Sunday, August 20, 2017

Soul or flesh?

     "Someone will say to me, 'But the sin of Adam deservedly passed on to his posterity, because they were born of him.  Can it be said then that we are born of Christ, that we can be saved because of him?'  Do not think of these things in a carnal manner and then you will see how we are born of Christ, our parent.  In these last times Christ certainly received a soul together with the flesh [(animam . . . cum carne)] from Mary.  It is this flesh [(hanc)] which he has come to save.  It is this flesh [(hanc)] which he has freed from sin.  It is this flesh [(hanc)] which he did not abandon in hell.  It is this flesh [(hanc)] which he joined to his spirit and made his own.  And this represents the marriage of the Lord, joined together in one flesh, so that according to 'that great mystery' they might become 'two in one flesh, Christ and the Church.'  From this marriage is born the Christian people, with the Spirit of the Lord coming from above.  And at once, with the heavenly seed being spread upon and mingled with the substance of our souls, we develop in the womb of our [spiritual] mother, and once we come forth from her womb, we are made alive in Christ.  And so the Apostle says, 'The first Adam [became] a living soul; the last Adam [became] a life-giving spirit.'
     "Thus Christ engenders life in the Church through his priests, as the same Apostle states, 'And indeed, in Christ I have begotten you.'  And so the seed of Christ, that is, the Spirit of God, produces through the hands of the priests the new man. . . ."

     Pacian of Barcelona, On baptism 6.1-2, trans. Craig L. Hanson, FC 99 =Iberian Fathers 3 (1999), 91-92.  =CCSL 69B (2012) =SC 410 (1995) =PL 13, cols. 1093D-1094A.  Cf. LF, trans. E. B. Pusey (1894), 382, where this is sec. 7, and where the ambiguity of the Latin demonstrative hanc (which, all considerations of context aside, could refer back to either animam or carne) is preserved:
In these last days Christ took a soul with the flesh from Mary.  This He came to save.  This He left not in hell.  This He joined to His Spirit and made His own.  And this is the marriage of the Lord, joined together to one flesh. . . .
Cf., however, this sermon as reproduced in the Liturgy of the hours (Office of Readings for Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time, vol. 4, p. 111), citing PL 13 (not one of the modern critical editions) above:
In these times of salvation, Christ received body and soul from Mary.  He came to save this soul, not to leave it in hell.  He united it with his spirit and made it his own.  And this is the marriage of the Lord, the union of two in one flesh. . . .
With this translation (of whose origin I am unsure, though it can be found on Universalis) we return to the sound non-literalness of Hanson:
It is this flesh that he came to save, that he did not abandon to the underworld: he united it with his own spirit and made it his own. This is the marriage of the Lord, united with the flesh of man. . . .
I suppose that by "this soul" the Liturgy of the hours (and indeed the original hanc) could be referring to the whole, i.e. (in Pusey's translation) the "soul with the flesh from Mary" (animam . . . cum carne . . . ex Maria).  Unfortunately, "body and soul" (rather than "a soul with the flesh from Mary") doesn't lend itself well to this interpretation.

participes > conformes > consortes

"Made partakers of Christ through these Sacraments, we humbly implore your mercy, Lord, that, conformed to his image on earth, we may merit also to be his coheirs in heaven.  Who lives and reigns."

"Per haec sacramenta, Domine, Christi participes effecti, clementiam tuam humiliter imploramus, ut, eius imaginis conformes in terris, et eius consortes in caelis fieri mereamur.  Qui vivit et regnat."

     Post communion, Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Roman missal.  Though consors appears several times in Bruylants, this prayer is not present.  Corpus orationum traces it back to no. 4470 of the Missale Parisiense of 1738, which it says derives from

  • Heb 3:14:  "participes enim Christi effecti sumus si tamen initium substantiae usque ad finem firmum retineamus", "For we are made partakers of Christ: yet so, if we hold the beginning of his substance firm unto the end" (Douay-Rheims).
  • Rom 8:29:  "nam quos praescivit et praedestinavit conformes fieri imaginis Filii eius ut sit ipse primogenitus in multis fratribus", "For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren" (Douay-Rheims).
  • 2 Pet 1:4:  "per quae maxima et pretiosa nobis promissa donavit ut per haec efficiamini divinae consortes naturae fugientes eius quae in mundo est concupiscientiae corruptionem", "By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world" (Douay-Rheims).

