Eliot on Theology and Social Justice

It is not enough simply to see the evil and injustice and suffering of this world, and precipitate oneself into action.  We must know, what only theology can teach us, why these things are wrong.  Otherwise, we may right some wrongs at the cost of creating new ones. 

Pg 75

 

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3 responses to “Eliot on Theology and Social Justice

  1. So it is only by means of theology that one can recognize something as morally wrong? evil is such a loaded word . . . and what examples can be given to show his words to be true?

    Interesting . . .

  2. tysdaddy,

    You raise some good questions. Let me state at the outset that i’m not an Eliot expert. I ripped this quote because i thought it could be a good discussion starter. So i could be misunderstanding his intentions here.

    Now to your questions. It depends on whether or not you see any value in “natural theology,” or believe in self-evident, timeless moral truths. Some would argue that it is only through the word of God (found in the past and present living Word, Jesus, and the scriptures) that we can discern what God would have us do (and not do). So whether or not you agree with Eliot probably has a lot to do with how you understand these things, and the understanding of the relationship between faith and reason that undergirds your thoughts.

  3. I tend to lean to the “natural” side of things as of late. Theologies can be so varied; what one theology permits, another may abhor. And if one sees theology as an individual pursuit, either in interpretation or adherence, then the lines are drawn very differently.

    I’ve been reading some Sartre lately for my ethics class and considering his distinction between an ethic based on belief in God (thus an absolute standard) and a more individual-centered ethic, where our actions have morality-shaping consequences only because we have the freedom to choose in ways that will benefit the greater good of men. (That is a rough, cursory interpretation . . . off the top of my head . . . so probably just BS! Ha!)

    It hasn’t always been the case with me. I grew up believing that the Bible is the ultimate authority when it comes to morality, and wavering from that standard brought dire consequences. I still believe in consequences, but I’m not so sure about the absolute morality thing anymore . . .

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