FOUR WINDS is the personal website and blog of Scott Thomas Prather — academic, writer and lover of all good things. Especially good food, music and books.
After recently finishing my doctoral work in theology and ethics, I created this blog as a virtual outpost for my own informal commentary on things I’ve seen, heard and tasted. The majority of the content on Four Winds will reflect my academic interests, which covers pretty much anything that relates contemporary social issues and ethical questions to theological or philosophical discourse. My studies have been mainly in Christian theology and ethics, so much of what I say here will inevitably reflect that perspective. But I’m only interested in theology (or philosophy) to the extent that it has something useful to say about the forms of life, death, and moral dis/order we live with today. So you’ll find here more of a focus on the (theological/philosophical) meaning of social life than any strictly “religious” concern.
So much for the explicitly academic side of things. This site is also devoted to reflection on several other of my loves — mainly music, food and literature. I never really knew or cared to learn about cooking growing up, but I’ve been feeling my way around the kitchen for a couple years now. Maybe the zeitgeist of the “green” movement is just now coming into its own, but for whatever reason, somewhere along the way I began to see food not only as a gateway to the world(s) of human culture, innovation, and pleasure, but also as a focal point for many of the most pressing moral issues of our day. So Four Winds will be a window to my life as a “foodie” — from the mundane (personal recipe triumphs and disasters) to the bigger social picture of which our eating is a part.
I’m also a writer. Four Winds is a portal to finding and discussing my academic writing (books, articles and reviews), whether published or in progress. Yet like every true academic, I also have ideals of having a public voice beyond the texts I write for other academics in my provincially narrow “scholarly discipline(s)”. I write poetry, and have plans for a few short fictional pieces. More importantly, I read. This site is, therefore, also a space for me to publicly air my various attempts at literary maturation, and to propagandize for others’ writing when I want to.
Finally, as this site functions just as much as a personal website/forum-for-self-promotion as it does a “blog,” I reserve the right to post or not-post about anything I please. (Which really means, expect some music/film reviews, too.) As to the role of everyone not-me here, I certainly hope you’ll “comment” when you have something to say about what I say — whether that’s dis/agreement, enlightening me, asking questions, whatever. I do hope this becomes a forum for mutually informative discussion, but I’m not going to force it. I will refrain from developing a formal “comment policy” until it proves necessary, but just know that — while I certainly welcome any and all spirited discussion, even argument — I also reserve the right to delete any comments I find hopelessly irrelevant or just plain annoying.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a list of my academic credentials/work, see my CV.