One of the best things about theology is that it is the queen of the sciences; this also, ironically, allows theologians to be the worst sort of people. The same problem besets philosophy. If one is called upon to think about the foundations of all thinking, as in philosophy, you have the opportunity to do the greatest possible things or screw up in the most ridiculous way.
As a consequence of this principle, I have found that in the life of a theology student one often stumbles upon bad theology. Bad theology usually involves a link to bad philosophy. In my experience, the current fad is postmodernism. I am in the midst of reading a one such case study in bad theology: The Practice of Postmodern Care by Carrie Doehring. Platitudes, unspoken assumptions, outright falsehoods, contradictions, and generally inane propositions abound. I will not attempt, however, to dissect or analyze the bad arguments made in the section entitled “Theological Reflection;” instead, I hope this photo journal illustrates my frustration in a sort of interpretative dance:
“We also trespass on the inherent goodness of others and creation by treating both others and creation as objects” (128).
“As human beings, we inevitably face tragic conflicts in which someone will be hurt, no matter what choice we make” (128).
“We live in an interconnected web of being in which we often cannot discern good from evil” (129).
“Poling outlines strategies or behaviors for practicing goodness in the midst of violence, oppression, and evil:
-Develop a spirituality of resistance.
-Live in solidarity with resistance communities.
-Take moral and material inventory.
-Confront the abuser within.
-Confront persons of power.
-Negotiate with institutions.
“Combining Poling’s theology of evil, resistance, and the multivalency and ambiguity of God with Neville’s theology of broken symbols creates a rich, multifacted theological understanding for pastoral caregiveers who engage in deliberative theology with careseekers” (130).
You may now resume your daily lives.
Yours in Christ,
Br. James Dominic