Thanks to Chelle for highlighting a fascinating March 2011 article, and to Jason for securing me a copy. The article is by theologian Sarah Coakley and it’s titled: Prayer as Crucible, another installment in Christian Century magazine’s “How I Changed My Mind” series.
Here’s an excerpt from Coakley which resonated, and which Chelle included with her post.
“In a period when there has been a remarkable set of attacks on classical foundationalism by both philosophers and theologians, I have again felt myself to be plowing a subtly different course as a result of the prayer perspective I have tried to outline above… My own response to this philosophical and theological crisis is one that seeks to analyze the dark testing of contemplation as precisely an epistemological challenge. In other words, I continue to reject another false modern disjunction—that between spirituality and philosophy. It is not that contemplation affords just another sectarian theological perspective, which one can take or leave as one wills. Rather, its painful and often dark expansion of consciousness, its integration of thought and affect and its ethical sensitizing to what is otherwise neglected (including, of course, the poor “who are always with us”) all demand that one give an account of how philosophy, and science and politics too, cannot ultimately afford to ignore the apprehensions that contemplation invites.”