Thursday, May 31, 2012

Best and Worst Theology Words

Over roasted garlic and wine, I had a thought with my wife's book club (my book club?). We discussed in a previous post that, when we move forward from religion, we should take a few things with us. But I don't mind losing other things, especially some of the ridiculous verbiage that comes with theology studies. 

So let's see some painful words, and pretty handy words from theology.

8 Cool Words for Big Ideas
Cariognosis experts
1. Cardiognosis: knowledge of the heart, in the sense of knowing the intentions or feelings of someone else. This isn't really possible, I think, unless you're on TV. But I suppose I would like to know the true interior life life of others people. Is this a good word to keep?
us military code of ethics
2. Casuistry: the resolving of ethical problems through strict adherence to guidelines. What a gross word for a legalism and rationalization. It's a gross and redundant and old fashioned word for a nasty thing. Call it by its name!

don't want this...
3. Concupiscence: a desire for something that we don't really want, or shouldn't want. This is the cornerstone of Christian ethics - that our natural pull towards the good has to compete with an equally natural instinct to contradict the good. I'm glad there is a word for this, even if it's a hard word.

WTF, Jesus
4. Apocrypha: in theology, the 'hidden books' : writings that are quite ancient, but not used in liturgy or tradition because they are unorthodox, are anonymous, or fanatical. In common usage it means anything outside the reading list, or anything outside the orthodox timeline. I like this word better than its cousins, Deuterocanonical and pseudepigrapha.

second coming in style
5. Eschatology: the study of last things, especially the end of the world or salvation, but with a positive connotation. I like this word a lot - I wrote about 'the eschaton' before, and I appreciated having a word for "the apocalypse in a good way". I also used Parousia, or saving presence (in terms of the second coming).

6. Exegesis and Hermeneutics: critical interpretation in a scientific, direct way; and interpretation based on a body of principles. Usually used in terms of scripture. I don't think I'll make friends at a cocktail party with these, so how about just criticism.

Authority Statue!
7. Magisterium: the Church's juridical branch that demands obedience (as part of the spirit-empowered hierarchy). Sometimes used interchangeably with Curia or simply the Vatican. While I would be happy to see the institution go, I think it's a cool word for any powerful judicial/educational force, like the Supreme Court.

A turn towards Fasion!
8. Metanoia: change of mind, change of attitude, especially changing towards the divine.Turn to the stars.

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