Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sze Zeng Interviews Roland Chia

Roland Chia: Life as a systematic theologian in Singapore

Sze Zeng conducted an interview with Roland for his blog. Roland Chia is currently the Chew Hock Hin Professor of Christian Doctrine and Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies at Trinity Theological College, Singapore. His doctoral studies was done at King's College London under the supervision of the late Colin Gunton.

It is an interesting and informative interview and worth reading.

Some quotes that I like

I believe that a theologian is first and foremost a servant of God, who serves him by serving the Church. A theologian should not hermitically seal himself from the life and witness of the Church, cloistered in the impenetrable fortress of his ivory tower, keeping the rest of the world from entering. Some of the most significant theologians in the history of the Church – Irenaeus, Athanasius, the Cappadocians, Augustine, Maximus the Confessor – did not lead idyllic lives as academic theologians, but were actively involved in the life of the Church and the society.

and about his foray into biomedical and social ethics

I am of course not suggesting that theologian should present himself as a pseudo-expert in these other fields. The theologian who thinks in this way is deluded and immature. But I think a theologian should have enough familiarity with these broader topics to reflect on them intelligently and theologically.

This of course requires much effort and time (the latter being a very scarce commodity indeed). But I believe that a theologian must make this investment in effort and time if he is to be of service to the Church. I think Rowan Williams, Wolfhart Pannenberg and Robert Jenson are the kind of theologians I have in mind who because they are steeped in theology and philosophy are also able to address other issues, like politics or the economy, thoughtfully.

Thank you Sze Zeng. Hope you will interview more of the Singaporeans theologians because we will like to know them too. Hope you interview those who are not teaching you so that you can ask more provocative questions.


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