"Our destiny, our being's heart and home,
Is with infinitude, and only there;
With hope it is, hope that can never die,
Effort and expectation, and desire,
And something evermore about to be."
- William Wordsworth, The Prelude
"Indeed, from within the murkiness of human knowledge and experience, we rightly wonder, is there any room for theology as such - or has it gone the way of all heavenly things? Perhaps all that remains is some mode of natural piety, such as the shudder before the mortal mysteries (with Goethe), or the felt ecstasies of springtime (with Wordsworth). Surely this is a lot, and unsettles the mind from its human habitudes. But is there more?
[...] Like all matters human, theology must be grounded in earthly experience and understood from within its forms. The phenomenal world is all that we have. This is the sphere that lies before us in our everyday existence; it conditions the products of aesthetic perception; and it provides the sphere for theological experience and reflection.
[...] As natural beings we are, in the most elemental sense, coextensive with this realm: our bodies are composed of it, our stomachs take in and digest its matter, and we traffic with this world all our days until we die and are decomposed into its elements. [...] To more properly sense [the] unfolding of the Godhead into world-being, so to speak, or to perceive or intuit its penetrations therein, we must first return to our ordinary experiences."
- Michael Fishbane, Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology
Happy Hanukkah, folks.
Photo credits: Hungry Hyaena, 2009