On Theology as Narrative, Shattered in Time

"We are able to represent the mystery of divine providence as intelligible to us in any way at all only insofar as we can represent it in the form of a narrative--for history is, as it were, the narratival refraction of the divine eternity, as a single source of light might be refracted in the multiplicity of fragments of glass.  Time is eternity shattered into fragments that we can piece together again only one after another in sequence as best we may.  What is one in itself, a single willing of love emerging from the divine simplicity, can be perceived by us only in the time-bound fragmentations of historical succession in some way linked into a narrative.  Moreover, this narrative is not one we can be told or tell as if from a position outside it, for we are internal to the story we tell, we are being told by it as we attempt to tell it.  Perforce, the eternal knowledge and love that made all things out of love--the Trinity--is for us a narrative: and the nearest we can get to understanding the connective tissue of that narrative--its character of being neither necessary as opposed to contingent, nor contingent as opposed to necessary, but somehow both--is through concepts germane to its narrative character: the behovely, the conveniens."

--Denys Turner, Julian of Norwich, Theologian (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), p. 120.

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