[書摘] Kathryn Tanner on Christian theology’s political character

For Kathryn Tanner, all theology is political (it concerns how social relations should be ordered) for two reasons:

1) Christianity is not simply a body of beliefs but a lifestyle in which beliefs are embedded (Doctrine as script, using the imagery of the Drama of Doctrine). Beliefs as such are meaningful and motivational. Arguments over beliefs then inevitably take on the character of “cultural fights”—they have in every bit a concern about [right] social relations. On the other hand, political controversies among Christians also must turn back to their root beliefs/convictions as their common identity: who Jesus is and what did God say.

2) There is no talk of theology without analogy. This is to say, our intellectual attempts to order the possibilities and actualities of God-man relationship has to employ earthly categories. God is our “rock”; God is “shield”; moreover, Jesus is often said to be “Lord”, to have come to inaugurate God’s “kingdom”, to have gone through death to restore perfect “justice” by paying “the dept” of sin or suffering the “punishment fit for the crime” we have committed. The implication of the analogical character of theological language could either be a way of talking human kings into gods, or a way of reserving the only legitimate kingship to God.

“Contemporary theologies of the Trinity exhibit both these general reasons why all theology tends to be political theology”, Tanner said.

Kathryn Tanner, « Trinity » in The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology, Peter Scott, William T. Cavanaugh eds., 2004, pp.319-321

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