theology

The only theology worth doing is that which inspires and transforms lives, that which empowers us to participate in creating, liberating, and blessing the world.

We find that the religions, whose theology has been least preoccupied with events in time and most concerned with eternity, have been consistently the least violent and most humane in political practice.

We find that the religions, whose theology has been least preoccupied with events in time and most concerned with eternity, have been consistently the least violent and most humane in political practice.

We find that the religions, whose theology has been least preoccupied with events in time and most concerned with eternity, have been consistently the least violent and most humane in political practice.

The task of theology is to show how the world is founded on something beyond transient fact, and how it issues in something beyond the perishing of occasions. The temporal world is the stage of finite accomplishment. We ask of theology to express that element in perishing lives which is undying by reason of its expression of perfection proper to our finite natures. In this way we shall understand how life includes a mode of satisfaction deeper than joy or sorrow.

Theology is an incubus that a humanist can never shake off. He may seek refuge from theism in atheism or from animism in materialism. But after each desperate twist and turn he will find himself committed to some theological position or other. Theology is inescapable, and it is dynamite.

Theology is unapologetically prescriptive. It does not claim to be value-free or neutral. Theologians draw upon the beliefs of a particular tradition to suggest a course of action, an appropriate response, a way of life commensurate with what the faith teaches. Theology can be wrong; it cannot be noncommittal.

To be still searching what we know not by what we know, still closing up truth to truth as we find it (for all her body is homogeneal and proportional), this is a golden rule in theology as well as in arithmetic, and makes up the best harmony in a Church; not the forced and outward union of cold and neutral, and inwardly divided minds.

Religion is neither theology nor a theosophy; it is more than that; it is a discipline, a law, a yoke, an indissoluble engagement.

The best theology would need no advocates; it would prove itself.

Sacred theology is superior to philosophy, both theoretically and practically; theoretically, because it is more perfect knowledge of God and His creatures; practically, because moral philosophy is insufficient to direct man to God as his last end.

I consider theology to be the rhetoric of morals.

The word God is a theology in itself, indivisibly one, inexhaustibly various, from the vastness and simplicity of its meaning. Admit a God, and you introduce among the subjects of your knowledge a fact encompassing, closing in upon, absorbing ever other fact conceivable.

It appears that mind, as manifested by the capacity to make choices, is to some extent inherent in every atom. The universe as a whole is also weird, with laws of nature that make it hospitable to the growth of mind. I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind. We stand, in a manner of speaking, midway between the unpredictability of atoms and the unpredictability of God. Atoms are small pieces of our mental apparatus, and we are small pieces of God's mental apparatus. Our minds may receive inputs equally from atoms and from God. This view of our place in the cosmos may not be true, but it is compatible with the active nature of atoms as revealed in the experiments of modern physics. I don't say that this personal theology is supported or proved by scientific evidence. I only say that it is consistent with scientific evidence.

Orthodoxy is summoned to witness. Now more than ever the Christian West stands before divergent prospects, a living question addressed also to the Orthodox world… The ‘old polemical theology' has long ago lost its inner connection with any reality. Such theology was an academic discipline, and was always elaborated according to the same western 'textbooks.' A historiosophical exegesis of the western religious tragedy must become the new 'polemical theology.' But this tragedy must be reendured and relived, precisely as one's own, and its potential catharsis must be demonstrated in the fullness of the experience of the Church and patristic tradition. In this newly sought Orthodox synthesis, the centuries-old experience of the Catholic West must be studied and diagnosed by Orthodox theology with greater care and sympathy than has been the case up to now… The Orthodox theologian must also offer his own testimony to this world—a testimony arising from the inner memory of the Church—and resolve the question with his historical findings.

The Bible is primarily not man's vision of God but God's vision of man. The Bible is not man's theology but God's anthropology.

God, I have said, is the fulfiller, or the reality, of the human desires for happiness, perfection, and immortality. From this it may be inferred that to deprive man of God is to tear the heart out of his breast. But I contest the premises from which religion and theology deduce the necessity and existence of God, or of immortality, which is the same thing. I maintain that desires which are fulfilled only in the imagination, or from which the existence of an imaginary being is deduced, are imaginary desires, and not the real desires of the human heart; I maintain that the limitations which the religious imagination annuls in the idea of God or immortality, are necessary determinations of the human essence, which cannot be dissociated from it, and therefore no limitations at all, except precisely in man’s imagination.

The idea inherent in all idealistic metaphysics–that the world is in some sense a product of the mind–is thus turned into its opposite: the mind is a product of the world, of the processes of nature. Hence, according to popular Darwinism, nature does not need philosophy to speak for her: nature, a powerful and venerable deity, is ruler rather than ruled. Darwinism ultimately comes to the aid of rebellious nature in undermining any doctrine, theological or philosophical, that regards nature itself as expressing a truth that reason must try to recognize. The equating of reason with nature, by which reason is debased and raw nature exalted, is a typical fallacy of the era of rationalization. Instrumentalized subjective reason either eulogizes nature as pure vitality or disparages it as brute force, instead of treating it as a text to be interpreted by philosophy that, if rightly read, will unfold a tale of infinite suffering. Without committing the fallacy of equating nature and reason, mankind must try to reconcile the two.

In traditional theology and metaphysics, the natural was largely conceived as the evil, and the spiritual or supernatural as the good. In popular Darwinism, the good is the well-adapted, and the value of that to which the organism adapts itself is unquestioned or is measured only in terms of further adaptation. However, being well adapted to one’s surroundings is tantamount to being capable of coping successfully with them, of mastering the forces that beset one. Thus the theoretical denial of the spirit’s antagonism to nature–even as implied in the doctrine of interrelation between the various forms of organic life, including man–frequently amounts in practice to subscribing to the principle of man’s continuous and thoroughgoing domination of nature. Regarding reason as a natural organ does not divest it of the trend to domination or invest it with greater potentialities for reconciliation. On the contrary, the abdication of the spirit in popular Darwinism entails the rejection of any elements of the mind that transcend the function of adaptation and consequently are not instruments of self-preservation. Reason disavows its own primacy and professes to be a mere servant of natural selection. On the surface, this new empirical reason seems more humble toward nature than the reason of the metaphysical tradition. Actually, however, it is arrogant, practical mind riding roughshod over the ‘useless spiritual,’ and dismissing any view of nature in which the latter is taken to be more than a stimulus to human activity. The effects of this view are not confined to modern philosophy.

The entire style of thought in Reform bears the imprint of Protestant theology and philosophy. Jewish Orthodoxy, on the other hand, clearly reflects the style of thought characteristic of Catholic theology. That may explain in party why Orthodoxy attained its greatest strength in the Catholic part of Germany. The reaction of the Orthodox Jews against the modernist emphasis upon reason and the spirit of the times was very similar to that displayed by the Catholics among whom they lived. The spokesmen of Orthodoxy maintained that to recognise the primacy of reason was to place oneself outside of Judaism. They maintained that the authoritative character of traditional Judaism should be sufficient to validate whatever demands it makes on the Jew. Those demands, they argued, are intrinsically meant to be a challenge to whatever happens to be be the spirit of the times, rather than a concession to it. For (Rabbi) Samson Raphael Hirsch, the essence of modernity is the humanist assumption that salvation consists in the achievement of happiness and self-perfection. That assumption, according to him, is morally and spiritually untrue.

Integral culture include the following: Its ultimate principle is that the true reality is richly manifold, a tapestry in which sensory, rational, and supersensory threads are interwoven. All compartments of society and the person express this principle.
Science, philosophy, and theology blossom together. Fine arts treat both supersensory reality and the noblest aspects of sensory reality.