The beginning of theology

“The beginning of theology is not the card catalogue, but doing battle with the passions. And the end of theology is not becoming a professor, but becoming a saint.”

Macrina Walker meditates on theology in the west here. Good thoughts, including:

The West tends to think of theology as a mental activity. Probably this is because the people to whom the West gives the name theologian live in the academy. Theology is a science practised in the hall of sciences, and even if an individual theologian is also urged to have faith commitments in his or her heart, and to be active in service to the poor, the only reason for calling these people theologians is because of what they think about. Worship is taken to be either an expression of believe, or an instrument for the creation of belief. And only if that believing requires a tune-up clarification does theology enter the picture.

Quoting Fr. Alexander Schmemann: “It is indeed the original sin of the entire western theological development that it made texts the only loci theologica, the extrinsic authorities of theology, disconnecting theology from its living source, liturgy and spirituality.


Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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  1. Thanks for the link! However, I should point out, lest I be accused of plagiarising, that I was actually quoting a lecture by David Fagerberg – which I indeed found very good.

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    • I’m hoping readers will click through to your whole post. “I’m quoting her, quoting him, reflecting on Schmemann” started getting hard to follow:-)

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