Friday, August 18, 2017

A beautiful Radnerian reading of Jeremiah

"We have to think of [Jeremiah], therefore, not merely as the one who stands magnificently alone in opposition and resistance to this people, but the one who is [like God himself] together with this isolated people, the representative of its election and calling, in solidarity with its being and status as a sinful people, sharing with it—and with a greater severity of suffering than that of any other member—the destruction which has come upon it in consequence of its sin.  Jeremiah is the man who with this people suffers all that is threatened, the sword and famine and pestilence, and finally disappears with it into the unknown, because he himself can and will be only one of this people, a man of this people in the truest and fullest sense, because his election and calling as a prophet is nothing other than the election and calling of this people in nunce."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, 476 (underscoring mine) =KD IV/1, 529 (note the emphases lacking in the English translation, in part because the last two have been translated out of it):
Man sehe ihn also gerade nicht nur als den diesem Volk gegenüberstehenden und widerstehenden großen Einsamen, sondern mit diesem ja ebenfalls einsamen Volk zusammen, als den Exponenten seiner Erwählung und Berufung, in seiner Solidarität mit seinem Sein und Stand als sündiges Volk und mit ihm – schwerer leidend als alle seine anderen Glieder – auch dem daraus folgenden Verderben verfallen. Jeremia ist der Mann, der alles diesem Volk Angedrohte, das Schwert, den Hunger und die Pest, darum miterleidet und schließlich darum mit im Dunkel verschwindet, weil er selbst nichts Anderes als einer der Seinigen – ja im eminentesten Sinn: der Seinige, der Mensch dieses Volkes sein kann und will, weil seine persönliche Erwählung und Berufung zum Propheten nichts Anderes ist als in nuce die Erwählung und Berufung dieses Volkes.
"And this time Jeremiah, too, . . . . disappears into the darkness" (473) | "And so they disappear and Jeremiah with them" (474):
Even at the end of all his years of conflict, [Jeremiah] could not alter the fact that those who had been saved in the catastrophe only appeared to have been saved in order to returnand he himself had to go with themto [Egypt] the house of bondage. . . . A circle againback to the zero point which had once been the bleak point of departure at which the election and calling of God had found his people, or rather made it a people [(475)].
I have not been able to determine whom to credit for this graphic rendition of the photograph.
     (And by "A beautiful Radnerian reading of Jeremiah," I mean the entire excursus covering pp. 468-478.)

Not a puzzle, not even a problem, but a mystery

"A culture whose very view of reality is technological, with all the assaults on human dignity that inevitably follow, will have every incentive not to think about the profound questions of human existence that for so long animated Western culture.  Education will largely consist in learning not to ask them, and so will be scarcely distinguished from ignorance.  But more worrisome still, the inhabitants of such a culture will be unable to think deeply about such questions, because there will be no depths to think about; for they will have already reduced [1] reality to an assemblage of superficial 'facts' and [2] thinking to the arrangement and manipulation of those facts.  For such a society there would simply be no such thing as a profound question, only problems awaiting technical or managerial solutions.  A society whose members are thus unable to think cannot ultimately be a free society, because they can never see beyond and thus transcend the fate which their powers have unleashed.  Their only consolation, and this is also their curse, is that they might never know the difference."

     Michael Hanby, "The gospel of creation and the technocratic paradigm:  reflections on a central teaching of Laudato Si'," Communio:  international Catholic review 42, no. 4 (Winter 2015):  738 (725-747).  The heading comes from pp. 18-19 of Mystery and philosophy (1957), by Michael B. Foster, though the burden of that book is a very different one.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"The almighty power of [God's] grace does not do despite to the freedom of man."

"The almighty power of [his] grace does not do despite to the freedom of man [(tritt ja der Freiheit des Menschen gerade nicht zu nahe, does not in any way encroach upon the freedom of man)].  On the contrary, it is the basis of it.  The God who is almighty in grace distinguishes Himself as the Creator from the creature, and therefore the being of the creature from his own being.  He does not deny but gives to man his proper place in relation to Himself.  He elects and calls him to be His partner, to an obedience which is not forced but free."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, 467 =KD IV/1, 519.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Responsible judgment

     "This should teach us never to judge the actions of our neighbor without having reflected very well beforehand.  Even then, of course, we are only entitled to make such judgments if we are responsible for the behavior of the people concerned, that is, if we are parents or employers [(pères et mères, les mâitres et mâitresses)], and so on.  As far as all others are concerned, we are nearly always wrong."

