david bentley hart on theology :: why i’m occasionally overwhelmed

Now, as it happens, theology is actually a pitilessly demanding discipline concerning an immense, profoundly sophisticated legacy of hermeneutics, dialectics, and logic; it deals in minute detail with a vast variety of concrete historical data; over the centuries, it has incubated speculative systems of extraordinary rigor and intricacy, many of whose questions and methods continue to inform contemporary philosophy; and it does, when all is said and done, constitute the single intellectual, moral, spiritual, and cultural tradition uniting the classical, medieval, and early modern worlds. Even if one entirely avoids considering what metaphysical content one should attach to the word “God,” one can still plausibly argue that theology is no more lacking in a substantial field of inquiry than are history, philosophy, the study of literature, or any of the other genuinely respectable university disciplines.

Moreover, theology requires far greater scholarly range. The properly trained Christian theologian should be a proficient linguist, with a mastery of several ancient and modern tongues, should have formation in the subtleties of the whole Christian dogmatic tradition, should possess a considerable knowledge of the liturgies, texts, and arguments produced in every period of the Church, should be a good historian, should have a thorough philosophical training, should possess considerable knowledge of the fine arts, should have an intelligent interest in such areas as law or economics, and so on. This is not to say that one cannot practice theology without all these attainments, but such an education remains the scholarly ideal of the guild

James R. Stoner Jr., Stanley Hauerwas, Paul J. Griffiths, David B. Hart, “Theology as Knowledge,” First Things (May, 2006).

2 Replies to “david bentley hart on theology :: why i’m occasionally overwhelmed”

  1. In Truth the underlying emotional disposition that motivates the doing of theology is a fundamental doubt as to the existence of Real God.

    To try to “prove” the existence of “god” is in effect to affirm the negative proposition that god does not exist.

    Please check out these related references on Real God as The Divine Conscious Light in which all beings are floating.

    1. http://www.dabase.org/dht6.htm
    2. http://www.dabase.org/broken.htm
    3. http://www.dabase.org/rgcbpobk.htm
    3. http://www.aboutadidam.org/readings/art_is_love/index.html

  2. John,

    Thank you for another set of comments, I’m glad that you are coming by the blog. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that you are actually reading the posts. This post has very little to do with proving or disproving the existence of God, with faith or doubt as such, or with consciousness wherever it might be floating. The quote was about the rigors of the discipline of theology.

    Your comment appears to be little more than a cover for the links which you have provided. I will repeat my invitation to you to represent, even quote, the ideas contained in those links in a way that is relevant to the posts. Your present style of interaction however, adds little or no value to any ongoing discussion because your comment is so tangential to the post itself.

    I am greatly interested in a conversation, I am not interested in unsolicited spam.

    Go well,
    Eric

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