Posted by: Jaime | May 13, 2009

With Great Power… Comes Boring Theological Speeches?

Just kidding…

…or am I.

No I am. But I want to remind us all that we are graduating as THEOLOGY MAJORS! That means we are now expected to have all the answers about God and religion by everyone who finds out what we went to school for. I know you feel as confident in rising to the challenge as I do.

But seriously, we have learned a lot this last semester about doing good theology not to mention over the course of our four years of study. If we don’t know all the answers we have a pretty good grasp on how to find satisfying responses to the questions of the world. We did it with our panel presentations over issues that ranger from religious violence, to faith, to free will.

We should take some responsibility for the privileged ‘power’ that comes with studding theology. Though we may not feel completely ready for it, our degree gives us a different role in the community. We must be humble guides in the waters of ‘God Talk’ for our questioning churches, friends, coworkers, etc. We won’t be perfect but if we don’t step up who will? As Annie Dillard says, “There’s no one but us.”At the very least we should keep it interesting.

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Responses

  1. I didn’t really think I was ready for the challenges that you speak of until I had lunch with an atheist friend yesterday (which I discuss in a former post). I never thought I would be ready for the challenges that lay ahead of me as a theology major. It’s true that as soon as many people hear what my undergraduate major is, they want to question me on any belief that seems controversial to them. Still, after having lunch with an atheist friend, I surprised myself at my ability to discuss atheist arguments with him, and also be able to answer him with scholastic theistic thoughts. I realize that many of my encounters will not be so specifically directed at a particular class that I have taken over my four years of college, but I have confidence in myself that I will be able to at least ask the right questions and know where to look, even I do not yet have all the answers.

  2. I would same that I am still in the same place as Rachel in regards to the challenges that you speak of. I have very little confidence in what all I have taken in and learned through all of my theology classes. While they all have been incredibly rewarding and helped me to grow as a person and in relationship with God, I still feel as I never started to wrap my head around much of the material let alone grasp it to a degree where I would consider myself confident enough to talk in a manner of someone that knew of theology. However small I think my knowledge of theology I wish that when the time comes and I am able to talk with others about theology that my experiences and knowledge learned from being a theology major become apparent.

  3. I think throughout the semester I have somewhat scared of my theology major, but throughout the past few months I have gained the courage to at least talk to people about what I have gained from studying theology. For the most part the responses have been negative, aside from people like my mom just not wanting to hear it (When I told her about our topic of the new atheists, she said that she should not have let me go to SLU haha). But overall, it has been an interesting icebreaker and conversation piece with many others. I may not feel like I am ready to become the town’s resident theologian who everyone came come to ask their theological questions, but I feel as though everything I have learned is a great basis for a deeper level of theological understanding. If anything, being a theology major has wet my feet for a deeper understanding of God and theology which I will hopefully gain throughout life.

  4. It does seem a bit of a scary task to have this “power” you speak of Jim. Even at the Panel presentations and the Senior Legacy Symposium people were asking questions that they expected us to know and answer to their satisfaction. I think this is a difficult task, especially when people are looking for a “right” answer. I think that is where the difficulty comes in being a theology major and being asked the difficult God questions are when people want absolutes because that is the society we live in. I think that you are right Jim that we can hopefully guide people in the right direction and I think we need to let them use their own minds to reach valuable conclusions.


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