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On Unlearning

October 29th, 2020 | 10 min read

By Kirsten Sanders

Come now, O Lord my God. Teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you. Lord, if you are not here, where shall I seek you, since you are absent? But if you are everywhere, why do I not see you, since you are present? Truly ‘you dwell in unapproachable light.’ And where is this ‘unapproachable light’? How am I to approach an unapproachable light?

Anselm, Proslogion, 79

An authentic self wills to be what it is.

Catherine Keller, From a Broken Web, 11.

The first day of our graduate student colloquy, the professor said disdainfully “it is impossible to be an ‘evangelical theologian!’” What they meant was that this particular kind of religious conviction was naive, self-serving, that it was incompatible with sophisticated theological understanding, with love of neighbor, with knowledge of self. Such naivete, it was assumed, hid a cloak of repression, of oppression, of self-hatred, of annihilation of self and other. To rid ourselves of such commitments before beginning the work of contemplation, that was the goal of this education.

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Kirsten Sanders

Kirsten Sanders (PhD, Emory University) is a writer and theologian. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.