Lest you think all we are doing here is traveling around and having fun, today we had an intensive seminar time in the morning to focus in our learning about both global and future leadership. It was a good conversation building on the texts we have read for this summer. Texts about leadership and helping move communities forward with principle and purpose. Particularly we focused in on the reality that leaders must be involved in change. Kotter, Collins and Heifitz are some of the best authors on these topics, I certainly recommend them.
After our seminar we headed over to the main Oxford Library, the Bodleian. Because of our status as residents at Regents Park College we were given special access to the library. Although they did not let us take any pictures. Sorry. But it was a nice late morning opportunity to visit and spend some time in one of the oldest and largest (11 million volumes) libraries in the world.
Below is one of the rooms in the Bodleian we were allowed to take pictures in. This is a room in which the faculty meet as well as where Charles the First, when he had been forced from London by Cromwell, held his parliament. It dates back about 500 years, which is something to think about. Additionally, when Nelson Mandela received his honorary doctorate from Oxford, he did so in this room. So lots of history here and thoughts to have about leadership in the midst of crises.
After lunch we went for a tour of Christ Church College. One of the oldest and most well established of the colleges at Oxford. For those who are Harry Potter fans, you will also recognize some of the places there as well. It is a beautiful and picturesque place.
Bell also had a hand in rescuing many Jews from their fate at the hand of Nazi fascism. And finally, Bell argued against the bombing of German cities and civilians. Stating it was not humane to target civilians. This did not make him popular in his time. But his moral voice was essential and without him, the memory of Bonhoeffer would likely have been forgotten. In fact, Bonhoeffer's famous last words "This is the end — for me the beginning of life" were in fact addressed to Bishop Bell through a fellow prisoner, an Englishman Payne Best.
The inscription on the tomb stone reads...
"No Nation, No Church, No Individual is guiltless. Without repentance and without forgiveness there can be no regeneration." Blessed be the memory of Bishop Bell and his leadership.
Lastly, a couple pictures from the grounds of Christ Church. Just beautifully maintained and kept.