Monday, July 18, 2011
I think I have arrived at a place in life where I need to gather my thoughts on faith. Fredrika Thomsett wrote a book some time ago that stated that all the faithful are theologians. And it is with that in mind that I attempt to bring some order into the faith and belief systems that make sense of my life and describe the relationship I have with the Holy One. I have been a student of theology since the late ’60. I have even studied systematic theology. But this ordering of my faith life will not be systematic—first of all because I am not especially ‘orderly’ in my thinking but also because systematic theology seems to drain all the awe and mystery from the realms of faith.
I have supped at the table of liberation theologies of Latin America, feminism and African-Americans. I drank deeply of process theologies, the anguish of Bonhoeffer and even some Barth, the Nieburs, and Tillich. Martin Buber and Abraham Heschel have informed me as surely as, de Chardin, Rahner and Kung. Carter Heyward instilled in me a critical way of thinking, testing what I believed with the way I lived and want to live. The hermeneutic of suspicion marks my faith as it bounces up against the Church and the popular theology that marks our age. As anyone living in the 20th and 21st centuries, my understanding of faith is a response and a reaction to the Bible Belt theology of the South were I was raised, the very political experience of faith of Washington, DC, the lived-out faith of those whom I served in small towns in NY, CA and TX and the meditative experience of live-in community in religious life as an Ursuline Sister. I have been influenced recently by Marcus Borg, Dominic Crossens, Karen Armstrong and Sr. Joan Chittister.
And because I am an extrovert, I find the Holy in trying to express that reality that can never be defined. I find it in the actual working out of who God is as I write and as I share it with others so that they can inform or expand upon my experience.
As so, dear friends, I invite you to journey with me as I try to describe the God in which I live and move and have my being. I invite you who know faith to comment on this course of theology I am making.