Unit 6: Double-Wording: Paul and Me – Sample

Unit Progress:

Thoughtful Lives | Module 3 | Unit 6 (Sample)

Unit Description:

This unit brings together all the major freewriting work from Module 2: Exploring (My) Desire and the material from this current module (Module 3) and does so in an analogical fashion, so as to wed affect and cognition in a growing understanding of the foundations of Paul’s (embedded) theology.

Achievement-Based Objective: By the end of this unit you will have …

  • Explained “The Diagram” of Pauline Theology it to someone and responded to their questions
  • Mind-Mapped your own narrative (from Module 2)
  • Practiced the intellectual skill of “double-wording,” using an (altered) essay by Jane Hirschfield
  • Overlaid your story on top of “The Diagram” of Pauline Theology
  • Narrated a story using the D-A-P-M model and Paul’s language, and done so to your own pleasure

Est. Time to Complete: 10 hours

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Materials Available for This Unit

Learning Tasks for M3U6

Outline of Learning Tasks for Unit

Learning Task #1: Review and Explain “The Diagram” of Pauline Theology so far (30 min)

Learning Task #2: Mind-Map Your Freewriting from Module 2: Exploring (My) Desire (1 hour)

Learning Task #3: Practice Double-Wording (2 hours)

Learning Task #4: Integrate Your Work in Modules 2 and 3 (30 min)

Learning Task #5: Double-Word Your Story with Paul’s Language (6 hours/1-2 weeks)


Respond to the following questions in your Course Journal.

M3U6-Learning Task 1: Review and Explain “The Diagram” of Pauline Theology (30 min)

We have now completed the “Paul’s Formation” piece of Paul’s Theology. As a reminder: EVERYTHING we have studied so far is PRE-Paul! This is Paul’s own “embedded theology” … and most of that theology (perhaps all of it?) is evident in the letters he wrote to the churches. He adapts and revises and re-articulates some (but by no means all) of this theology. But, without a doubt, it is essential that we understand this embedded theology if we are to understand how Paul adapts and revises and re-articulates that theology in relation to the churches he founded and served.

So — Can you re-iterate what you’ve learned in this unit? I’m confident you can. Three steps for this Learning Task: re-create “The Diagram,” explain it to someone else, write up a summary or the questions asked or the discussion you engaged in with whoever you explained “The Diagram” to.

The Three Steps for This Learning Task

    • You should be able to draw the basic Diagram on a blank sheet of paper, with the appropriate labels. As you do so, talk yourself through what the diagram means (i.e., the “definitions” of Shalom, of Righteousness (3 definitions in the end!), of Law, and of Repentance. If you wish to review The Diagram (so far) … see the video, A Chalkboard Chat: “The Diagram of Pauline Theology” (Stage 3)
    • Find some willing person to whom you can explain The Diagram to. Ideally, you’d take a blank sheet of paper with you and draw The Diagram, labeling and explaining as you go. Engage the person in a dialogue. What questions do they have? Where does their interest seem to lie?
    • In your Course Journal, write up a useful one-paragraph summary of your encounter with the person to whom you explained The Diagram. Assess your knowledge of The Diagram, your ability to explain it in simple words to someone else, and the other person’s questions and interest.

M3U6-Learning Task 2: Mind-Map Your Freewriting from Module 2: Exploring (My) Desire (1 hour)

Three steps for this Learning Task as well:

    • Return to your Freewriting from Units 1-4 of Module 2. Re-read as necessary to familiarize yourself, not only with what you wrote, but especially with how you FELT as you were writing those freewrites. Can you remember emotion? Can you remember the affective? Jot down notes from your reading of Units 1-4 of Module 2. Preferably just one-word notes! A phrase would be okay … but you’re looking for single words primarily.
    • Make a separate MindMap for each of the four units of Module 2: One for DESIRE; Another for ACT; Another for PRACTICE; and yet another for MAINTENANCE AND MOTIVATION. Each MindMap needs to include at least three levels, so leave room. For this step, however, you only need to put the key word (Desire/Act/Practice/M&M) in the center and surround it with the words (and phrases) you jotted down in the first step of this Learning Task. If you need some info on creating a MindMap, see the files listed below:
    • Now, read through Unit 5 of Module 2. Add a THIRD LAYER to each of the MindMaps you’ve created — using words that, perhaps, you discovered in your work in Unit 5 of Module 2 … but also other words that just pop into your head for whatever reason. Make it messy!

Keep your MindMaps handy. You’ll need them for later work in this Unit.

The Making of a MindMap

M3U6-Learning Task 3: Practice Double-Wording (2 hours)

“Double-Wording” is a WONDERFUL intellectual skill to develop! Can you think about two things at once? Can you move back and forth between thinking those two things?

Remember the unit on Analogy (Module 1: Unit 4), and the video about how the lecturer saw “himself” in his daughter’s disappointment about … what was it? Do you remember? (If not, you can catch it at about minute 23, see the bookmark in the video labeled “At that moment.”) What were the two things the lecturer was holding in his head when he noticed this analogy?

Below is a link to a terrific essay by Jane Hirschfield, a major poet and a Buddhist. In the essay, Hirschfield relates Poetry to the experience of Surprise. When I first read this essay several years ago, I couldn’t keep from “double-wording” it in my own head. I kept switching out her “poetry” language for language about how we read and experience “scripture.” It’s brilliant! And I’m hoping you’ll be able to see that in this exercise.

