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Cross Currents


The task of theology is often a lonely endeavor. The hush of the library or the archives, the still of the chapel, and the quiet discipline of one's desk are places where theological research and writing unfold, most often in solitary concentration. The classroom on the protected college campus or seminary, the academic conference in large hotels, and even the cherished conversation in the homes of colleagues do open the theologian to other minds and hearts so that theories and insights may be tested in dialogue. However, these exchanges are often located in affluent social contexts which cannot reveal the full import of the self-revealing Word of God. Certainly, the tradition holds that Christian theology is always done in the context of the thinking and worshiping Church, so the theologian is never alone in her or his work. More recently, theologians have become more intentional about the social and cultural contexts within which they theologize. Following the original example of Jesus and the more recent examples of Liberation Theology, Christian theologians have been moving among the poor, especially the urban poor, in order to discover and articulate a new word about God.


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