Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday Question of the Week . . . Theologians

his weeks questions was inspired by something that I read on Quotidian Grace. In one of her post she says that she not a theologian and that made me wonder what makes a person a theologian and what does the word theologian mean away.

Wikipedia Says:
Theology (Greek θεος, theos, "God", + λογος, logos, "word" or "reason") is reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God. Theologians attempt to use rational analysis and argument to discuss, interpret, and teach on any of a myriad a religious topics. . . . It is the subsequent history of the term in Christian contexts, particularly in the Latin West, that lies behind most contemporary usage, but the term can now be used to speak of reasoned discourse within and about a variety of different religious traditions. Various aspects both of the process by which the discipline of ‘theology’ emerges in Christianity and the process by which this now Christian term is extended to other religions are highly controversial.
I must admit that, despite the fact I have a bachelors degree in religion in addition to a Master of Divinity, I have always been uncomfortable referring to myself as a theologian. This brings us to this week questions. What do you think a theologian looks like? Is formal education required to become a theologian? If not, what prerequisites would you require to refer to someone as a theologian? And finally do you consider yourself a theologian? If no, why not, if yes why? Discuss . . .

1 comment:

Elaine said...

In the Dark Materials books, a young-adult fantasy series (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass), Philip Pullman uses the term theology the way we use the term science; because science is an attempt to understand God's creation. Presbyterians with our emphasis on intellect over emotion can get endlessly caught up in trying to understand, or at least label, things we cannot hope to understand.

To me, a theologian is someone who studies life with God; and a contemplative may better fill the description than an academic. Understanding how prayer brings us into the presence and the work of the Trinity brings us far closer to understanding the Trinity than trying to understand exactly how three can be one.

Norman, OK