     St. John Vianney, Sermon for the Eleventh Week after Pentecost, On rash judgment.  The sermons of the Curé of Ars, trans. Una Morrisy (Chicago:  Henry Regnery, 1960), 40.  =Sermons (Lyon:  1883), vol. 2, pp. 409-410, italics mine.
Ce qui doit nous porter à ne jamais juger des actions de notre prochain sans avoir bien réfléchi auparavant, et encore, seulement lorsque nous sommes chargés de la conduit de ces personnes, comme pères et mères, les mâitres et mâitresses; mais, pour toute autre personne, nous faisons Presque toujours mal.
That's clearly the passage in question.  And yet the translation has to be doing some unmarked selection, as the rest of the surrounding text in English isn't just right there.  (The closing prayer of King David on p. 41 appears, e.g., a full three or four pages later, on p. 413 of the French.)
     But in any case, note that Vianney speaks only of the extreme difficulty ("nearly always") of judging accurately in cases for which we bear no responsibility.  It would be interesting to see how this gets fleshed out in the larger context of the whole of his sermons, e.g. in his opposition to dancing and such.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Homo artifactus/a; or Made, not begotten

"This [technocratic] conflation of what were once called the speculative and the practical orders means that technologically generated exceptions and possibilities now largely govern how we think about what is true.  This is difficult to see from within the paradigm, as we have largely grown accustomed to it, but once it is noticed, it appears to be a constitutive feature of contemporary thought.  Again the examples are endless.  The so-called sexual revolution, for instance, is most fundamentally the technological revolution turned on ourselves, not only in the deep sense that the canonical dualism of sex and gender presupposes a more basic dualism between the affective part, usually thought to be the locus of personal identity, and a meaningless material body regarded as a kind of artifact, but also in the more mundane sense that the technical conquest of human biology is its practical condition of possibility.  Just as same-sex 'marriage' would have remained permanently unimaginable were it not for the technological conquest of procreation, so too would it have never been possible to think that a man might 'really' be a woman if we did not think it were technically possible to transform him into one.  And yet these technologically generated exceptions have occasioned a radical rethinking of the whole of human nature, sexuality and embodiment."

     Michael Hanby, "The gospel of creation and the technocratic paradigm:  reflections on a central teaching of Laudato Si'," Communio:  international Catholic review 42, no. 4 (Winter 2015):  735-736 (725-747).

Friday, August 11, 2017

"be doers of the word, and not hearers only"

"for Gregory, this process of sanctification is one in which a kind of 'trinitarian' structure intrinsic to human existence becomes an ever purer mirror of the Trinity.  The Spirit meets us, successively, in our practice [(praxis)], word (logos), and thought (enthymion), the last of these being the principle (archikōteron) of all three; for mind (dianoia) is the original source (archē) that becomes manifest in speech, while practice comes third and puts mind and word into action.  Thus the Spirit transforms us, until 'there is a harmony of the hidden man with the manifest'; and thus, one might say, the Spirit conducts the Trinitarian glory upward into our thought, making our own internal life an ever fuller reflection of God's own 'circle of glory.'"

     David Bentley Hart, citing Gregory of Nyssa, De perfectione at GNO 8/1:210-212 =PG 46, col. 284A =FC 58, trans. Callahan, pp. 120 ff., as well as Adversus Macedonianos at GNO 3/1:98-99.  "The hidden and the manifest:  metaphysics after Nicaea" (2009), in The hidden and the manifest:  essays in theology and metaphysics (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 163 (137-164).  Cf. Hart on Augustine's somewhat different trinity (and, by comparison with Gregory's "'from glory to glory'," "rather homely" sense of continuous transformation "throughout eternity" (revelation as sanctification (154))):  "it is only thus that the coinherence within us of memory, understanding, and will is raised to the dignity of the divine likeness":
Insofar, says Augustine, as we know God, we are made like him, however remotely; and when we know God, and properly love this knowledge, we are made better than we were, and this knowledge becomes a word for us, and a kind of likeness to God within us.  And it is only thus that the coinherence within us of memory, understanding, and will is raised to the dignity of the divine likeness; the mind is the image of God not simply when it remembers and understands and loves itself, but only when it is able to remember and understand and love him by whom it was made [(162, underscoring mine)]....

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"one single law, the unchangeable will of God"

     "We believe, teach, and confess that, although people who truly believe in Christ and are genuinely converted to God have been liberated and set free from the curse and compulsion [(Fluch und Zwang | maledictione et coactione)] of the law through Christ, they indeed are not for that reason without the law.  Instead, they have been redeemed by the Son of God so that they may practice the law day and night (Ps. 119[:1]).
". . . the proclamation of the law is [therefore] to be diligently impressed not only upon unbelievers and the unrepentant but also upon those who believe in Christ and are truly converted, reborn, and justified through faith."

     Formula of Concord (1577) Epitome VI (Concerning the third use of the law).1-2, trans. Robert Kolb.  There is much more of value here, and even more in Article VI of the Solid Declaration.  The headline is from Epitome VI.6:  "for both the repentant and unrepentant, for the reborn and those not reborn, the law is and remains one single law, the unchangeable will of God."

