Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On True Theology

Another divorce which needs to be mentioned is that between theology and liturgy. For an Orthodox theologian, liturgical texts are not simply the works of outstanding theologians and poets, but also the fruits of the prayerful experience of those who have attained sanctity and theosis. The theological authority of liturgical texts is, in my opinion, higher than that of the works of the Fathers of the Church, for not everything in the works of the latter is of equal theological value and not everything has been accepted by the fullness of the Church. Liturgical texts, on the contrary, have been accepted by the whole Church as a “rule of faith” (kanon pisteos), for they have been read and sung everywhere in Orthodox churches over many centuries. Throughout this time, any erroneous ideas foreign to Orthodoxy that might have crept in either through misunderstanding or oversight were eliminated by church Tradition itself, leaving only pure and authoritative doctrine clothed by the poetic forms of the Church’s hymns.

“Theology is Not For Everyone” Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Vienna.

Thanks to Fr Milovan and others for excising this wonderful quote. (See Theological education in the 21st century)

1 comment:

earlcapps said...

As always, excellent insights.

Here I was thinking that you might've been abducted by aliens or something ... which I'm sure you've wondered about me.