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AnonymousDeleted UserSeptember 21, 2020 at 11:58 am
This is really great stuff, Ryan. Like others here, you’re helping us to see the impossibility of seeing or understanding without interpretive work. Part of me does want to resist surrendering too much to the totalizing claim of Buechner about “all theology.” His nuanced “at its heart” helps a bit, but I’m not sure that “autobiography” obtains as much power as Buechner wants to think, at least not for everyone and certainly not in all places. To quote another (white male) theologian, John O’Donohue’s statement that our identity is not our biography may be helpful here, pointing to the hope and reality that we are more than the sum of our life experiences and personal stories.
I really like where the thread is heading, as you all point out the importance of listening to one another, of aspiring toward a genre and life together that transcends our petty and incessant desire to center our own (autobiographical) experiences. I don’t want to be a curmudgeon about it, though, and maybe Buechner is right. Or maybe there is another, better way none of us can imagine at present.