Sarah Coakley thinks a dark age of preaching and teaching might be coming to an end.
Well, nothing can compel anyone to listen to a theologian, the theologian has got to be a lot more attractive in his or her exposition – a much more touching-of-the-depths of problems that people confront and the heights of sublimity that they aspire to than I think most theology does, frankly. And we have been living through a phase in postmodernity in which theologians have almost obfuscated themselves out of business, in that, in order to seem professional, we have often used language so arcane that the so-called ordinary person – who by the way is never ordinary, there is no such thing as an ordinary person, as I’ve learnt as a priest – that such people feel excluded and bored.
We’ve been living through a dark age of preaching and teaching, and I believe there are signs that this age is coming to an end and that much more creative work is being produced. But that has been a deep problem of self-defensiveness during a period of so-called secularisation.
I don’t believe that we do live in a completely secularised age. And I think that there are all kinds of signs that so-called post-Christian culture is actually still deeply allured by the thought of the transcendent and of the possibilities of transformation in God.