Vocational Awe and Theological Librarianship The Truths We Might Begin Telling Ourselves

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Karl Stutzman


This essay applies Fobazi Ettarh’s concept of “vocational awe” to theological librarianship, suggesting that theological librarians’ strong sense of religious vocation may be leading to burnout, low pay, and dwindling resources for libraries. It proposes a series of truths that may apply to theological librarians, indicating ways forward for theological librarians to create a relationship with their work that is not all-consuming and self-defeating. These truths are framed in part with Christian references that modify this traditional sense of vocation. This renewed relationship with work welcomes diverse persons to the profession by understanding that not everyone has the ability or desire to totally give their lives over to their work.

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