The post is small but the issue massive.
Theology ought to be study of GOD.
However, very often, it ends up being the study of … the study of God. That is, it is simply the study of Augustine’s thought or Aquinas’s thought or Newman’s thought or Balthasar’s thought or O’Collins’s thought or Rahner’s thought, etc.
Now, it is important to study the work of great theologians. In fact, we can’t get off the ground by ourselves, unless one is of some rare species I have not seen.
But this fact SHOULD mean that we must study TRADITION above all. And not with an eye to the ‘opinion of the great theologian qua his / her opinion’. Rather, with an eye to contact with the RES, REALITY. Namely, with an eye to right thought about Uncreated Being and Created beings.
At the hands of modernists, however, we reflect on this or that theology qua the opinion of this or that person. Hence, we foreground the historical context. Then, we highlight the differences among the various approaches. Now we are looking at pupils, at the eyes of theologians and not at what they looked at. In fact, we show ourselves rebels against them. We are betraying them. For they looked at the real. And we are looking at them.
But see what next happens. The differences are pondered with great and serious worry. Worry so deep that we begin to wonder whether there is any truth. Is there any truth out there? Or is it just me and my looking at another’s looking? O the depth of my own blindness, the unsearchable uncertainty of my own mind, unstable and wayward. Nothing is true, no not one thing. All err. Their vision is blindness.
After the confusion sets in, students are ready for the next step. It may be offered by the professor or by the culture at large. “Life is short, death is certain; eat, drink and be merry.”
If there is no point or end, then certainly sex cannot have a point or end. Ergo, sex for sex’s sake. Musing for musing’s sake. Discussing for discussing’s sake. In short, the death of the mind followed by the banality of endlessness.
All this from a theology course? Of course not. Still, this foregrounding of perspective – this perspectivism – is indeed one strongly nailed iron affixing the lid of your coffin to the walls of your death.