If you’ve read Ursula Le Guin’s classic “Earthsea” trilogy, you will know this story. If you’ve not read the Earthsea trilogy, why not? Put down Moltmann and the New Interpreter’s Bible, quit worrying about GOEs—they’re still three months away—and pick up Le Guin! She’s the best thing you’ll read this year (unless you read Schleiermacher; nothing is better than Schleiermacher).
In book three of the trilogy, The Farthest Shore, something has gone terribly wrong in the island-dotted, mythical world of Earthsea. An alternating malaise and terror encroaches across the globe. As his home island succumbs to the illness, but before his own wits are stolen from him, a young nobleman named Arren travels to the island of Roke, home of wizards, to seek the help of the Archmage Ged. With Ged, the world’s most powerful wizard, Arren travels on a swift boat across the sea, in search of the source of the world’s madness.
John Hines, among other things, was a great opportunist. The story goes that the Rather and Villavaso family wanted a denomination to take over their property as a memorial to the only offspring of the two couples. The much-loved young man had died from injuries sustained in an accident in a local swimming pool.
The Rather daughters’ father had moved to Austin from Gonzales, Texas to build the wonderful house at Duval and 32nd Street as a place for them to live while attending the University of Texas. Both married UT professors and they lived in that great house together. With the boy dead, there was no one to inherit the house.
When Hines heard about the offer, he called to say he was planning to build a seminary and would be interested in the property. Some say he only had a vague idea about a seminary, but the chance to have property so near the UT campus was too tempting to pass up, and so he invented the project in response.
2 Corinthians 4:5-12
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.”
John Hines Day
October 6, 2011
A sermon about Bishop John Hines – founder of Seminary of the Southwest – given by the Rev. Kathleen Sams Russell, assistant professor of contextual theology, on John Hines Day (October 1, 2009) in Christ Chapel
This past summer, I made the journey-along with several thousand other people–to that particular expression of our tradition–General Convention which was held in Anaheim, California, the home of Disneyland and down the road from Hollywood.
On the occasion of John Hines Day and the anniversary of his 100th Birthday
Christ Chapel– Seminary of the Southwest
Micah Jackson, John Hines Assistant Professor of Preaching