"A modern theologian … may feel secure as a believer and yet hesitant as a theologian—in this, he is respecting the mystery. One is sometimes bound to wonder whether the certainty of some theologians does not conceal a hesitant faith."
Edward Schillebeeckx, “Towards a Catholic Use of Hermeneutics,” in God the Future of Man
"The notion of mystery that is in use here ought to be made as clear as possible—a paradoxical assignment if there ever was one. Mystery is not a synonym for residual ignorance which will be dispelled when the sciences get around to it. Neither can it simply be equated with the unknown or the unknowable, despite the fact that experiences of not-knowing may forcibly alert us to the presence of mystery in all experience. A secular culture wants of course to neutralize and minimize the horizon of mystery in human life as much as possible, and so tends to regard it as threatening but surmountable. Theology and grotesque art, on the other hand, the one in terms of propositions and the other in terms of images, find a certain affinity in a common persuasion that mystery remains a real and radical feature of our existing in the world—something not reducible to the aims and methods of technical expertise and control, and thus compelling other kinds of human response and acknowledgment."
Roger Hazelton, “The Grotesque, Theologically Considered,” in The Grotesque in Art & Literature: Theological Reflections, p. 75-76.
"The circus, said Bill, was “very theological.” Of all the books he was planning to write before he died, it was his book on the circus that I would have most wanted to read. Once he actually traveled with the Cole Brothers Clyde Beatty Circus for a whole season as its “resident theologian.” During a long illness, he constructed an elaborate and intricate scale model of the circus, which took up a large portion of his study. Years later, the cat got into it and tore it up. “Will it ever be restored?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied, “at the Eschaton.”"
Jim Wallis on William Stringfellow, “Keeper of the Word,” in Radical Christian and Exemplary Lawyer, p. 94.
"The Christian faith is not about some god who is an abstract presence somewhere else, but about the living presence of God here and now, in this world, in exactly this world, as human beings know it and touch it and smell it and live and work in it. That is why, incidentally, all the well-meant talk of “making the gospel relevant” to the life of the world is false and vulgar. It secretly assumes that God is a stranger among us, who has to be introduced to us and to our anxieties and triumphs and issues and efforts. The meaning of Jesus Christ is that the Word of God is addressed to human beings, to all human beings, in the very events and relationships, any and every one of them, which constitute our existence in this world. That is the theology of the Incarnation."
"The socialist, the aesthete, the monk: all three agree that modern bourgeois education must be destroyed. The new ideal will take its new elements from all three."
Hugo Ball, Flight Out of Time, 3 January 1921
Evviva San Michele!
San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta;
sii nostro aiuto contro la cattiveria e le insidie del demonio.
Gli comandi Iddio,
supplichevoli ti preghiamo:
tu, che sei il Principe della milizia celeste,
con la forza divina rinchiudi nell’inferno Satana
e gli altri spiriti maligni
che girano il mondo
per portare le anime alla dannazione.
#rosemary radford ruether
"The earliest school of rationalism arose in England after the Restoration when, wearied of religious controversies, she tried to pull herself together around her traditional religious and national institutions. The mood was summed up by the term “latitudinarian”; a mood not so much of toleration as of narrowly rationalistic prejudices about what was, in fact, “tolerable.” What was intolerable was the enthusiasm and fanaticism, the bickering over points of religious doctrine, the apocalyptic messianism that had characterized the period of the Puritan revolution. What was cultivated was a pedestrian sort of Christianity in which the watchmaker God, who was the architect of the Newtonian universe, served as sanction for the decent-law-abiding morality of the English possessing classes. In fact, the traditional Christian distinction between reason and revelation was commonly interpreted in this period as a class distinction. It was said that the content of Scripture and revelation was essentially identical with that of reason and natural religion, but, for the sake of the ignorant masses, God has revealed this religion of nature in a simple colorful form complete with miracles to impress their imaginations, whereas the enlightened classes did not stand in need of this revelation, being able to attain this knowledge by their own intellects. In effect, the Christian doctrine of the Fall and the debasement of man’s reason had here become a doctrine applicable only to the lower classes.
Such latitudinarianism, far from being revolutionary, was in a sense counterrevolutionary, and was not infrequently espoused by the most impeccable of English high-churchmen… . In the hands of these latitudinarians, rationalism did not so much challenge as it sought to bulwark traditional religious and political institutions, and its energies were expended in proving the full and complete harmony of traditional revealed religion with reason and natural religion.
An Ecstasy: Bernini in Mind
I saw beneath the veil of sheet
a body’s form I knew: exact as
keys and cups: the cupboard of a body:
knives, spoons, the marketplace,
the fleshly chattel. In a contraption
of frost, in a cowl of stopped waters
I hung above it, a satyr in breach
of dream, naked, coal-black goatee
and ruby bat. In its lewd ascension
of flesh, the sheet pulled back
and I fell akimbo on its languid chest
in a torrent of restoration, in a festal cannonade.