Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Jazz Theology 101--with visiting professor Carl Ellis (Final Session)

"If the classical approach to theology has been called 'the queen of sciences,' the jazz approach to theology could be called the 'queen of the arts.' The latter investigates God's dealing with people in the joys and trails of daily life...The jazz approach is not so much concerned with the status of theological propositions as with the hurts of oppressed people. It is communicated not so much by a literary tradition as by an oral tradition. And it is not so much concerned with facts as it is with life skills: knowing how rather than knowing that." "The great advantage of the jazz approach to theology is its requirement that people be involved with Truth.” Jazz theology invites us to participate in the propositions. To enter in to the Biblical story and know the truth so that the truth can set us free. "Jazz theology is a participation in the basic patterns revealed in biblical life situations. It inquires not only what God did and said but how he said and did it. Further more, it expects him to do it again in a similar way in our lives...Effective Black preachers respond to current situations by theologizing creatively on their feet, just as jazz musicians improvise new music and enliven old songs in response to the feeling and needs of the moment." When you read the scriptures, what tools or tips have you discovered to enter in to the text and experience the living word? How do you keep theology from being just informational?


Blogger Constantine said...

Thinking about your last question: Have you ever practiced Lectio Divina?

11:33 PM  
Blogger jazztheo said...

Si C,
I think that Lectio Divina and Ignatian prayer are incredible gifts to our reading of scripture and prayer

7:29 AM  
Blogger Constantine said...

I too would say they are incredible gifts. Of course, they scare me a bit. I might actually get a "word" from God and have to DO something that I would prefer to avoid altogether. Grin—sort of. Maybe Christians get to taken up into thinking that God wants them all to be missionaries to China or to be Mother Teresa, instead of living their life day by day. I encounter Christians who think that unless they are “sacrificing” and not enjoying their life that somehow they’ve missed the proverbial boat. I wonder about the countless folks that have a passion for something that isn't some great Christian cause and if they think that can't also be "holy." I guess I'm talking about vocation being at the heart of things. Just thinking out loud.

You’re quite the knowledgeable and insightful guy. What do you do, if I may ask? How do you pay the bills so to speak? I’ll say this. You are a Jazz Theologian.

9:15 AM  
Blogger jazztheo said...

You ask me a difficult question. I enjoy being anonomous in the blogosphere but I get asked this question often. I go back and forth as to whether or not to just say who I am or at least to give some general facts about myself.

How do I pay the bills? I am a Jazz Theologian. Everything I write about, I'm seeking to live.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Constantine said...

That's cool. I respect that.

8:37 PM  
Blogger RBA Founder Xavier Pickett said...

I must say that I am indeed excited to see such a rare discussion on Carl Ellis and his work, "Free at Last?" This has to be one of the most underrated and unknown books in contemporary Black writing.

Thank you for not allowing us to forget about Carl.


5:36 PM  

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