Monday, June 27, 2011

Creativity and Orthodoxy

by CWK

For anyone who thinks that orthodoxy might, perhaps, constrain their creativity -- for any young Christian writer who fears that the orthodoxy of their youth may strangle the creativity of their maturity -- to such a one, I say, orthodoxy is the life of creativity, not it's stranglehold. 


But to “play with words” within the traditions of theology and liturgy is not to strive for innovation. The theologian or liturgist, as Stanley has also taught us, is not charged with the task of originality, but with that of fidelity to a living tradition that has some parameters, to a language with rules of speech. There are things we know we can’t say—like, for instance, “that majestic mountain over there is God”—but such limits are not limitations. Rather, they are, as Wendell Berry observes, “inducements to formal elaboration and elegance, to fullness of relationship and meaning.”[9] That is, such limits make art and beauty possible. The received wisdom of the Christian tradition is an enclosure of sorts but it’s still a big room to play in.

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