People who are avid hikers are very conscious of landscapes and the subtle differences between them. One of the joys of hiking is the experience of passing through a variety of landscapes. Each landscape offers a particular geography, geology, flora, fauna, and other elements all of which exist in an interdependent relationship with each other. Those of us who take the time to investigate the world around us on or off the trail, aided by guide books, the interpretation by knowledgeable people, our own past experiences and a keen desire for new discoveries, find that our own sense of awareness, understanding, and connection to life's landscapes is richly expanded.
The physical landscape around us is but one of many landscapes in which we live out our lives: psychological, social, political, economic, geographical, and spiritual, to name a few. Some of us wander around these landscapes absorbed in self-concern and pay little attention to what surrounds us. Some of us spend most or all of our lives trying to stay in familiar areas of our landscapes and have little curiosity or knowledge of what lies beyond the territory we know. There are others of us who are born with a curiosity and appetite for exploring every inch of the landscape and for discovering whatever secrets it may contain.
Those for whom the horizon represents the point where adventure begins; where the jagged crumbling lip of a towering precipice is an opportunity to reconnoiter; where curiosity and imagination calls them to go even farther: these are Trekkers.
We know the names of some of the great Trekkers who committed their lives to the exploration of one or more of the human landscapes in which they lived: Lao Tsu, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Yeshua ben Yosef, Paul, Di Vinci, Siddhartha Gautama, Hypatia of Alexandria, Muhammad, Copernicus, Francesco di Bernardone, Voltaire, Michelangelo, Galileo, Gandhi, Marx, Newton, Elizabeth Anscombe, Bach, Mozart, Van Gogh, Einstein, Simone de Beauvoir, ML King, Alan Watts, and the Dalai Lama to name but a few. Each of these Trekkers, packing all their gifts and foibles, stepped out into unknown territory, answering that call to seek more, learn more, love more, share more, and be more. We also know that these Trekkers did not set out alone. They began where others ended their journey and with the knowledge and equipment they inherited. Trekking is an altruistic activity. It is done for the education and edification of everyone. They invited others to join them in order to enrich everyone's experience and to be more effective in their combined mission and commitment to the common good.
So what is TheoTrekking? It is how my long-time friend and fellow theologian, Pat Genereux and I refer to our work as innovative theologians; exploring the landscapes of the human need to make meaning!
Theologians critically examine human behavior in relationship to those things in which we invest our trust and which in return provide our lives with significance (gods). This is done as part of the ongoing effort to understand and live life with as much emotional and intellectual authenticity and integrity as possible.
We view life as an ongoing trek of discovery. It is our experience that knowledge and understanding, including the meaning we make of them, are always incomplete. While on this journey, we encounter and celebrate new discoveries about ourselves and our world. If we have the courage to honestly investigate them, these discoveries can take us beyond the edges of our social, cultural, political, and religious maps.
You are invited to explore this site and the experiences, discoveries, and ongoing theological explorations recorded here. If what you find on TheoTrek.Net moves you to want to comment or contribute to the conversation, please contact me (see the contact page). I am eager to hear from you.