Ben Myers at his Faith and Theology blog is doing a series on theologians that different people love. I’ve contributed a post on Sister Marie Keyrouz, who may seem an unlikely choice on my part in that she’s not strictly a theologian, nor is she Eastern Orthodox. Just go read it, and it’ll make more sense. My entry is the third of twenty, so stay tuned to Ben’s blog to read them all!
One of the reasons I chose Sister Keyrouz is that I encountered her first as an artistic treasure, and only after closer listening was I impressed by the faith that one can hear in her voice. Then, as though by the song of a Byzantine siren, intent to lure the unwary to salvation rather than destruction, I was irresistably drawn East. My emotional response to how she sings is tied up with the edification gained from what she sings, a rare experience for me. Now there is also the association of first hearing her early in the period of my own personal spiritual renaissance. So many of the theologians I read are just not emotionally stirring. She popped right into my head when Ben wrote to ask for a contribution. Though I first wrote a piece on The Three Theologians, I think it lacked the personal element that Ben was looking for. There are many great modern Orthodox theologians I love reading: Fr Alexander Schmemann, Fr Georges Florovsky, Bishop Kallistos Ware, and Bishop John Zizioulas come immediately to mind, and are well-known outside Orthodox circles as well. There are also numerous Patristic theologians, of course, like St Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian, St Ephrem of Syria, St Nicodemus the Hagiorite, and many others. There are the holy Prophets and Apostles themselves. Anyhow, I don’t actually know why I didn’t think of one of them as a “beloved theologian” apporopriate for this. I felt a need to address that, so there we are. At least now I know I have something else to add to Kevin’s List of Things to Work On….