Conclusion On Women Liberation Theology

There is throughout history a two-way traffic between spirituality and liturgy and sometimes a tension between them. Both need the control of theology, though both also breathe religious life into theology. This may seem a disputable statement and uncongenial to an age where anti-intellectualism is in vogue and there is in the churches great suspicion of theologians, if not downright hostility. As Aidan Kavannagh declared, what happened at the burning bush was a revelation not a seminar (Kavannagh 1984:92). However, the revelation resulted in a lengthy theological colloquy out of which action came and indeed the whole subsequent history of the children of Israel! Both Kavannagh and the late Richard Hanson have pointed out that the great majority of the theologians of the fourth century were bishops. Not one of them was a professional theologian. The early church did not know of the phenomenon of a professional theologian. Most of them might have agreed with Kierkegaard, that to be a Professor of Theology was to crucify Christ. They all had pastoral responsibility.

(Hanson 1989:149)

This is a necessary reminder and warning. Theology should not be divorced from any part of human activity, whether it be politics or prayer, because it is the quest for truth in the belief that everything is related to God, whether human relations or what we identify as 'religious' experience.

Yet the value of theology lies in the fact that it is religious emotion recollected in tranquillity, in Butler's 'cool hour'. It does not worship reason for it knows its fallibility; nor does it despise or fail to use it. Spirituality and liturgy need the control of theology, with its knowledge of the Christian tradition, which it will accept with realism while trying to read the signs of our times.

Paul Tillich says in one of his sermons that, like the liturgist and the spiritual man or woman, the theologian is one who is 'grasped, within the Church, by the Divine Spirit' (Tillich 1949:120) whose mission, according to John 16:13, is to guide the disciples of Jesus into all truth. So, the theologian will be 'the loving nurse' of both liturgy and spirituality making sure that the experiential does not supplant the given, yet aware (in T.S. Eliot's words) that Christianity is always adapting itself into something that can be believed and practised.

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