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My Homeland and the Wide World : A Life Journey Through Education, Culture and Faith

My Homeland and the Wide World : A Life Journey Through Education, Culture and Faith

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After John Ray�_Ts experiences related in his 2018 Twenty-Five Years in Kashmir, comes this more general reflection on an eventful life. The author watched the Battle of Britain from a Surrey field as a twelve-year-old and during his schooldays cycled the length and breadth of England when unpoisoned hedgerows were still full of flowers. This was his homeland. Student years at St Andrews inspired a love of mountains, then came a �_~surprising National Service�_T beside the Russian zone in Austria and a job initiating mountain expeditions at Gordonstoun. Next, in northern Pakistan, culture shock led to finding faith, and to meeting Catherine, a Scottish medical missionary. Their family home was to be across more mountains, in Srinagar, capital of Kashmir. As Principal of Srinagar�_Ts leading school, John Ray also found himself �_~Unofficial Correspondent�_T to the British High Commission in New Delhi. His life became yet more crowded when ordained, but it was the arrival in Kashmir, bedraggled and drug doped, of the hippies, and a friend�_Ts question - �_~What has happened to England?�_T - that turned him towards multicultural Birmingham, to Muslim Sparkhill, and to relating to all in schools, churches and charities. Now from the tranquility of a Yorkshire village the author considers the contested legacy of the 1960s �_~freedoms�_T in Britain today. Those who have deeply influenced him include especially Dr Erich Meissner, Gordonstoun�_Ts philosopher-historian, and Bishop Lessie Newbigin. In the face of new monsters such as climate change and Artificial Intelligence he finds grounds for hope for his grandchildren and future generations in his faith.




Author/s: Ray, John

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