First thing to say is I’m not referring to me. Well, that’s not strictly true, I believe everyone is a theologian, we all think something about God, and that thinking about God is theology. But, when I read what a proper theologian (by proper I mean titanically brained, seriously gifted and professionally used), David Bentley Hart said, I spat my Cheerios out all over the table and floor, much to the dogs delight and the wife’s annoyance! Here’s what he said.
So You Wanna be a Theologian?
“Theology requires a far greater scholarly range than does any other human science. The properly trained Christian theologian, perfectly in command of his materials, should be a proficient linguist, with a mastery of several ancient and modern tongues, should have a complete formation in the subtleties of the whole Christian dogmatic tradition, should possess a considerable knowledge of the texts and arguments produced in every period of the Church, should be a good historian, should be thoroughly trained in philosophy, ancient, medieval and modern, should have a fairly broad grasp of liturgical practise in every culture and age of the Christian world, should (ideally) possess considerable knowledge of literature, music and the plastic arts, should have an intelligent interest in the effects of theological discourse in areas such as law or economics, and so on and so forth” (DBH, In the Aftermath: Provocations and Laments, 2009, p.177-78).
Well, I need a lie down just reading that!
I was thinking as I read, “This is a pretty comprehensive list of ‘must haves’ and ‘requirements'” until I came to the end when DBH said “and so on and so forth”! What more could there be? Theology is amazing. Like the Gospel, it is about everything and everyone. It is comprehensive, thorough and total. I for one am grateful for our theologians that serve the church, and through them, we are fed. Just as an aircraft needs a pilot, so the church needs theologians.
Pray for our theologians in their task of serving and feeding the Church.
Pray also for Gralefrit, that my head would stop hurting, and so on and so forth….
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