Hello, and thank you as ever for subscribing to my Substack. I hope you find it generally edifying.
It strikes me that the name “Catechetical Mystablogy” might be a bit on the obscure side. Those in the know will realise that it’s a pun on catechetical mystagogy, but those who are not might not even be able to pronounce it. It’s hardly a phrase in common currency.
So… what to do?
I could go back to one of two of my older blogs’ names. “The Prayer Book Platonist” captured my classical Anglican and Christian Platonist approach, but is perhaps a bit too limiting given that I also write about Buddhism, Japan and other things. “Greater Silence” was my old website’s name for a while, indicating my semi-monastic aspirations and theological commitments, and it’s quite catchy (with a bit of a nod to the great Endo Shusaku novel thrown in), but I don’t know that it really captures what I’m doing here.
Another, somewhat more - dare I say - wacky idea is to go for something quite different and restyle the newsletter as a “virtual theology pub.” I was thinking I might call it the Lamb and Dragon, to capture the West-East angle, and send out emails under different sections: “the soapbox” for sermon précis, “the snug” for discussion threads, “the jukebox” for writings about music or even the odd shakuhachi/blues piano recording, “drink!” for writing about ales from time to time, maybe even a “bar brawl” if I can get a bit of online debate going between guest writers/speakers. It would expand the newsletter considerably and could be quite fun. C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Shinran and Dionysius the Areopagite walk into a bar… It could help me to widen the subjects I write about (and get guest writers in - interested?), but you may prefer things as they are - a straightforward mailing list from me.
Anyway, as you are my readers, I would very much welcome your thoughts, so here’s a poll if you have time for it - in which case, thank you again. And if not, do just hit the delete button. I won’t be offended.
I really love the pun, and have shared it with a few of my friends and got a laugh, but it is certainly obscure. I only speak about it to very particular friends.
The Lamb and Dragon is a cool idea; it widens the horizons.
I'm also happy if things stay the same. Change and decay, as they say.
I wonder if there is a way to change, while preserving the delightful pun somewhere or other.
In my mind, I always read it as, "Mystabiology." Which is still pretty good. But Lamb and Dragon is my favorite. Godspeed.
I really like the Lamb & Dragon idea as described by you.
Dear Mr. Plant
I am rather new here, but why not "mystical theoblogy"? You then still have the pun and a reference to the Areopagite (and thus also a link with neo-platonism) and it is probably broad enough to encompass west-east dialogue?
David Roef Nieuwejaers
The Lamb & Dragon is a great name, and I don’t think it needs the “theology in the pub” explainer. I can’t remember whose advice this was, but it rang true: Let your readers join the dots - they’ll love you for it.
Sorry it has been a while! I hope you enjoy what I've just posted, which has been brewing for some time.
Thank you for all your feedback. I'm going to think seriously about the Lamb and Flag option. Time is short at the moment, as we are about to start a new academic year here in Japan, so it is now the season for graduations, matriculations, farewells and orientation sessions, in which we chaplains play a large part.
I have scheduled a repost of an older article published elsewhere for the Annunciation on Saturday: a little gift for any Tolkien fans reading!
Thank you for the informative feedback! I am glad you like the pun, but wonder whether it may wear thin after a while. I'll think on ways of preserving it, if we go down the Lamb and Dragon route. Hmm.
Thank you all so far. The Lamb and Dragon idea seems to have captured a few imaginations, but almost as many are happy to keep things as they are. Any more opinions? There are still a few days left to click on the poll if you'd like to.