QotD: Scientia amorque

This passage is from the first chapter of one of my textbooks for this semester (An Introduction to the Trinity by Declan Marmion and Rik Van Nieuwehove):

For its part, theology has an ‘existential’ and practical aspect; to do theology implies some form of faith-experience which serves as a foundation for reflection. In the patristic era, theology was not solely intellectual, but also a spiritual activity, an affaire d’amour, inseparable from prayer. Philosophy and theology often served as synonyms for theoria or contemplation. The Greek philosophers comprehended things ‘with their eyes’ (Gk theorein = to look at). They ‘theorised’ in the literal sense of the word. We arrive at understanding through participation, through uniting with the object – a way of perceiving that transforms the perceiver, not what is perceived. Perception confers communion: we know in order to participate, not in order to dominate. Knowledge, then, is an act of love: we can only know to the extent to which we are capable of loving what we see, and are able, in love, to let it be wholly itself.

I think this is also one of the reasons why it can be difficult to completely open up in prayer, because we may walk away somewhat changed, and that frightens us.

About Josh W

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