The Disciples' Call: Theologies of Vocation From Scripture to the Present Day is a collection of essays which offers a theological anthropology of vocation. Read on for an illuminating interview with editor Father Christopher Jamison O.S.B.
T&T Clark: Hi Father Jamison, thank you for joining us. If you had to, how would you describe your book in one sentence?
Father Christopher Jamison O.S.B: Vocation is a central feature of Christian life and this collection of essays explores the many different meanings people have given vocation in the past and today.
T&T: When did you start researching for this book?
FCJ: When I was appointed Director of the Catholic Church’s National Office for Vocation in October 2010, I began to look more deeply into the meaning of vocation.
T&T: Which part of writing a book have you enjoyed most?
FCJ: The chapters of this book come from a seminar held in 2012. As the convener of the seminar and editor of the book, I’ve had the opportunity to invite a wide range of talented people to work together. Writing the introduction and conclusion to this shared work has been a very enjoyable experience.
T&T: Great! And how has the theme of Vocation, as explored by the contributors to this volume, illuminated and aided your own work at the National Office for Vocation?
FCJ: It has highlighted that vocation has a long and varied history, with different meanings in different eras. This explains some of the confusion that currently surrounds vocation and is helping us to clarify its meaning for today.
T&T: Do you have any tips for people reading the book?
FCJ: After reading the introduction, read any chapter that draws you as they are free standing and don’t need to be read in sequence. Hot tip: Dr Peter Tyler’s chapter on the psychology of vocation has already drawn plaudits from reviewers as the finest piece about this in living memory.
T&T: Great tip, that chapter is earmarked in my copy. How do you/ would you advise someone who believes they are being called but does not yet know whether they have the resources to commit?
FCJ: Firstly, be reassured that you are not alone. Secondly, go to www.ukvocation.org and you’ll find a range of people that you can contact and groups that you can join to ask for advice that has no agenda other than to help you discover God’s call in your life. Nobody can do this on their own.
T&T: Finally, where will your research go from here?
FCJ: The study of Christian vocation leads into consideration of the nature of Christian ministry. This is touched on in Fr Richard Lennan’s excellent chapter on the mission of the church. So I’m looking at the connections between mission, ministry and vocation, connections that Pope Francis has highlighted in his first major work ‘The Joy of the Gospel.’
T&T: Thank you Father Jamison, it has been a pleasure.