I love etymologies.
Take even the etymology of the word etymology.
‘Etymology’ comes from the Greek, ‘etymon,’ meaning ‘true sense,’ and ‘logos,’ meaning word. So ‘etymology’ means that the word’s history demonstrates the word’s true sense.
Not that ‘true’ is itself so clear, but that will be another blog post.
So OMG: Center for Theological Conversation has a few words, and by looking at them, we might find the ‘true sense’ of what I’m wanting to be about.
We’ll save OMG for last.
The word ‘center’ comes from the Latin centrum, which originally meant the fixed point of a compass. This Latin in turn comes from the Greek kentron, which means ‘sharp point.’
(By the way, then, something that is ‘eccentric’ is something that is outside [ek, as in ‘exit’] of the center. One could argue that I am eccentric, although I would then retort that all who are not part of OMGCenter are clearly and etymologically the eccentric ones).
‘Theological’ is an etymological breeze. ‘Theo’ comes from the Greek word ‘theos,’ meaning god. ‘-logical’ comes from the Greek word ‘logos,’ meaning ‘word.’ So anything theological concerns a word about God.
Greek nouns are assigned gender, though, so ‘theos‘ is masculine. ‘Thea‘ is feminine, so ‘thealogy’ would be a word about the goddess. (I’m not very hip on goddess worship, but know one or two things about feminist theology!)
‘Conversation’ comes from the Latin conversationiem, meaning ‘the act of living with,’ related to convesari, meaning ‘to keep company with.’
Now to OMG.
‘Oh’ is a common exclamation, and ‘my’ is a plain old adjective showing possession.
God means in Old English, ‘supreme being, deity,’ and may have roots in an even earlier word meaning, ‘that which is invoked.’
I like to think of God as that in whom or in which we place our ultimate trust, a la Luther and Paul Tillich.
But that will be another blog post.
So in an etymological nutshell, OMG: Center for Theological Conversation means (cue drum roll)…
“Oh My Invoked Deity: A Fixed Compass Point for Those Who Want to Keep Company while Sharing Thoughts about That in Whom or in Which They Place Their Ultimate Trust.”
All clear, right?
I’m looking forward to this blog being a way that we can keep company while reflecting on who God is, and why it makes any difference at all.
I’m also always open to new words to consider etymologically! (I get all my etymological goods from this fine site: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php).