from Stanley Hauerwas:
In the tradition in which I was educated, it was assumed that democratic politics was normative for Christians. Because I do not share that presumption, some think I have no politics. In truth, I have no stake one way or the other in being counted among those doing what is often called "political theology."
I have always resisted modifying theology with descriptors that suggest theology is the possession of certain groups or perspectives. For me, nothing is more important than the fundamental task of theology to be of service to the church; it belongs to the church. I am well aware that time and place make a difference for how theology is done. But too often I fear when theology is made subservient to this or that qualifier, it has inadequate means with which to resist becoming a mere ideology.
It is true, however, that there is no "method" that can protect theologians from engaging in ideological modes of thought, even when they claim to be doing theology. Theology stands under the permanent temptation to "choose sides," which means theology can become ideological long before anyone notices. I have no objection to calling theology "Christian," but that description does not insure that theology that bears the name will be free of ideological perversion. "Christian" is no guarantee that theology can be safeguarded against being put at the service of political loyalties and practices that betray the Gospel.
Stanley's entire article, "Can Democracy be Christian? Reflections on How To (Not) Be a Political Theologian," can be read here.
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Theology in Service to Political Loyalties-- The Bible Calls It Idolatry
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