torsdag, juni 07, 2012

Graham Ward om ondska

Let’s talk about evil in a Christian context. After all, it’s part of the Lord’s Prayer: “Deliver us from evil.” Most liturgies begin with an act of contrition, an act of confession. There is a sense in which confession actually aligns us with the will of God, which is the will of the good. And in that sense, confession turns us away from all those things that have a tendency toward what is evil. 
From a classical theological context—and here I’m going back to Aquinas and Augustine—there is no substantive thing called evil. Evil doesn’t have any ontological weight at all. God gives existence to all things and all things in the existence that God has given are good. And so evil is not any thing at all. But when we turn away from that which sustains us and maintains us in our being, we are moving toward that which is the negation of what we were created for. And so what we see as turning toward evil is a turning toward nonexistence, toward that which is denigrating to our creaturely status as creations of God, who is Good. Within that context, then, prayer is a confession of reorientation toward that which is good. It is a confession that we have been involved in acts that are counter to the honoring and worship of God and a recognition that we are created beings who are dependent on God. 
And so prayer is a reorientation toward the Good. And that’s what we mean in the Christian tradition when we speak of sanctification. Our reorientation toward God brings about a change, a transformation, a metanoia, that in fact turns us away from the disobedient misuse of those goods God has given us. It’s not that there is a substance called “evil.” When we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Deliver us from evil,” we’re not asking God to deliver us from some substantial, evil thing that is out there, because that would make us dualists rather than monotheists, that would suggest a divine good fighting a divine bad. There’s no good fighting the bad in the Christian tradition because the bad just doesn’t exist in that way. There is only God’s goodness, and God’s goodness will win out in the end.

Graham Ward intervjuad i The Other Journal

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