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Theology as Autobiography: The Centrality of Confession, Relationship, and Prayer to the Life of Faith

Dickinson, Colby
Cascade Books
2020-03-17
PB ?| 6 x 9 x 0.7 Inch| 0.46 kg| 276 pages| ISBN 9781532688829
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Autobiographical writings on faith frequently come from the lives of ordinary persons whose struggles with faith are often lived at the margins of the church, academy, and society. Yet these voices have the potential to reshape the ways in which each of these fields function. To find out what it means to stand before God with all of one’s humanity on display is to engage in not only the act of confession, but to demonstrate a bold theological reflection that needs to be more explicitly understood. By turning to spiritual autobiographies as theological source texts, we learn to place our emphasis where it matters most, on the people whose lives of faith move us deeply and cause us to re-examine our own lives in light of their witness. Moving through a range of ancient, early modern, and contemporary spiritual writers in order to demonstrate a profound connection that unites them all, this book portrays how a critical self-examination of one’s most personal, internal fractures (our “poverty” as it were) is the only way to develop a life of faith?the dual meaning of the word “confession,” which expresses both a revealing of one’s sins, or brokenness, and the articulation of what one believes.

Colby Dickinson is Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of Agamben and Theology, Between the Canon and the Messiah: The Structure of Faith in Contemporary Continental Thought, Words Fail: Theology, Poetry, and the Challenge of Representation, and, most recently, Theology and Contemporary Continental Philosophy: The Centrality of a Negative Dialectics.

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