Theology Update for the Week of October 20

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Dear friends in Christ

The study of Job will continue on Sunday at 10am (repeated on Thursday, October 24 at 1240pm). This week’s class is on chapters 13-14, the part of Job’s reply to Zophar in which Job begins to speak to God. He shows courage and is staking out a new form of piety–despite the risks involved. If there’s time, I intend to return to a remarkable point we touched on several weeks ago, that at the end Job has his daughters inherit alongside his sons. Something is happening there, and it is a small clue to the momentous changes that Job undergoes during the book. Visitors and newcomers are welcome to either class. To ease the pain, we have coffee and tea in the room.

The Wednesday class resumes on October 23: Aquinas holds as a matter of faith that human beings are able to see or understand God (albeit without comprehending him). But to see God is not like seeing a horse, which we do by grasping the form of the horse and actualizing it in our mind. God has to “assist” our minds, with grace, if we are to see him. Which means that when we see God, God will become both subject and object in that act of seeing. Somehow, we are transformed into God. This is a great mystery, and the excitement of reading Aquinas is to see how far our minds can go as we try to understand it. You are welcome to join the Aquinas reading group on Wednesdays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Andrew Hall. No preparatory reading is required. But if you have the text and want to locate our discussion: we will start with the third article of the 12th question of the first part, i.e., Summa theologiae I.12.3 — and probably read articles 4 and 5 also.

Looking head, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti by Mohammed Hanif will be discussed on Monday, October 28, from 6:15 to 7:45pm. in Andrew Hall. If you read the novel–in which a low-caste Pakistani Christian woman with a complicated history starts doing healing miracles–you are welcome to the conversation.

And a note about the bookstore: Jane Williams, the wife of Rowan and a theologian and educator in her own right, has written a beautiful small book, Faces of Christ, that includes images of many works of art along with explanatory commentary that deals with the theology and meaning of the images. Our bookstore (located on the first floor of the Parish House, and open on Sundays after the 11am and 4pm servcies) has some copies. It’s worth looking at, and possibly reading and sharing with select friends.