We find ourselves in a religiously divergent time. Yet in this diversity of faith, there are common principles of love, justice, kindness, peace, compassion, and respect for life in all of its divergent forms. Yet, in the midst of the powerful pull toward the positive, there is a dark and evil side. We find religion in the causes of cultural violence. This cultural egoism can be transcended toward unifying deep reality.
        I believe curiosity can create a safe space, to hold on to what is good, while letting go what is bad. I believe theological reflection can give structure to curiosity.  As high minded as theological reflection sounds, it is the simple concept of asking, where is the belief, in this: experience, thought, or action? These questions are not divine revelation but are human tools toward that revelation. These tools are nine questions broken into three stages:
Stage one: Experiencing

  • What did you experience?
  • What did you think?
  • What did you feel?

Stage two: Understanding

  • What is the issue that is at hand?
  • What does the authoritative wisdom say about this issue? 
  • What is the spiritual vision of claiming the authoritative wisdom to deal with this issue?

Stage three: Practicing 

  • What are the strengths of the individual and the community in embodying this vision?
  • What are the limitations of the individual and the community in embodying this vision?
  • How does one match the gifts to the limitations so that the vision might be embodied? 

As much as I would want  to dictate the order that questions are asked, but I must admit, the presence of revelation dictates the timing and the ordering of the questions. One cannot predict the outcome from the beginning of theological reflection process. Theological reflection is a creative journey of bringing beliefs to life. Come, join us, in creating a community of theological reflection.

 

Photo credit for the header picture: Hamed Saber at flickr.com