commensurate rewards. St. Paul would be proud.

(Except for all of the women who speak in public, preach and teach to men, and don’t cover their heads, of course.)

By: rootlesscosmo Sat, 15 May 2010 03:54:31 +0000 @Ann Bartow and all y’all: part of that text was set by Brahms in the fourth of his Four Serious Songs, a late work probably occasioned by the news of Clara Schumann’s death. “Nun aber bleibet Glaube, Hoffnung, Liebe; aber die Liebe ist die grösseste unter ihnen.” I like the recording by John Shirley-Quirk, but there are many other fine ones. The piece itself–all four songs, they need to be heard and appreciated as a set–is absolutely not to be missed.

By: Janice Sat, 15 May 2010 01:16:47 +0000 I recognized the parallel right away and, yes, I have known some gifted scholars and teachers who were right nasty, power-hungry bastards and who I’d not want serving in a department or institution with me under any circumstances.

Collegiality can be abused as an excuse in hiring and promotion, I know, but if it is absent or beaten out from a person or an academic department? You are so screwed. So very screwed.

By: Ann Bartow Sat, 15 May 2010 01:11:41 +0000 Thanks, Rootless. As Rootless Cosmo understood, it’s a parody of St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. That’s why Bridget starts the post: “With massive apologies anyone who is now, ever was or will be a Corinthian, here’s my effort at defining collegiality …” and why Historiann gave the post the title she did. Y’all never heard this read at a wedding?

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,
I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have,
and if I deliver my body to be burned,
but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient,
love is kind;
love is not jealous or boastful;
it is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.

As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease;
as for knowledge, it will pass away.
For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child;
when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully,
even as I have been fully understood.
So faith, hope, love abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 13:1-13

By: rootlesscosmo Fri, 14 May 2010 22:43:07 +0000 First Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

(King James Version)

(Greek αγάπη, Latin caritas, rendered as Liebe in Luther’s translation. The choice of three cardinal academic virtues is left as an exercise for the reader, cause ol’ rootless ain’t going anywhere near that one.)

By: Comrade PhysioProf Fri, 14 May 2010 21:28:10 +0000

It is a parody; I think that point is getting lost.

Yeah, it was lost on me. What’s it a parody of?

By: Fratguy Fri, 14 May 2010 21:13:20 +0000 That mosaic of St Paul looks eerily like one of my more uncollegial former colleagues. St Paul looks like he must have been a real pill.

By: koshem Bos Fri, 14 May 2010 20:34:54 +0000 I spent time with private/government organizations, for the sake of Collegiality, no one I encountered has ever thought about it beyond the most simplistic level.

By: Ann Bartow Fri, 14 May 2010 20:31:54 +0000 It is a parody; I think that point is getting lost.