CONVERSATION

Wisdom delighted in humankind (Proverbs 8:31), all part of her playful, harmonious work of joining together (Proverbs 8:30). Traditionally, knowledge has grown in conversations – between masters and students, between collaborators, between spiritual director and disciple, between therapist and client, between people of different disciplines, walks of life and cultures – and in all this and above all, the conversation between God and the soul, the Holy Spirit and our spirit.

A great example of this is the “dialectical method” of the medieval philosophers and theologians (such as St. Thomas Aquinas): in this tradition, they listened carefully to the other person’s position first, then responded, integrating the other person’s point of view. This tradition is very much alive: for example, the German Dominican theologians have a popular magazine called “Word and Answer” (Wort und Antwort).

To make it clearer, Wisdom was never found in the kind of aggressive discourses we hear in the world today, discourses that promote one view or method to the exclusion of other people’s, or set up conflicts of spirit against body, of the sexes against each other, science against religion, religion against psychology, or humanity against the environment. According to a proverb attributed to the Buddhist tradition, when we start shouting, we have already lost the argument.

To enable our conversation (which will be moderated) we’ve started this page for the Friends of Sophia, to join us together, to join together the knowledge we have received and are seeking to deepen.

To start us off, click here to read and comment on a meditation by Fr. Dominic White on breath/spirit, the Holy Spirit in a time of Covid, based on Fr. Dominic’s new book How Do I Look: Theology in the Age of the Selfie (London: SCM Press, forthcoming).

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