The tragedy of post-Vatican II theology is that, after dethroning the inadequate neoscholastic vision, it has turned, not back to the ancient wisdom displayed in the church fathers and the medieval masters, but to various forms of modern philosophy. It has therefore lost its critical distance and has become a handmaiden of the various forms of positivism, particularly by linking itself to other visions of the future, either the one liberals hope from technology, or the one Marxists hope from political and economic revolution. The results of this disastrous choice are all around us, in a church that has become indistinct from its surrounding worlds and has lost its sense of identity and mission, and in a world in which the triumph of positivism has led to ever growing dissolution and alienation.
The one response that can rescue us from this slavery to our own works is the presentation of the Christian message as the only truly liberating force. Theology cannot count on any help from contemporary philosophy or the human and natural sciences. In Ratzinger’s writings, there are very few positive references to intellectual developments outside the church; they almost always appear as antithetical to the specifically Christian. There are no cultural or social pierres d’attente. Instead, dichotomies abound, contrasts between the Christian notions of truth, freedom, nature and those current in Western culture. The faith must be presented as countercultural, as an appeal to nonconformity. It can appeal to the widespread sense of disillusion to what modernity has promised but been unable to deliver. It will make its appeal by presenting the Christian vision in its synthetic totality as a comprehensive structure of meaning that at nearly every point breaks with the taken-for-granted attitudes, strategies, and habits of contemporary culture. The gospel will save us, not philosophy, not science, and not scientific theology. The great model for this enterprise is the effort to preach the gospel in the alien world of antiquity and to construct the vision of Christian wisdom manifest in the great ages of faith before philosophy, science, and technology separated themselves into autonomous areas of reflection and activity.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
University Book Sales!
George and Ira Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor
The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World
End Of Empire
Twentieth Century French Literature to World War II
Twentieth Century French Literature since World War II
Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought and Religion volume XLII
Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China's Ancient Silk Road
Lying Awake ("a woman trying to strike a balance between science and soul," says Kathleen Harris, author of The Cloister Walk)
Thursday, October 06, 2005
The Taylor Behl Case
This Taylor Behl murder case has hit pretty close to home because, well, it hit pretty close to home. I live not three blocks from the VCU case.
The following concerns "person of interest" Ben Fawley, and the recent discovery of Taylor Behl's body in Mathews County, VA.
The police probably already know, but it looks to me like Ben Fawley killed her.
They found the body at one of Fawley's photo locations.
Well, the picture I uploaded isnt working, so here's the link.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Essentially, a re-statement of Catholic teaching on Scripture is a grave departure, and reminding us that Revelation is not a guidebook for the end of the world is "refuting" it.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Apologies and notes
On a positive note, I turned 21 yesterday, and no, I didn't get drunk. I enjoyed some passable Cabernet and some yeager. It was a good evening.
Two interesting links sent by a reader:
Robert Hugh Benson Unabridged - "He knew there was only one relationship of absolute value, that of the soul to God." Evelyn Waugh
Center for Economic and Social Justice: Katrina Plan.