Over at WIT Janice Rees has a post , about Radical Orthodoxy and liturgical deformation. In some ways her article relates to some thoughts I’ve been having about Theology , religious practices , and paying attention to people and the various issues and institutions affecting them.
Most of formative experiences at both a personal and intellectual level , have taken place outside the context of the Church. A number of people , that I interacted with on a daily basis dealt with some very difficult things ( racism sexual abuse , mental health issues , etc). Knowing the things they dealt with , I realized that the only thing I could do is pay attention to what was going , and avoid trying to squeeze an ideology into their lives. When most of one’s life takes place outside of the Church , this is all fairly simple.
Where things get a little bit more complicated (even when they don’t need to be) is when liturgies and grand Theological imaginations are thrown into the mix. Now that I am currently practicing in a tradition places alot of emphasis on the liturgy , I must constantly check myself , and continue to start with attention rather than ideological expansion. To end this post , here are some of the last sentences of Janice’s post:
Theological accounts of liturgy (and especially in regards Radical Orthodoxy; the Eucharist) must push beyond immovable optimism and interrogate the ideologies that deform us from within the church. This is not to suggest the Christian tradition simply lacks potential to resolve contemporary philosophical questions, but it is to deny the confident claims of Christian rhetoric that ignores real bodies and real oppression.