Pragmatism, the remedy for dogmatism
... and scholasticism
The Catholic theologian Karl Rahner’s most oft-quoted line is, as many of us know, this: “Christians of the future will either be mystics or cease to be.” Believing, as I do, that Christianity is essentially mystical in nature and can’t be lived any other way, I agree fully with Rahner’s statement. But I would add that he could have said, just as rightly, that Christians of the future will either be pragmatists or cease to be. We are witnessing the passing of dogmatism (not to be confused with dogma rightly understood — see below). What follows is a revised and abridged version of the second chapter of my book, Strangers and Pilgrims Once More. In the wake of our most recent posts, in which the pragmatic character of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism was highlighted alongside that of Jesus’ teachings, I thought a revisiting of the theme of “Pragmatism v. dogmatism and scholasticism” might prove congruent.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial