John Behr

What are We Doing, Talking About God? The Discipline of Theology

translated by: Slobodan Čavka, Стефан Павловић

pages: 143-158


In this article, John Behr describes the discipline of Christian theology as a peculiar discipline. Although we know the oft-repeated statement of Evagrius, that „if you are a theologian you will pray truly and if you pray truly you are a theologian“, we tend to think that „theology“ is a matter of „speaking about God“ – pretty much as someone studying biology speaks about the phenomenon of life and living creatures. Even if we recall Evagrius’ statement, we probably will take it as an order to make sure that we are duly reverential in our theological discourse. The possibility that by the high title of „theology“ Evagrius might have intended something altogether different than the discipline we now practice escapes us, as does the earlier tradition of using the term „theology“ on which he has an opinion. Yet, in Behr’s opinion, the increasingly fractured state of the discipline of theology should prompt us to pause, to reflect on the nature of theology. And, if we take seriously the demand not to take the name of God in vain, this demand becomes obligatory.





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