Dominican theologian Edward Schillebeeckx died just two days before Christmas. He was 95. I’m ashamed to admit that I never read much of Fr. Schillebeeckx, either in my seminary years or afterward. After reading a short reflection on this influential theologian’s life and work, written by a former student, I hope to change that in the year ahead. The reflection ended with this quotation from Schillebeeckx.
“The crucified but risen Jesus appears in the believing, assembled community of the church. That this sense of the risen, living Jesus has faded in many [churches] can be basically blamed on the fact that our churches are insufficiently ‘communities’ of God…. Where the church of Jesus Christ lives, and lives a liberating life in the footsteps of Jesus, the resurrection faith undergoes no crisis. On the other hand, it is better not to believe in God than to believe in a God who minimizes human beings, holds them under and oppresses them, with a view to a better world to come.”
—Edward Schillebeeckx, “The Church with a Human Face”