Posts Tagged ‘desire’

Potty Training with St. Augustine

Monday, August 16th, 2010 by Wolfgang Vondey

Okay, if you haven’t figured it out by the title, this blog post is tongue in cheek. My 2 1/2 year old son is experiencing the delights and disappointments of potty training. He really wants to have a clean diapie and use the potty…but it just does not work out many times. Here is where St. Augustine comes in.

Augustine distinguishes between memory, understanding, and will. These three are not only significant components of his view of the Trinity, they emerge from his own personal struggles, so vividly portrayed in the Confessions. Memory, of course, is what we remember, what we keep stored, of the events of the past. That can include the memory of who we are and how we have lived our lives or just the memory of looking out the window a minute ago. Memory is important for understanding, since all understanding and judgment is based on the collective storage (or memory) of events and facts and previous knowledge. We cannot understand what we do not remember, and consequently we cannot make informed judgments. Those judgments of the understanding (based on our memory) informs the will to do (or not to do) things. So how does this apply to my 2 1/2 year old? Read the rest of this entry »

Playing Don Quixote: Church and Academy

Monday, August 2nd, 2010 by Wolfgang Vondey

Don Quixote is probably best known for his fight against windmills, which he mistakes for giant adversaries in a relentless pursuit of chivalry. The monsters are figments of his imagination, but the windmills are real. Don Quixote is really fighting. In his real fight with what seems to be nothing but his own imagination, there is no winner. It is similar with theology in the church and the academy. In our relentless pursuit of God we mistake each other as the giant adversaries that step in our way. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Cares about Theology?

Monday, April 12th, 2010 by Wolfgang Vondey

Do you care about theology? Chances are you will say, “it depends.” What your care depends on is not so much whose theology it is, or what it is about, but whether you actually understand it. We care about the things we understand. All to often, we do not care about theology because we do not understand it.

When theology becomes disconnected from our language, our context, our culture, or our experiences, we have difficulties understanding it. We find it difficult to integrate theology into our lives. It seems to be disconnected from reality. The reason for for this dilemma is the way theology is carried out in today’s world. Theology is the prime example of the failure of modernity. Theology has put itself in prison.

Here are the top 5 problems:

  1. Isolated Publics: Theology is carried out in the segregated worlds of the academy, the church, and the public life.
  2. Divided Disciplines: Theology fails to transcend the isolation of biblical, historical, and systematic theological disciplines.
  3. Semantic Segregation: Theology fails to identify itself beyond the confines of science and ethics as a transformative pursuit of the whole person.
  4. Lost Liturgy: Theology cannot integrate thinking, doing, and being into a coherent account of everyday living.
  5. Dead Desires: Theology has lost its passion and desire in the constant battle between the formulations of doctrine and the demands of a relevant praxis.

Don’t get me wrong: we do care about theology. We just do not know how to share our care with one another. What do you think about the fact that academic theologians write books no one reads in the church, the church cares more about its own survival than about the world, and the world cannot find a dialogue partner in the church and academy? How can we bring the academy, the church, and the public life back together? How can we start caring … again … about theology?