By Carl F. Starkloff
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Extra info for A Theology of the In-Between: The Value of Syncretic Process (Marquette Studies in Theology, #33.)
Within a series of “Addenda” to his text, Möhler especially notes the value of Origen’s frequent utilization of the method of allegorical exegesis drawn from pagan Greek writings, especially of Hesiod and Homer (289). While he notes that much of Origen’s writing in the third century is of little use in our own times, Origen’s accomplishment in his own time was to build a bridge to a deeper meaning for the text of Holy Scripture (295). In this same spirit, he also adds an 30 A Theology of the In-Between appendix “On the Salvation of the Pagans,” which echoes the thought of Justin and Irenaeus (355).
The two chapters to follow, then, constitute a unity: that is, they are constructed on the basis of the principle that all theology is “practical,” although not necessarily usable in all contexts. I can make this assertion only after more than a quarter of a century as both missionary and academic, having lived amid the “theological messiness” 52 A Theology of the In-Between (Starkloff, 1994, 93) of a highly syncretistic and at times “compartmentalized” or “dual system” context. For perhaps an indefinite period, in our work among aboriginal peoples especially (but no doubt in the wider society), we must be content to live in patience with syncretism as a process of what I am calling the Metaxy.
His became a cosmology as well as an ethic that was based on the biblical doctrine of creation. In sum, what these theologians passed on to us out of their synthetic processes is the faith of the great creeds, summations of a faith that would be passed on to other cultures. Along with creed, the community developed cult, or worship. We have seen through the work of Jungmann how the Church gradually took on elements of the pagan world that would contribute rich esthetic life to sacramental experience and faith, especially in Baptism and the Eucharist.
A Theology of the In-Between: The Value of Syncretic Process (Marquette Studies in Theology, #33.) by Carl F. Starkloff