Summa Theologica By John Milbank

Decent Essays
In the beginning of my critic I would like to give some credit to the title of this article. The word ‘Summa’ immediately takes us back to Thomas Aquinas and his unfinished masterpiece “Summa Theologica”. Without any doubt, J. Milbank chose such heading on purpose in order to present his article as an instructive guide for theologians; even the structure of the article itself supports this argument - each point, the same as in “Summa Theologica”, is separated and goes in the numerical order. As we could see, from the very beginning, J. Milbank considered himself to be an “instructor of beginners”.…show more content…
In such world God is no more a subject but rather an objectified God, “The Christian God can no longer be thought of as a God first seen, but rather as a God first prayed to, first imagined, first inspiring certain actions, first put into words…”. In other words, we no longer see world through God itself; it’s always God that was already thought about. However, John Milbank doesn’t give a single chance for postmodernity to develop its own theological model of evolution. He states, “Whatever its response may be to nihilism, postmodern theology can only proceed by explicating Christian practice”. In fact, from his point of view, it is modernity which has already lost its touch with God and passed nihilistic tendencies to post-modernity. Indeed difference and pluralism in thoughts is not ‘myths’ anymore, but a life reality that people should deal with one way or another. However, accepting the fact that pluralism has a great influence on people’s reality does not lead to the acceptance of postmodernity as nihilistic phenomenon. To state that all forms of secular thought are supported and influenced by nihilism and ontology of ‘violence’, that Milbank mentions later in his article, would be a great underestimation of the humanity’s achievements. If we take the definition of the term “nihilism” from the Oxford Online Dictionary we see that, “Nihilism is the rejection of all religious…show more content…
Milbank views the Church as a perfect community which was the only reason for the incarnation of Christ and which later repeats the destiny of Christ - sacrificing itself in order to eliminate human’s sin and return back to original peaceful creation but at the same time presenting itself as God’s gift in Christ. Such vision of the Church gives people chance to think about it as an interpretation of all events, thus making Church the so called “social institution”. (232) Furthermore, Milbank believes that, “Christianity…uniquely has this idea of [true] community… ” and “…hope for [this] community” which “…means the freedom of people and groups to be different, yet totally refuses indifference”. Later Milbank adds, that unless theology reflects the singularity of the norms of this unique community, it “… has nothing to think about”. First of all, the latter statement about the purpose of theology is rather bold. Theology is always between community and God, trying to incorporate all different practices and put them in order according to Christian traditions. It always strives to explain this inexpressible reality that community tries to respond to by reflecting in itself a wide variety of different theories and practices. In post-modernity the main task of theology
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