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Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology
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Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
This book examines the influence of the Enlightenment on theology, arguing that its legacy did not profoundly affect the importance of tradition; that the ways of older theology hold a surprising relevance; and that the unity between theology and spirituality is once again discerned.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published October 26th 1989 by OUP Oxford (first published August 4th 1983)
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(showing 1-30)
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James
Jan 08, 2010 James rated it really liked it
Before reviewing this book I should tell you not to buy this edition. I purchased this for around $50(147 pages, paperback), because I needed it for a class. After purchasing it I discovered that Eighth day books had their own published edition for half the price. Pagination was exactly the same. I would like to think my version has higher quality paper and uses more expensive glue in the binding, though I can't be sure. On to the review:

This book provides an excellent critique on where the Enli
...more
John Roberson
Dec 09, 2011 John Roberson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louth seeks to reunite theory and practice, theology and spirituality. Marshalling an impression collection of scholarship, Louth reconsiders academic pursuits not as abstract knowledge but discernment of the mystery we behold. A strong criticism of certain extreme conclusions regarding theology drawn from the Enlightenment and a ressourcement of a more organic, holistic, human theological endeavor.
Alex Stroshine
Jun 25, 2013 Alex Stroshine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
This is an excellent book on theology and merits several re-readings. Andrew Louth's main contention is that the discipline of theology is more like the humanities than the sciences ("libraries, not laboratories"). He discusses the scientific method and attempt to devise historical critical method for humanities. Only God knows nature fully since He made it. Humans may fully know culture and social imaginaries we have made. The best interpretation is to enter into mind of the writer.

"The method
...more
Steve
Jul 25, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing
Really really good. Develops from TSEliot's point about ' dissociation of sensibility.'
Basil
Apr 05, 2016 Basil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! This has been a paradigm shifter for me. Louth writes clearly and forcefully. He uncovers the false claims of science, since the Enlightenment, to reach objective truth and contends that theology has bought into the lie. Louth shows that "scientific truth" is not any truer than historical truths. To be sure, theology is not done in laboratories but in libraries; further still, theology is done more so in lives than in libraries. People like Vico, Gadamer and Polyani have thrown into questio ...more
Faith
Oct 04, 2014 Faith rated it liked it
The second half of the book was interesting, I'm not sure the first half is necessary anymore.
Steve
Dec 19, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favourite books on the general principles of theology because it catches the blend of thought, prayer and contemplation that need to comprise theology.
Laurie
Feb 19, 2009 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: divschool
Read this for a class on the Song of Songs. it's exquisite, more of a review to come....
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Andrew Louth is an Eastern Orthodox theologian and priest of the Russian Orthodox Church.
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“At the heart of the kind of understanding involved in the humanities another dimension of reason is involved, which one can perhaps call contemplative. Take the example of attempting to read, or understand, a poem. There is an element of problem-solving: the meaning of certain words no longer, perhaps, in current use, the detecting of allusions to the literary tradition to which the poem belongs these can sometimes be ‘solved’ and a definitive answer produced. But having done all that, we have not finished: we have only begun —we have, as we might say, cleared the ground for an attempt to read, to understand, the poem. Here something else is involved: not a restless attempt to solve problems, to reach a kind of clarity, but rather an attempt to listen, to engage with the meaning of the poet, to hear what he has to say. We shall not do that if we misunderstand the meaning he attached to his words, or miss his allusion, but we do not necessarily hear the poet if we have simply solved all such problems. What is needed is a sympathetic listening, an engagement with the mind of the poet, and this sort of understanding has no end. There is no definitive solution: understanding is a matter of engagement, and constantly renewed engagement. WHAT is understood is much more elusive in this case than what is understood when we solve a problem. It is not a matter of facts, but a matter of reality: the reality of human life, its engagement with others, its engagement with God.” 1 likes
“The individualism of the Romantic theory of interpretation attempts to abstract the individual from his historical context by presenting him with the ideal of presuppositionless understanding; a truer theory of interpretation, which does not seek to elide the historical reality of the one seeking understanding, sets the interpreter himself within tradition. What we understand when we seek to understand the writings of the past is borne to us by tradition. Understanding is an engagement with tradition, not an attempt to escape from it.” 0 likes
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