Friday, April 11, 2008

Temperature theology

Summer heat come in full force this year. The weather is oppressive and the humidity is punishing. And those are understatements.

To beat the hot season, the people here in Mae Sai begin the water festival earlier. Children and young people are starting to pour cold water towards the people passing by. And in spite of inconvenience of getting wet in your best clothes, I guess it is a good way to beat the oppressive heat.

Anyway around the blogosphere, many discussions are going on about the greatness and influence of modern theologians from different traditions. However, I think theologians are great only to those who find their writings meaningful and that is to those who share their basic presuppositions. For Asian Christians, western theology is extremely theoretical —lot of speculations but no spiritual implications. I cannot blame them though; they write theology primarily for the analytical mindset of the West.

Thus relating temperature with theology, Klaus Klostermaeir says,

Theology at 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade seems after all, different from theology at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Theology accompanied by tough chapattis and smoky tea seems different from theology with roast chicken and a glass of wine. Now, what is different, theos or theologian? The theologian at 70 degrees Fahrenheit is in a good position presumes God to be happy and contended, well-fed and rested, without needs of any kind. The theologian at 120 degrees Fahrenheit tries to imagine a God who is hungry and thirsty, who suffers and is sad, who sheds perspiration and knows despair.
Klaus Klostermaier, Hindu and Christian in Vrindahan (London: SCM, 1970), p. 40

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