Saturday, August 06, 2005

maybe that's why

When I am looking for theologians to stimulate my creativity, theologians who are contemporary enough to speak to these last years of our troubled century, I turn to the Byzantine and Cappadocian Fathers of the early years of the Christian era, becuase their world was more like ours than the world of such great theologians as Niebuhr and Tillich and Bultmann, who were writing in the framework of a world which was basically pre-World-War-II, and definitely pre-the-splitting-of-the-atom. In the first few centuries A.D., Rome was breaking up; civilization was changing as radically as is our own; people were no longer able to live in the luxury they had become accustomed to, as the great aqueducts and water-heating systems broke down and the roads were no longer kept up. Such people as St. Chrysostom, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa and his brilliant sister, Macrina, were facing the same kind of change and challenge that we are, and from them I get great courage.

~Madeleine L'Engle
Walking on Water

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