An Improper Theology




poiesis, logos, deconstruction, différance, theology without theology, John D. Caputo, negative theology


This article proposes theopoetics as an alternative to theology. It explores the distinction between ‘theo-poetics’ and ‘theo-poetry,’ elucidating the poetic (poiesis) aspects absent in theo-poetry. While theo-poetry employs theological language poetically and metaphorically, theo-poetics delves into poiesis as a reflection on the creation of meaning concerning the divine (theos), thereby supplanting logos in theo-logy. Theopoetics is not ‘negative theology’ but, as described by John D. Caputo, is a weak and radical theology. While strong theology actively seeks the highest episteme, theopoetics, being a weak theology, emphasizes a more passive and receptive mode. As a radical theology, theopoetics is a hovering spirit that haunts conventional theology, is not subservient to any institution or authority, and permeates down to its roots (radix). By uprooting logos in theo-logy, theopoetics emerges as a unique, though improper, theology.


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Author Biography

August Corneles Tamawiwy, Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana

After finishing a S.T.M. (Master of Sacred Theology) degree in 2017 in Theology, Ethics, and Philosophy at Boston University School of Theology, in 2018, August Corneles Tamawiwy became a vicar and was ordained as a pastor at Gereja Protestan di Indonesia bagian Barat (GPIB) in 2020 to serve several Pos Kelayanan dan Kesaksian (PelKes) GPIB Jemaat Hosiana Berau, Kalimantan Timur. In the beginning of 2023, he was sent as a lecturer in Ethics and Constructive Theology at Fakultas Teologi, Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (UKDW), Yogyakarta. His research interests include Christian ethics, conflict transformation, teopoetics, constructive theology, postmodern philosophy, and imagination and aesthethics.


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How to Cite

Tamawiwy, A. C. (2024). Theopoetics: An Improper Theology. Indonesian Journal of Theology, 12(1), 23-48.

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