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What does theology mean in life
Theology in context means prospecting the very identity of our theology in interrelation with the context, understood as a situation; not as a simple external location, but assuming it in theology itself; A context that supposedly embraces a heterogeneous and multidimensional reality, to the rhythm of history. The perspective of an theology that assumes in itself a certain dose of plurality arises then. In an exchange perspective, it places that inalienable identity of theology in the face of the acceptance of its own limits: as respect for the autonomy of the other disciplines relevant to the context, but above all as an opportunity and meeting space, and only this border. The dialogue is perceived as a continuous call to overcome the preceding delimitations; Not by intrusion or predominance of one of the parties, until the identity of the other disfigures, but by mutual recurrent interpellation, towards a convergence of both that, safeguarding their identities, aspires to integrate them into a richer, richer, vital and complex unit. This theological assembly assumes its task as a believing reflection on human reality in its multidimensional integrality, always in motion, marked by the changing flow of historicity. At the same time, it boasts two factors, theological and anthropological, diverse among them.
In the course of the years, a series of new theologies that proclaim substitute for the precedent, not without a marked dose of aggressiveness; Theologies that do not coincide peacefully with each other, rather they criticize and question with radicalism; Theologies that are promised, each to itself, as the future fencer of theology. At first glance, only a notable change in expressions is noticeable. Then there is a further distancing that reaches the results, in a tonic of questioning to the theological tradition that is rarely identified plainly with the anky or lost sense of its expressions. In the new theologies the growing number of new philosophies is perceived in its background. It also ensues the emergence of social sciences inside theology itself. That initial sequence of theologies ends up planting on the theological horizon as a programmatic option by different theological universes with each other. The closest example is a liberation theology, of Latin American wedge, which is defined, for a net distancing with respect, not only to the preceding neo -Escolastics, but also to the most recent theologies of the first world. The divergences are multiplied in such a way until the open conflict. At the intercontinental level, as in each country and in each teaching center, the most theology looks like a battlefield between a fog of mutual misunderstandings, which also does not stop at the devastating criticism, and the exclusion decree of one by each other.
In the perspective of the story that was oriented towards the Second Vatican Council, it is understood and value. It was the slow and painful emerge from a renewed, eager and capable theological vision to be inserted thoroughly into the multicultural world, which was discovered in the human environment; Eager and capable of accompanying a church of pilgrims, who intended to walk the arm with the human family, towards a kingdom of preanounced and germinal God everywhere in the universe of cultures; Eager and capable of staying faithful to the living tradition of the Church, but also to rise with boldness on the predecessors of it, to emulate the height of the other scientific disciplines of modern time. At this juncture it is not mere coincidence that references to the methods, in disputes and alignments of theologians begin to multiply. The ancestral understanding of theology, remaining valid in itself, was in fact insufficient in front of the interests, horizons and urgencies of this new ecclesial spirit.
In the course of this process, the methods have been imposed as a theological category, not merely instrumental; Whatever your relationship with this or that philosophy, with this or that human discipline, and even with social science as a whole. The methods had already been accredited as irreplaceable operational mediations, within the scope of all knowledge about man and his world. The methodical demand ended up imposing itself from within theology itself, given the challenge of recovering a cultural validity for its language; to viable your transforming interest of social realities; to support his aspiration to a dialogue with the thinking leadership in national and international forums, where the future of man is prospects. It does not mean that only now theologians begin to exercise their methodical capacity. The progressive discovery of the human shows that by ourselves, and in ourselves, we are constitutively methodical. On the other hand, the simple naive exercise of that methodical spontaneity is passed, or the exclusive predominance of a particular method, to a reflex position and a critical demand against the plurality of the human ways of acting, of becoming human, and of building a human world on the horizon of the kingdom.
Nor does it mean that the understanding of theology itself must adapt to these facts. Not by simple snobbery towards fashion loans, so they were academic, but in response, tight and effective as far as possible, to the urgent urgency of unraveling validity, maintaining relevance, and deepening the vigor transforming of God’s self-communication to man to man to man to man , in the multiple future of particular stories, in the plural concretion of cultures, in the complexity of contexts. Doing theology is then to exercise in a multiple and continuous way, always in motion, a cognitive, existential and practical mediation between the meanings and values of the Christian faith, and those of each particular culture, in the historical situation of each people, and of our current planetary humanity condition.
The method appears as a problem when the current market of the methods, always supplied with news, is simply left to run the supply and demand (evoking Babel’s old myth can bring a sapiential aroma). As theologians, he aspires to join the earth with heaven; It is the response responsible for an operational faith to the revealing dream of the Jacob scale. But the myth also warns that this effort can incarnate rather a sinful hybris, for throwing the divine condition or by contracting the divine to our mere human condition. In front of Babel is always the alternative of the Father, in Christ, which translates into a recurring Pentecost of the Spirit, when diversity, even in opposite tension, far from dividing and surprising, integrating and enriched, in Christian love and intellectual effort corresponding, they show that languages and methods can and should be mutually communicable and complementary to each other, within very precise conditions.
The mechanical assembly of some methods with others is not enough, as if there were among them an adjustment provided towards the achievement of a coherent totality. Each particular method is a specific operational design, more or less adjusted to the achievement of a no less specific and particular task. They are not like a generic instrumental, interchangeable and are not even directly articulating with each other. The methods are not a neutral mediation, with aseptic guarantee of interests and budgets. They embody a cultural mood, they respond within their own horizon to their corresponding interests, manifest or not. They can be an operationalization of grace, or one more structuring of sin. They can be the mediation of wisdom, or magic wand of ideologisms and foolishness. In the field of human affairs, methods demand discernment and dialectic.