My extended unit of CPE is almost over. Nine months seemed so long back in August when I was getting ready, and suddenly I'm working on my final evaluation paper. It's going to be fairly mammoth, I think; there's an entire page of questions! One of those questions asks for my "statement of theology" in a single paragraph.
Poetry has taught me valuable lessons about concision, but it's hard to explain my understanding of God in brief. I've been working on a response, and I keep fighting the temptation to add more to it -- I'm afraid I might be forgetting something important.
For kicks, and because it might spark interesting conversation, and because I think it might be helpful for me to see the paragraph in a context other than my paper draft, I'm posting my draft of that theology paragraph here:
My theology holds that our world is imbued with God's presence, and hence with opportunities to encounter holiness. I believe that each of us is a reflection of God, created in the endless diversity of God's image. I believe that God transcends our understanding and our words -- and that even so, each of us in our finitude partakes of God's infinity, because there is a spark of God in each of us. I believe that doors to God's presence open both in our moments of greatest joy, and our moments of greatest grief. According to my theology, God manifests in the world in a variety of ways on a variety of levels (the four worlds paradigm and the schema of sefirot or divine attributes expressed by the Jewish mystics are two ways of understanding God’s unfolding). I believe that God is available to all of us. As we evolve, as we learn and grow, as we become more compassionate and loving, we grow closer to and we increasingly resemble God. I believe that God is present wherever two of us truly meet one another. I understand God as fundamentally unitary: the Oneness underlying all things, which can inform and transform our existence if we open our eyes.
(Draft, April 24, 2006 / erev 27 Nissan, 5766.) I welcome responses, of course. And if you want to tackle this question too, please drop me a link to what you write. I'd be tickled if "my theology, in one paragraph" became a meme.