Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Introduction: My personal Theology is like Art


My personal theology, as all theologies, has been shaped by contexts, experiences, and relationships which make up my very identity. As these are all constantly in flux, so is my theology. It is not a static, fixed, dogmatic system. Nor is it finished nor ever intended to be. It is also not misty, idealistic, and ethereal, but pragmatic, grounded in practice and experience, and adaptable.

Metaphorically, I see my theology like a painting. It starts and is shaped by my own interesting, interpretation, gifts and limitations (experience), it is based in a particular practice or style of painting (tradition), seeks to convey meaning to others (community) of a greater truth (transcendence).



To focus the picture a little more and describe the traditions I come out of, the Roman Catholic tradition could be viewed as the classical style art, conservative  liberal Protestant tradition would be more impressionist, and what I view my style (and the style of the many theologians I’ve read these past years at seminary) as more surrealist. It has elements of all traditions but put together in a new way. This style (and thus the artists using this style) is more interested in imagination, beauty, and mystery; focusing more on questions than answers.

In this paper I hope to explain the four highlighted areas of my artful theology. It won’t be in a linear fashion, but enmeshed integrated as each plays into the other, but I will try to separate them as best I am able. I will first speak of the experience, particularly the human experience.

5 comments:

Anglican Boy said...

I like the art metaphor and how you will never be finished. Good set up but this phrase jumped out at me: "Roman Catholics and Orthodox traditions could be viewed as the classical style, conservative would be more impressionist, and what I view my style (and the style of the many theologians I’ve read these past years at seminary) as more surrealist" Why did you pick those denominations? Did you come out of them or are they the most prominent on our cultural landscape? Don't you come out of a liberal-progressive background? The conservative one is the one that does not sound right to me. Hope this helps. I think it is a good start.

Sabio Lantz said...

Sounds good:

Here are little thoughts:

I would change this:

It starts and is shaped by my own interesting, interpretation, gifts and limitations (experience), it is based in a particular practice or style of painting (tradition), seeks to convey meaning to others (community) of a greater truth (transcendence).

To this :

My theology is shaped by my interests, interpretations, gifts and limitations (experience). It is based on a particular style, much like a painting, which is my community, the UCC. I use my theology, like art, to convey transcendent truth meaning to others of my community.

Then new paragraph:

To focus the picture a little more ...

Change: classical style
TO: classical style art

Luke said...

AB: good point. thanks!

Sabio: thanks! your way is more precise... however, i need to it all four bold points as that sets up my paper. i could smash together community and tradition, but there's a difference there... so i'll have to think on that some more.

Anglican Gurl said...

I must agree with my hubby. I like the changes you have made and I am excited to read the rest of it. It is very engaging. I like Sabio's example too, but I'm not sure how it will work if you want to hit all four topics.

I love the picture BTW.

societyvs said...

Don't forget to put in the search for the holy grail!