We are six friends who in various ways have come to know each other over the years. Aside from the fact that two of us are brothers, this friendship for some of us goes back 40 years to high school in Växjö (Sweden). For others, the friendship is later but for all of us it is starting to become a quite long, common history. We have primarily been brought together by an interest to pursue theology based on a certain direction and we want to continue to support and encourage each other in this. We all work with theology in slightly different ways. We live quite spread out in Sweden and need an online meeting place to maintain our conversation. But we want a meeting place that is open to others who have a similar interest in theological deepening. We believe that friendship should be open and hospitable!
It is not so easy to describe briefly the theological orientation we have in common. We believe that Christianity is about following Jesus Christ and that the quest of theology for wisdom always need to be marked by a desire for likeness with Jesus Christ. The most challenging in this is the claim that God does not come to us as a victorious king who sits on the throne of the political or religious center. He was crucified outside the city walls. All theology must therefore have this "cruciform marking". We think that in many ways it is hopeful that the church today has lost the power position that it for long was so spoiled to have in Western Europe (post-Christendom), and that the church because of that in some respects perhaps is more reminiscent of the early Christian communities that lived scattered throughout the Roman Empire. A theology marked by the crucified Christ is better suited on the basis of a church that lives on the margin and has renounced all power ambitions and instead peacefully and from below tries to be a hopeful sign of how God makes all things new (we talk about this as diaspora ecclesiology).
This is what we are trying to express with our term cruciform phronesis: cruciform wisdom. As we now re-launch the work on this website, we chose to keep this little heavy phrase as the name. It signals that we do not have any ambition to be something other than a community and forum for theological reflection that also want to provide time and space for more complex queries.
Note that theology for us is not a demarcated subject area. Such a view reflects more the modern, secular thinking that wanted to move faith away from the public to the private sphere. Theology claims to speak about God who is everything's origin and destiny. Compare Thomas Aquinas's definition of theology: "In sacred science, all things are treated of under the aspect of God: either because they are God Himself or because they refer to God as their beginning and end” (Summa Theologiae I.1.7). Thus we have an interest to not only write about "religious stuff" but about everything that is important in life. Not that we think we know everything about everything. Surely not! But we are interested in the significance of theology for everything!
On this page, we collect two types of materials: partly the shorter posts about events in the present or in theology that we want to highlight (Blog) and partly our own longer texts of both popular and academic character that tries to penetrate a little deeper (Text). We hope that more people can enjoy our conversation with each other via the blog and the resource bank that we progressively build up. Obviously, there is much that we disagree on. It is this diversity that enriches our friendship. Despite this, we believe that our common materials together can mirror some aspects of the content in a cruciform phronesis. Of course we are also interested in your thoughts. Please feel free to provide comments to the texts and blog posts or directly to us. Please, give us also direct response to this new approach. What can we improve? What are you missing? Any tips?
Kalle Carlstein, Maria Ledstam, Arne Rasmusson, Bengt Rasmusson, Roland Spjuth, and Fredrik Wenell