Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology” as Want to Read:
Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Discerning the Mystery, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Discerning the Mystery

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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
Jul 25, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing
Really really good. Develops from TSEliot's point about ' dissociation of sensibility.'
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
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.
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.
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....
James rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2013
David rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2015
David Mosley
David Mosley rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2012
Tony rated it it was amazing
Oct 13, 2014
George Van
George Van rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2015
Kester rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2014
Neal Watson
Neal Watson rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2009
Arnold Mayorga
Arnold Mayorga rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2014
Joe McClure
Joe McClure rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2012
David rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2013
Michael rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2011
Darko Stefanovic
Darko Stefanovic rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2013
Matthew rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2013
Fr. Ted
Fr. Ted rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2009
Micahlibris rated it it was ok
Dec 20, 2012
Dustin rated it it was amazing
Mar 23, 2010
Ross Douglas
Ross Douglas rated it liked it
Feb 03, 2016
Nathaniel rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2015
Gregory rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2013
Michael Henderson
Michael Henderson rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2011
Matthew Brown
Matthew Brown rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2014
Jeff Reimer
Jeff Reimer rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2013
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Andrew Louth is an Eastern Orthodox theologian and priest of the Russian Orthodox Church.
More about Andrew Louth...

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…