God in Question: Questioning as a Prerequisite for Theology
There are questions that are so important that it is a pity to spoil them with answers. No doubt, the question of God is one of them. Contrary to many presuppositions, theology is not capable of providing us with the final answers in this respect. On the contrary, theology professed as fides quaerens intellectum is an ongoing struggle with questions. Modernity interrupted this paradigm of theological questioning. Theology was withdrawn from the realm of understanding and shifted to the realm of explanation. Modernity brought the univocalization of God. Nonetheless, the attempts to tackle the question of God lead to hegemonic narratives about God. Such narratives are rightly criticized in a postmodern context for their totalizing pretensions. The problem of postmodern criticism is its one-sided emphasis on the apophatic dimension of theological discourse. I propose that theology can go a step further beyond postmodernity. In order to do so, I deal with the Czech philosopher Jan Patočka, who provides an opportunity to rethink God from the perspective of questioning in a new way. Patočka’s insistence on problematicity is the main reading key of his work. In this line of though, I interpret Patočka’s student Tomáš Halík and his thesis about the necessity to take the metaphor of an unknown God into account. I argue that theology must avoid the temptation to remove God from the question and make a well-known God of him. The time has come for theologians to turn their answers back into questions and dwell with them.
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