I am posting this recent comment to an earlier article on Creativity, Books and Theological Education as I do not want it to lie buried and unconsidered in the archives of this site.
The comment comes from JT who has contributed an article or two already to this site:
“In the three Theological Colleges I have visited this year the libraries were very sparse, due both to shortage of funds and lack of materials in the local language, though I was able to make good use of the Africa Bible Commentary (2006) which is in English.”
“It has occurred to me that one more long term answer may be to skip to the next generation of knowledge transfer and make use of something similar to the cheap wind-up laptops now being developed for distribution in third world countries by putting at least commentaries and classics in English on their hard drive. This would have the added advantage of getting more to the village pastors for whom TEE materials are the only resource.”
Many thanks for your thoughts JT. Anybody want to interact?
Dr Geoff Pound
Image: A happy user in the One Laptop a Child Project (OLPC)
IF you can buy the laptops at $200 AND IF it costs $20 for someone to transfer the data (say 500 books) to the laptop, AND IF it costs no more to transport the laptop than it would 6 printed books AND IF the six books cost < $35 THEN your pastor has 500 books for the price of 6.
But then half the village are illiterate, and the pastor is not highly literate either. So, why not record someone reading the books – like Librivox – then people will be able to bypass getting literate. BTW I noticed this week that reading a quotation that uses complex language aloud to my class made it easier to understand, even for literate students…
An MP3 player that will hold 200 audio books costs only $50, and transporting 4 costs less than one laptop so you could provide 200 "books" to 4 pastors…
The question is can we convert the Western fettish for "books" into something more useful?