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John Christopher "Aidan" Nichols OP (born 17 September 1948) is an English academic and Catholic priest.
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- There is a difference between the ordinary person who may discuss these things occasionally over a pint of beer at the local pub, or worry about them for a while before dropping off to sleep, and the person who makes a serious lifelong commitment to struggling with them and turns that commitment into a part of his or her very self-definition. For one cannot say, I’ve finished theology; now I’ll move on to another subject. There is a sense in which one might say something similar of Akkadian grammar or the family tree of the Hapsburg dynasty, but one cannot reasonably assert it of exploration into God’s revelation, which is, by definition infinite in its implications for human understanding. To be a theological student in the full sense of those words cannot be a temporary state or a preamble to something else, such as the ministerial priesthood or an all-round education. Rather, it is a solemn engagement to developing over a lifetime the gift of Christian wonder or curiosity, which is the specifically theological mode of faith. As theologians, then, we commit ourselves to the lifelong study and reflection which the satisfaction of such curiosity will need. Our faith is from now on, in St. Anselm’s words, fides quaerens intellectum, “a faith that quests for understanding.”
- The Shape of Catholic Theology (1991), pp. 18-19.