Thursday, February 23, 2012
A Little Experiment
I don’t pretend to have anything really worthwhile to say. Nor do I actually think that many people will read this blog. In the posts that follow I will reflect on baseball (a sport as profound as it is beautiful), the weather, family (my wife and I have three young boys), politics, and whatever else happens to come into my mind.
But primarily I will reflect on theology.
I am a theologian at Bellarmine University, a Catholic university in the beautiful city of Louisville, KY. I am an historical theologian, and more specifically, my specialty is patristic theology (the first six or so centuries of Christian thought). Even more specifically, I study Cyril of Alexandria and am in the process of revising my dissertation on Cyril’s pneumatology (doctrine of the Holy Spirit) for publication as a book. I teach courses in Christian history, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, and spirituality. And I love what I do. I love teaching and I love research. I get to do both, and get paid for it. Brilliant.
I don’t spend all of my time, however, with the church fathers. I try also to keep abreast of contemporary theology, and am particularly interested in political theology, ecclesiology, and the implications of the sacraments on our understanding of both politics and the church. I am a Roman Catholic, and my own political thought has been particularly influenced by William Cavanaugh, a Catholic political theologian whose insights on the relationship between the eucharist, ecclesiology, and politics are, to my mind, nothing short of profound.
I have to admit that part of my desire to keep a blog is because so many other people writing blogs on theology and/or politics, and specifically Catholic political theology, seem – to put it bluntly – to lack theological nuance. I don’t plan on attacking these blogs and bloggers here. But I am interested in dialogue. I will present ideas that will undoubtedly be contrary to certain ways of thinking among a certain segment of the U.S. Roman Catholic population, and indeed, contrary to much of what passes for Christian political and theological thought in the United States. I do so, not to be confrontational (after all, I’m not sure anyone is going to read this), but to foster dialogue and understanding should anyone actually venture onto my blog.
And most of the time, I imagine, I’m simply going to jot down some thoughts I’ve had while reading. I’m currently reading John Zizioulas’ Being and Communion, Louis Bouyer’s biography of John Henry Newman, Romano Guardini’s The Lord, John Henry Newman's Fifteen Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford, and David Bentley Hart’s Atheist Delusions. I’m also doing some research on Athanasius’ pneumatology for an article I’m currently writing, and will soon be delving into Origen. And on the side I read a little bit of Barth and a little bit of the Summa Theologica every day.
Let's see where this takes me...