Knowing: from Lordship to Fellowship

“The motive that impels modern reason to know must be described as the desire to conquer and to dominate. For the Greek philosophers and the Fathers of the church, knowing meant something different: it meant knowing in wonder. By knowing or perceiving one participates in the life of the other. Here knowing does not transform the counterpart into the property of the knower; the knower does not appropriate what he knows. On the contrary, he is transformed through sympathy, becoming a participant in what he perceives. Knowledge confers fellowship. That is why knowing, perception, only goes as far as love, sympathy and participation reach. Where the theological perception of God and history is concerned, there will be a modern discovery of Trinitarian thinking when there is at the same time a fundamental change in modern reason — a change from lordship to fellowship, from conquest to participation, from production to receptivity.”

~ Jurgen Moltmann, “The Trinity and the Kingdom of God: The Doctrine of God” quoted by Craig Gay in The Way of the (Modern) World, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1998), 272.

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