An Exercise in Theological Revolution

Dear Reader,

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).

Obviously a subject - not to be confused with an object

“As human beings, we inevitably face tragic conflicts in which someone will be hurt, no matter what choice we make” (128).

This kitten will be hurt, no matter what choices you make

“We live in an interconnected web of being in which we often cannot discern good from evil” (129).

Pure unadulterated awesome or 100% cool? Is it that hard to tell?

“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.

Vive la revolucion! White blood cells resist the Communistas!

-Take moral and material inventory.

I seem to be unable to take any inventory of myself or anything else when in the state of confusion over myself wearing white pants and holding someone else's dog. In moral evaluation, I think this falls closest to acedia, but I'm too lazy to inquire further.

-Confront the abuser within.

I couldn't handle the truth....

-Confront persons of power.

Me confronting a subject 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


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  1. #1 by Mariano D. Veliz on October 26, 2010 - 11:10 am

    James Dominic,

    Feel bad for that poor little kitten, but fortunately cats have 9 lives!

  2. #2 by Paul Hamilton on October 26, 2010 - 2:52 pm

    “Contemplating to betray the tradition with others…” So that’s the motto of the Dominicans? 😉

    Welcome to the blogosphere. You now have +1 subscribers.

    • #3 by stmichael71 on October 26, 2010 - 3:14 pm

      Thank you for subscribing! Tradere, as you point out, CAN mean betray, this being taken in the sense of one who “handed over” the Gospels and sacred vessels in times of persecution or who “hands over” the city to an invading army. However, its base meaning is “to hand over” – which is what I intend to do. But I’m not sure if you’re joking or not…. 🙂

  3. #4 by Paul Hamilton on October 26, 2010 - 2:54 pm

    *Contemplating to betray with others.*

  4. #6 by Bruttha Ray on October 26, 2010 - 4:25 pm

    Spoon and I don’t get along too well either.

  5. #7 by Janke on October 26, 2010 - 6:00 pm

    My favorite is the Lincoln-gatling gun – you can’t win against that!

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