Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"Theology": A description

Thanks, in advance to Clint, over at Lutheran Confessions, for this description or definition of "theology" as offered by Marilynne Robinson (lately famous for her novel Gilead, but here quoted from her book of essays The Death of Adam: Essays in Modern Thought):

"Great theology is always a kind of giant and intricate poetry, like epic or
saga. It is written for those who know the tale already, the urgent messages and
the dying words, and who attend to its retelling with a special alertness,
because the story has a claim on them and they on it. Theology is also close to
the spoken voice. It evokes sermon, sacrament, and liturgy, and of course,
Scripture itself, with all its echoes of song and legend and prayer. It earns
its authority by winning assent and recognition, in the manner of poetry but
with the difference that the assent seems to be to ultimate truth, however
oblique or fragmentary the suggestion of it. Theology is written for the small
community of those who would think of reading it" (117).

Those are words worth savoring.

Anyone disagree with Ms. Robinson?

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