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Theology is the study of God and the first topic “Doing theology in our context; sign of our times” introduced me to the meaning of studying theology and the importance of relating it to contemporary times and our own context to enhance our understanding. Using objectives in our society that we are surrounded by such as conflict, racism, violence and technology that are being introduced to future generations who will eventually have entitlements to vote and be responsible for their well-being. We explored societal problems such as; addiction, social decline within religion, families and communities just to name a few. Relating concepts to human emotions and nature were beauty, love and hope. The use of modernism and post-modernism in theology and where it place’s itself in contemporary times.
‘Faith and revelation, in relation to our self communication with God’ is the significance of a personal experience and how it shapes our faith. Concepts introduced to me were primordial faith meaning strength or a purpose and religious faith is something that deepens, extends and transforms a person’s faith to an extent that it shapes the way they live and approach daily life. This led to objectives that block or enhance our self-communication with God that impacts a person’s faith.
‘The mystery of God: Images and God Language’ is exploring our image of God and the way other people see God whether they feel fear, gives a harsh image as a result of prior experience or pushes people away from religion. However, if your image of God is compassionate and loving this enhances an individual’s image of God as this is how we would like people to view God.
Analysing contemporary culture to portray an image of God was analysing ‘God is a DJ’ by Pink. We can relate this song to 21st century generations as we live in a society where music has a predominant place and it is a great way to relate theology to contemporary times. My interpretation is that it is by choice the way you view God and Pink’s song is poetic in that the DJ is God and the DJ manipulates/mixes music as can God. Other key concepts explored were Theism when someone believes that God exists and Atheism when someone believes that God does not exist. Agnosticism is a person who is a fence sitter and does not believe in God however, they can come to terms with the reality if there is a God. Other important concepts were polytheistic and monotheistic, polytheistic is when someone believes in multiple Gods and monotheistic is when someone believes in one God.
‘Being Human’ is consciously reflecting on what it is to be human and how being human would be different for someone living in Adelaide then in Pakistan. The song, ‘Are we human?’ by The Killers was the comparison to our own context. By exploring this and the vampire culture and the religion they are finding within it seems to be pushing religion away. Another concept introduced was Christian Anthropology, concepts within it were covenantal is the radical relationships with God, other persons, and the created world. Transcendent is a creative freedom and desire for ultimate mystery. Blessed, Broken and Reforged is linked with sin and redemption. The ethical dimension is connected to further concepts as it is a crucial moral in human life.
Reflection
The first topic that had significance to me was ‘Doing Theology in our context; the signs of our time. Coming into the course I had not realised that theology had anything to do with contemporary culture let alone our own context. I liked using secular culture as it links to theology and it enhanced my understanding and using objectives in society that impact people’s lives and manipulates their views. Personally, it has not impacted my daily life as my parents assist me to formulate my views. However, it can sometimes get the better of me because of globalisation, multiple religions and the Da Vinci Code can make my head go wild as it is interesting but still I am somehow tamed to my faith. Secular culture can definitely leave a spot in my mind of uncertainty as to all the destruction in the world that can sometimes tear your faith.
I have found Theology as a sign of keeping up with the times and transformations that happen in the world. When I reflect on the world and the open views that people have I tend to believe that it is because of science and the Da Vinci Code as people gain insight into the nonfiction and seek more information which leads them having uncertainties about their faith. I have found by using theology it is engaging younger generations in theology to gain faith and trust in their religion once again. I think that the Vatican Council has had to be open to contemporary culture and the massive changes that have evolved since the 16th century as a result of the discoveries in science.
The second topic that is significant to me is ‘Faith and Revelation in our context: God relating with us.’ By exploring faith and revelation in contemporary culture was really interesting to learn how people in different periods of time experienced theology differently. 16th century people would have viewed theology differently to 21st century people as 16th century people would have had a stronger religious outlook where as now religion is not as prominent and people have less faith because of the economic climate, conflict, technology that can really disconnect a person from their faith. My personal outlook is that faith gives me comfort and hope because sometimes you can have low times where you think ‘why is someone doing this to me?’ and the great times in life where you think that ‘someone is watching over me.’ I can relate this to my own context as I grew up on a fruit block in the Riverland and in the past few years I have seen my parents go through very low times and they have not once given up and they have powered through the drought and hard economic times it and leant on one another and kept having faith that things will get better in time, even though they may not.