New PDF release: A Theology of the In-Between: The Value of Syncretic Process

By Carl F. Starkloff

ISBN-10: 0874626854

ISBN-13: 9780874626858

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Extra resources for A Theology of the In-Between: The Value of Syncretic Process (Marquette Studies in Theology, #33.)

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394) In other words, Möhler would see an inauthentic syncretism as the source of heresy because it loses touch with the Incarnation, the Spirit and the unity of the Body. Among the early theologians cited often by Möhler, four stand out as representatives of the authentic syncretic process: I mean the Cappadocians Gregory of Nyssa, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory Nazianzen, and (at least as Jaroslav Pelikan believes) Macrina, the sister of the first two. According to Pelikan’s account, these theologians are synthesists striving to integrate the gospel with their own hellenistic culture, a practice that they saw symbolized and justified by the fact that the New Testament was written in koiné Greek.

In this succinct analysis lies the key to authentic syncretic process. Beyond these theologians, Gilson also discusses especially the work of Augustine, Victorinus, Boëthius, Cassiodorus and Gregory the Great. We shall not detain ourselves on these figures, beyond point- 46 A Theology of the In-Between ing out how each of them and their lesser contemporaries strove for some kind of order and synthesis. Augustine especially sought to construct a Christian theology of history and Boëthius and Cassiodorus to collect all things knowable and to order them within the culture of northern Europe.

It is here that we situate our final observations on the history of the formative European syncretic process, with its tension between spontaneous growth and critical synthesis, to prepare us to develop a theological and pastoral praxis of syncretic process. We must again take note of the Metaxy that bridges primal chaos and ultimate order, as having two distinct but interrelated thrusts—intellectual synthesis and popular syncretism. For the popular element we must backtrack into the earlier periods mentioned above, in order then to examine the scholarly synthesis that began the theological project to which we hope to contribute.

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A Theology of the In-Between: The Value of Syncretic Process (Marquette Studies in Theology, #33.) by Carl F. Starkloff

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