Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why I Wrote The World Perceived

Why I Wrote The World Perceived

I wrote my book The World Perceived because, after many years of studying theology and philosophy, I couldn’t find a book that reflected the theological and philosophical conclusions I had come to. I was looking for a book that would use phenomenology as a philosophical superstructure for the construction of a new sort of theology, one that valued phenomenal appearances. And since I was unable to find such a book, I decided to write one.

Writing can be very difficult work. I’d many written articles and papers over the years, but never anything approaching the length of a book. Because I’m well aware of how much rewriting is required in order to produce a decent article or paper, I knew that writing a book would require an incredible amount of rewriting, which it certainly has. In short, the task of writing the book I wanted to write would be a great challenge for me.

I began the work of writing the book in November 2005. I had moved to Pennsylvania to be close to my mother after my father’s death six months earlier. I was beginning a new chapter in my life, I was approaching my forty-seventh birthday, and I had in my mind the idea for this book that I wanted to write and I realized the time was right for me to begin writing it. After all the reading, studying, and thinking I had done over the years, I knew I was ready to write the book I was unable to find.

I wanted the book to outline the theological conclusions I had come to, but I also wanted it to be relatively easy to understand. Due to the philosophical nature of theological writings, this was not an easy thing to do. And I’m not even sure just how well I’ve managed to do it. In many ways, this book was to be the book I wish I’d been able to read when I was younger, say in my early twenties. My intention was to write the book in such a way that young seminary students would find the concepts expressed in the book intellectually stimulating and that these concepts would inform their own theological reflections and writings.

I imagine someone who is interested in theology, perhaps a seminary student, reading the book, grasping its most basic concepts, and keeping them in mind as they put together their own theological beliefs. If my book can help just one person to become a better theological thinker, I will be forever thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to write it.
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