Friday, September 23, 2011

Theology on the Hill

Tonight the first session of "Theology on the Hilltop" for the fall semester was held in the Store at the Press, a part of Mount Angel Seminary.  Brother Jonah Wright, OSB, STL, offered a talk entitled "Man During the World" that was followed by discussion among off-hill guests, seminarians, and seminary faculty.

Brother Jonah and an off-hill guest enjoyed some drinks and visiting before Brother Jonah started his talk.
Future sessions of "Theology on the Hill" are excellent story possibilities for our journalism students.  On October 28th, seminary philosophy professor Mark Woolman will speak on the New Atheism.  The third session will be on December 9th.

Brian Bergeron served as a host for the evening.  Some of the colorful mosaics in the Store at the Press are behind him.
Brother Jonah explained that Christianity gives people a structure for their suffering rather than removing their suffering.  Humanity's life in this world is focused on the coming Kingdom of God, a time in which all of our desires will find their proper fulfillment.

 Humanity's longing for the Kingdom, continued Brother Jonah, offers men and women a sweet suffering.  As Christians, people live differently knowing their fulfillment will come in the future kingdom rather than here and now.

When we live toward the Kingdom of God, Brother Jonah concluded, we truly live "during the world."

Men and women from local parishes attended "Theology on the Hill."
Diocesan and religious seminarians also enjoyed the evening.
Brother Jonah offered those in attendance the following questions for discussion:

1) How does one live toward the kingdom without presuming to know precisely when or what that kingdom will be?

2) Certainly no one is suggesting that we become masochists, but in what ways do we embrace the suffering and irresolution of life during the world?  In what ways do we run from it?  

3) Is suffering the tensions of life transformative?  How so?

4) What are the implications of this theology of life "during the world" for living with others of different values and beliefs?

Seminarians also provided live jazz as guests arrived for "Theology on the Hill":

Photos for this story were provided by Frank Villanueva, Gary Bass, and Sister Hilda.

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