It’s not an easy exercise, though! The essay itself is about 7 pages long. I’ve printed instructions in a paragraph at the beginning — and then additional instructions at the beginning of the second version of the essay. Be sure and read those instructions because they may be a big help for you in the (perhaps) difficult exercise.

BUT … It may be difficult, but it’s extremely valuable. If you can learn to “double-read” like this, on your own, with other assigned reading or with scripture or with an essay you read someplace else … if you can learn this intellectual skill, it’ll serve you extremely well. It’s like a 10k race (which I’ve certainly never run!).

An Exercise in “Double-Wording – “The Surprising Work of Scripture: A reading of Jane Hirschfield’s ‘Poetry & the Constellation of Surprise’ (in The Writer’s Chronicle, Vol. 40, No. 2, 28ff.)

M3U6-Learning Task 4: Integrate Your Work in Modules 2 and 3 (30 min)

Now it’s time to put Module 2 and Module 3 together. I bet you’ve already figured that out. Two steps:

First, watch the video from Unit 1 of Module 3, from about 10:39. You knew this was coming, right? Double-wording your own story with Paul’s language. In the video I simply did the “double-wording” in a stair-step pattern. Can you create it on top of a version of “The Diagram” of Pauline Theology? Try this in the graphic drag-and-drop exercise below:

Drag the “Module 2” Words to the analogous position on “The Diagram” of Pauline Theology!

Second, get out those MindMaps from Learning Task #2, above. Arrange them on the floor, or bed, or pin them to the wall … in the “shape” of the Pauline Theology Diagram.

And finally: re-create a drawing of “The Diagram” for each of the “narratives” you created in Module 2: Unit 5: Finding the Thread. Look at the D-A-P-M narratives you built — your own, and then the two created narratives or stories. Create a version of “The Diagram” for each of those narratives, replacing the “content” of the D-A-P-M narratives for the terms on “The Diagram.”

M3U6-Learning Task 5: Double-Word Your Story with Paul’s Language (6 hours/1-2 weeks)

Now its time for our first major assignment. It’s simple … but challenging. Maybe. Here’s what you do:

    • Now that you’ve “narrated” your story, using the D-A-P-M model. And you’ve placed your narrative–through the “terms” of the D-A-P-M model onto “The Diagram” — write a story, using BOTH Paul’s socio-theological language (Shalom, Righteousness, Law, Repentance and Forgiveness) AND the details of your own story of desire, action, practice, and maintenance & motivation. You may either use your own personal story or one of the narratives you created in Module 2: Unit 5. (Or, you can create a whole new narrative, using the D-A-P-M model.)
    • Interweave the language of Paul (“The Diagram”) and your own specific desire, act, practice, and maintenance routine. Throw in some words you discovered from your MindMapping in Learning Task #2, above.
    • You will need to draft this (quick is best!), not even necessarily using full sentences. You can draft this in a list of bullets first. After you’ve drafted your “double-worded narrative” in draft — go ahead scribble it out into sentences and paragraphs. Do it quickly, as though you were freewriting. SET IT ASIDE for at least 24 hours.
    • AFTER 24 hours, return to your quickly written-out draft. Read through it. Circle or underline things you particularly like in what you wrote. FOCUS FIRST ON THE THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT WHAT YOU WROTE! Then, identify those elements you think need some clarity. Spend 15-20 minutes, no more, fiddling around with those less-than-desirable elements, seeing how you can improve them to your liking. Do not obsess over this. Just play around with different ways to say it. SET IT ASIDE for another 24-48 hours.
    • Finally, return to the piece and make it as tight and lovely as you can. Do not do this in “academic style.” Do it in “real people” style. Who are you writing this for? Not the professor! Who do you think might benefit from hearing this story? Write it to that person! Knowing who you’re writing for and to will strengthen your writing considerably. (Yes, I know I’m not using the objective case … but it sounds better this way in my ear. 😀)
    • Send the narrative in a Word Doc to Dr. Wiles, no later than the Friday of Reading Week. (If you can send it before Reading Week, do so!) Go ahead and start the next module while you’re doing this writing work. PLEASE: give a filename to the Word Doc that begins with your LAST NAME and include “m3u6-essay” after your last name. It’d be great if you’d also give the first initial of your first name (e.g., WilesV). But that’s probably not necessary. I don’t think there are any duplicate last names in the course.
    • How many pages???? Well — short enough to be powerful, not so long that it’s boring. LOL. Seriously … it will differ with each person. Three pages — that might do it, but it’d need to be wonderfully tight and well-wrought. You might well do that. No more than ten pages, surely. I’m guessing most of you will write somewhere between 5 and 7 pages. Take your time. Give it several runs. Read it aloud to someone you like. Don’t let them correct your grammar or sentences. Just see what they like about what you’re doing. Play with it and take pleasure in your own mind. Seriously. PLAY with it.

THE ONLY WAY TO GET THIS WRONG . . . IS NOT TO DO IT.

I mean it. The ONLY way to get this Learning Task wrong is not to do it. See if you can discover how to enjoy this exercise in thinking your own thoughts, your own life, your own desire.


If you have completed all the Learning Tasks with good intent

you may “Mark Complete” and move forward!


Thoughtful Lives by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 International LicenseBased on a work at https://goodwaylearning.com