July 27, 2010
Michael Malone is a talented man from North Carolina. In addition to being a successful script writer for soap operas, he has produced a number of literary detective novels. He has also written a great ‘Odyssey’ tale called Handling Sin which is one of the best works of fiction I have read in recent years and which sent me back to re-reading the original and watching O Brother with new appreciation. His most recent work is called The Four Corners of the Sky which is variously a mystery about a mostly charming and enigmatic con man and a story of a woman naval pilot trying to discover who she is through discovering more about the mysterious crook who is her father and anything about who her mother might be. For some, the strange characters and constant movement of the book will be a bit much but for me it kept me engaged the whole way through even if a little judicious editing was in order.
The business of who we are and who we ought to be has sent me back to one of the most substantial works of theology to come out in recent years: a work of Christian theological anthropology called Eccentric Existence by David H. Kelsey. He sees the questions of anthropology being essentially questions around ‘what are we?’, ‘who am I or who are we?’ and ‘How ought we to be?’
What makes anthropology specifically Christian are ‘non-negotiable’ bedrock beliefs we he articulates as being a) God actively relates to human beings to create them; b)to draw them to eschatological consummation; and c) to reconcile them when they are alienated from God.
This is a dense theoretical work of ‘secondary theology’ that I am hoping can shape some new self discovery for me in relation to God in coming months