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history, theology

listen to the ‘other’

“The sense of the aliennes and difficulty of the past should reinforce for the believer the sense of astonishment at the range of human expression and experience that can be counted as Christian, and so fill out the doctrinal conviction that the work of Christ is capable of translation into every human context of culture and imagination. The sense of continuity reinforces the acknowledgment, not always welcome in our own cultural environment, that what we have found it possible to say is what we have learned, what we have been taught, what others have made possible for us. We recognise ourselves and our concerns in a ‘distant mirror’, and so are reminded that we are not our own authors, that we have not just discovered what it is to be human, let alone what it is to be Christian. And all this has the important consequence that, if we are free to listen to the strange and recognisable ‘otherness’ of the past, this may help us in dealing with what is strange to us now. An attitude of mind that is not capable of engaging in recognition with the past of the Church is also one that is likely to be closed off from what is different or challenging in the present.”

|| Rowan Williams, What Study the Past? The Quest for the Historical Church


About david b. clark

a husband and father || a student of philosophy, theology, history, literature, music, art, computer science


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