The Death of Academic Theology

In my last post I lampooned a complaint lodged by academic theologians against the New York Times for daring – daring! – to let an uncredentialed layman comment on Church politics.

Blogging about the controversy today, Rod Dreher decided to point out the sorry state of Catholic Theology in American universities. It is well worth a read: Catholic theologians are committed not to contemplating the truths of faith with the tools of reason, but to deconstructing the faith because that is the only thing the tools of modern reason feel competent to do.

It is an extension of the crisis gripping the humanities in general: the only logic is the logic of a soft, comfortable, Marx-inspired deconstruction. Critical thinking becomes a paranoid parlor game of sniffing out the “problematics” – the secret systems of sexual, racial and class exploitation to be found in the most innocuous and commonplace customs, expressions and objects. It is an easy game to learn, and once learned it turns kids into shrill, paranoid, self-righteous bullies, who grow up to be shrill, paranoid, self-righteous teachers.

I don’t think theology can really be “done” in a university setting anymore. The modern American university is a scam: teachers pretend to teach, students pretend to learn, researchers pretend to research, not looking for truth, but looking for prestige: the prestige of a degree, the prestige of peer reviews, etc. How can one contemplate God in such a setting?


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