Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Boreham on Writing Theology for the Public Sphere

F W Boreham’s three primary theological methods of urging connections, seeing something more and sharing stories were shaped by his knowledge that he was writing editorials in a secular medium to an Australian audience. He judged his readers to be wary about religion and resistant to theological discussion that issued from the church and focused on spiritual and other-worldly topics.

His method of connecting theology to familiar personal and public activities was a helpful way of deepening the reader’s understanding of theology’s purpose and developing a fully integrated life.

Boreham’s discussion about ‘seeing more’ represented the teaching of a theological method so that readers could see for themselves. He urged his readers to see more in the public spheres of nature, history, literature, art and ordinary life because they provided sources of divine revelation and pointers to an understanding of God.

His use of stories to attract readers, spark their imagination and (perhaps despite their own resistance) engage in their own theological reflection was a skilful ploy aimed at making theology truly public and revealed his commitment to convey a theology that was ‘liveable’ and ‘doable’.

Geoff Pound

Image: “Writing editorials in a secular medium to an Australian audience.” Prime Minister, John Howard and some Aussie mates.