Monday, February 16, 2009

Theology as Cultural Work

I attended the Communio Study Circle in Kansas City on Saturday, February 14th. The next one is in April. It was refreshing to get together with (new) friends to discuss theological ideas. It was also great to meet folks in contact with the JP2 Institute in DC and to hear the names of old friends again (I lived in DC a couple of times, but I didn't go to school there). 

When I got home, I saw that our copy of Is it Possible to Live this Way? Hope, had arrived in the mail. I opened it up to see some comforting words from Fr. Giussani: 
"There's an understand of faith that belongs only to theologians, to those who study, and that doesn't matter; no, it does matter! It matters, but it doesn't matter: what matters is what anyone can understand; and in explaining faith [vol 1], we have re-evoked what anyone can understand" (3). 
I have loved literature, history, biography, and I'm beginning to appreciate politics, but theology is a cultural form that I have also loved for much of my life. Theology has been described as faith seeking understanding. Fr. Giussani and my friends in Communion and Liberation have helped me deepen my faith. And from this perspective, I see the proper place for theology: not a substitute for faith, but faith expressing itself in the realm of dialogue - an intellectual life rooted in faith and in contact with human experience as expressed in literature and history. It may not be the most critical cultural work, but it is a cultural work that is suitable for me. And we must all do what we are given to do. 
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