Johann Metz, Lieven Boeve

Boeve on Metz

‘The shortest definition of religion is interruption,’ is an intuition taken from Johan Baptist Metz. He wanted to make clear by this statement that Christian faith can never slip unpunished into a sort of bourgeois religion, seamlessly woven into the prevailing culture and society, nor withdraw itself from or against its context. Such religion seeks a too-facile reconciliation, forgetting in the process the tragic suffering that confronts human existence. For Metz, there can be no Christian faith without tension or turmoil, without danger or menace. After all Christians are bearers of the subversive, dangerous memory of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is why they actively seek out the boundaries of life and coexistence, moved as they are by the human histories of suffering, that compel them toward a preferential option for the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed. By its very nature, the Christian faith disrupts the histories of conqueror and vanquished, interrupting the ideologies of the powerful and the powerlessness of the victims.

Lieven Boeve, God Interrupts History: Theology in a Time of Upheaval, 203-204.

Translation: We cause problems! We shouldn’t fit in so well. We are to interrupt the established relationships, as Jesus did.


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