Liberal Churches, Fragile Seminaries, and Aging Social Movements

Liberal Churches, Fragile Seminaries, and Aging Social Movements October 14, 2019

“Faith, however, returns to its Sunday school every time it nails its language into positive propositions about what it has faith in. For, in the cloud, in its darkness and its necessity, what we find ourselves in—‘an unknown that does not terrify us’—may be just what is coming unsaid in the saying. Perhaps it is after all not surprising that few theologians (conservative or liberal) practice such terms, that apophasis still plays a minor role in contemporary theology. Bad for business? And indeed because so much theology has practiced such an unquestionable orthodoxy those of us who question it from within do have so much, beyond mere critique, to say. Besides, when the religion-economic-political certitudes of the right menace the very possibility of that other and material world, that more convivial heaven and earth—how shall we take time for yet another round of mystery, uncertainty, ambiguity, poetry? We who would counter the anthropogenic apocalypses must pursue relentless clarity of fact and value, no?

No doubt. We want to muster a trusty solidarity of activating consciousness that will ripple through the relations comprising our world. But we will need to mean it. Which may be different from benign propaganda for ailing liberal churches, fragile seminaries, and aging social movements—and which may release new resonances among those and vastly more and different theologically curious publics.” (Catherine Keller, Cloud of the Impossible,19)

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