Summer 1970

Page 69

Thomas O'Meara, O.P.

Responsibiliiy to Others There is a chance today that the local Christian communities may begin to correspond to the view of the Church found in the New Testament. Every question touching on the Christian and his community -from new liturgies to ethical options----eannot escape the omnipresent question about what is theology. Who theologizes, and what is the relationship of theologies and institutions to faith and revelation? If we see theology and faith incarnate in law and a few venerable institutions, then we will look at a challenging word "like shared responsibility" with the detached gaze of scholars or with the fear of churchmen with vested (i.e., persona!) interests. Without compromising our belief in Jesus Christ as the founder of a faith which is distinctively communal, we must see theology as something that is done, the creative con-elation of God's Ward with different times. Paul Tillich wrote that no great theologian simply sat behind his desk and said, "Let me now theologize a bit between breakfast and lunch time." Ali theology has come from a struggle between divine and demonic forces, skepticism and faith, the possibility of affirming and of negating !ife. (Paul Tillich, Pe1'Spectives on 19th and 20th Century Protestant Theo/ogy, New York, 1967, 115. Tillich's method of correlation, found in Systematic Theo/ogy, I, 8-35, is developed in T. O'Meara, "Where is Theology Going?", Thought, 44 1969, 5368). We have not only the freedom but an obligation to theologize creatively, to try to understand what new realizations of 183