Thursday 8 June 2006

For the love of God (11): Why I love Thomas Groome

A guest-post by Aaron Ghiloni

Thomas Groome makes me hot. Unlike Patrik, who met his love prematurely, I encountered Groome belatedly. I had already been involved in faith education for some time, when I finally discovered what it was all about. Though I had met Groome before, we had only flirted. Reading Thomas Groome in the summery shadow of Presidio Park’s cypress pines, I was peeved that we hadn’t had this conversation sooner, relieved to find that my work was legitimate, captivated by his comprehensive approach, and, yes, I was in love. Like Augustine, my adoring heart confessed: “Late have I loved you!”

I love Thomas Groome because he helps me to see—in theory, practice, and praxis—what real Christian education might be. I love Thomas Groome because he enables me to envision a church that truly knows its God and a world that is becoming the kingdom of God.

Groome’s education for the reign of God draws on the best of resources available to educators. He is part Deweyan and part Huebnerian; fully Catholic and yet patiently catholic; completely liberationist and yet more than just political. Groome enables us to remember our selves, healing the “forgetfulness of being” that has so marked Western intelligentsia. Groome’s “shared Christian praxis” connects with our very marrow, and, for lovers, it connects deep within the heart.

In a field delirious with “tricks of the trade” and “how-to” simplicities, Groome provides a theoretical basis for practical theology that is fully informed by the Western philosophical tradition, by the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, and by theological landmarks.

Thomas Groome makes me hot: hot to teach, hot to learn, hot to grow, hot to remember, hot to be, hot to become.


Anonymous said...

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for your erotic tribute. It reminds us what a passionate subject theology is. As Thomas observes, while "it is possible to sin by excess as well as deficiency . . . there is no sinning by excess against God."

Indeed, Aaron, you have made me theologically horny! You have also made me theologically embarrassed, as Thomas Groome is clearly a theologian I should know about - and I don't! I have already been over to Amazon. Could your recommend something to get me panting?

::aaron g:: said...

Hello Kim.

No need to be embarrassed - practical theologians are often unknown and thus under-appreciated. Groome's Christian Religious Education is his most known book...but (as evidenced by the title) the concern is mainly with education. Sharing Faith picks up many of the same themes of CRE, develops them more fully, and then addresses a wider range of practices than just education. If you were to read just one book I'd go with Sharing Faith.

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