In here new book God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay on the Trinity Sarah Coakley outlines a new method for doing systematic theology. While I don’t have a really grasp on it yet, I am trying. Thankfully Coakley outlines 9 points which are of utmost importance to this new method. I will probably end up commenting on this method in the future, but for now I leave you with the 9 Hallmarks of Theologie Totale:
- Privileging Contemplation – Contemplation is not simply foundational, its the creative source of life to which we must constantly return.
- Theology in via – It involves an ongoing journey of purgative transformation and change.
- The Counterpoint of philosophy, science, and theologie totale – Theology does not subsume secular philosophy or science, grace and nature remain theoretically demarcated.
- Orthodoxy as goal – Orthodoxy seems a bit complicated for Coakley, it seems to be more about Orthopraxy than getting our dogmatic statements “correct.”
- Theologie totale as socially located but not socially reduced – in my mind this is the most distinctive aspect, it pays attention to social location and sociological finding without reducing all things to mere sociological causes.
- Theologie totale and the expansion of the classical systematic loci – this method uses all the classical systematic loci, but not in the same ordering. It also adds new loci as needed, for instance: race and class.
- Theologie totale and aestheic expression – it pays attention to the various mediums through which religious ruth is expressed non-verbally, e.g. music, liturgy, icons, art, poetry
- The overcoming of false divides – it overcomes the divide between academic/pastoral, liberal/conservative, systematic/philosophical
- Desire as the constellation theological category of theologie totale – at the heart of her systematics is an examination of the relation of divine and human desires, this is why the entire systematic collection will be called “On Desiring God.”