There's a song by Wilco that's been going though my head this week as we've been attending the Summer Institute at Fordham.
They don't know nothing
About my soul
About my soul

I'm an ocean
An abyss in motion
Slow motion
Slow motion

Inlitterati lumen fidei
God is with us everyday
That illiterate light
Is with us every night

That don't know nothing
About my soul
Oh they don't know
(You can listen to the song in question - Theologians - free on the Wilco website by clicking here and then clicking on the song title.)

Now while the song has been going through my head all week, I'm not sure I agree with the thesis. Theology by its very nature is faith seeking understanding. Perhaps we in the post modern world do sometimes exist as an "abyss in motion," but that's all the more reason to seek understanding and to explore the bigger questions. And I think it stands to reason that not only do we need help sorting out the bigger questions, there's no sense in starting from scratch if there's a body of work and understanding already in existence that one can build upon (and perhaps look upon with a critical eye)

One of the seminars we attended this week was with Sr. Sandra Schneiders, IHM on the topic of "Spirituality, Religion & Theology: Conflict or Conversation." We spent four days on the topic and I've got lots of info to process and much to much for a blog post. One quote stood out for me, however, particularly in light of these lyrics:
"There is always a theological moment in spirituality, but spirituality gives rise to theology, not the other way around."
Theology isn't (or perhaps I should say shouldn't) be done in a vacuum. It is a human reflection on the human experience of and search for God. Theologians might not know much about my particular soul, but the study is founded on the state of the human soul in general.

Those are my random somewhat disjointed thoughts this evening. Like I said, lots to think about.

As for the song, in any case, it's a catchy tune!

1 comment:

The Ironic Catholic said...

Well, *I* know people's souls!

Just kidding. Theologians always get a bad rap. Look at Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar in the Book of Job. Not exactly shining examples of pastoral care, there.

You know you love us, really.

p.s. I agree with your post. Theology done as faith seeking understanding in faith community--that's both spiritual and theological.