Sunday, August 6, 2017

"Forgiveness and prudence"

"It is easier to forgive but remain passive in the face of the other's error, than to forgive and take corrective measures so that he reforms."

    Francisco Ugarte, From resentment to forgiveness:  a gateway to happiness (New York:  Scepter, 2008), 42.  All of the rest notwithstanding, this, too, is true.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sanguis Christi

     "The emphasis on the Incarnation and on the materiality of religion, which was so central to this developing vision, meant that [Luther] found it in some ways easier to make common cause with Catholic traditions than to ally with those who were part of the evangelical movement.  He retained the elevation of the sacrament, abolishing it only when Karlstadt died in 1541, and in Wittenberg in 1543, when some Communion wine was spilled on a woman’s jacket and the back of her pew, he and Bugenhagen not only licked it off her coat but went so far as to cut out the bits of the jacket they had been unable to clean, plane away the sections of her pew where the wine had splashed, and burn the lot.  The body and blood of Christ had to be treated with utmost respect.  Indeed, it was this insistence on the literal enactment of the sacrament that made Luther so adamant that it be given in two kinds in the first place."

     Lyndal Roper, Martin Luther:  renegade and prophet (New York:  Random House, 2017), 345.  Roper cites WA Bw 10, no. 3888, 4 July 1543, p. 337 (336-342), which cites Johan Hachenburg, Wider den jrrthumb der newen Zwinglianer (1557), Fb (the page to the left)-Fii.  I give here Hachenberg's account as reproduced in WA Bw 10.  Note that tears are said to have stood in Luther's eyes:

Endlich berichtet er [(Hachenburg)] eine interessante Historia, die 1542 in Wittenberg passiert sei (ein Leser [of this copy?] berichtigt:  1544, id mihi narravit is, qui spectator fuit), [page] Fb:  Ein Weibsbild habe zum Abendmahl des Herrn gehen wollen, und wie sie in dem Stuhl vorm Altar habe niederknien und trinken wollen, sei sie unsanft getreten und habe mit ihrem Munde hart an den Kelch des Herrn gestoßen, infolgedessen etwas daraus vom Blute Christi auf ihre gefütterte Leibjacke, ihren Mantel und auf die Lehne des Stuhls vergossen worden sei.  Wie Luther, der gegenüber in einem Stuhle gestanden, das gesehen habe, sei er gleich, wie auch Bugenhagen, zum Altar gelaufen, 'und haben sampt dem Diakon solchs verschütt Blut Christi mit aller Reverenz von des Weibes Mantel so rein als sie gekonnt helfen ab- und auflecken.'  Es sei solchs Luther sehr zu Herzen gegangen, daß er geseufzt und gesprochen habe:  Ach hilf Gott!  Es seien ihm auch seine Augen voll Wassers gestanden.  'Nach gehaltener Kommunion aber ist er zugefahren und hat das Rauchfutter der Leibjacken, darauf das Blut des Herrn ist verschütt worden, weil man’s nicht hat können rein ablecken, lassen ausschneiden und mit Feuer verbrennen.'  Die Lehne des Stuhls habe er abhobeln und die Späne verbrennen lassen.
     Cf. the trenchant words of the former Lutheran theologian Mickey L. Mattox here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"much that is presented as puzzling in Disknowledge is simply biblical."

     Diane Purkiss, of Disknowledge:  literature, alchemy, and the end of humanism in Renaissance England, by Katherine Eggert, in "Good as gold:  how alchemy was poised between science and imagination, a thing more of words than deeds," Times literary supplement no. ____ (March 17, 2017):  27 (26-27).

Real men at work

Mt. Angel Abbey
"I inherited a few of my father's talents.  I could plant a drill of spuds, paint a gate, and set the contacts in my car, but I was not what he would have called 'a tasty man.'  I often look at rows of buildings on a streetscape or motorway and think that all this, one way or another, is the outcome of interventions by other men  Each piece—building, bridge, or flyover—is perhaps the conception of one or two men, but has been executed by dozens or hundreds of other men working together toward a common goal.  Sometimes, walking down a street, I am overcome by shame that there is no place on the face of the earth, aside from the occasional library shelf, which contains any analogous contributions of mine", no place that leaves "a mark on the world that others can stare at, or walk upon, or drive across, or shelter under long after I have departed."

     John Waters, "Back to work," First things no. 275 (August/September 2017):  34-35 (33-37).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"What counts in the Church is not progress but reformation"

     "Conversely, it is not the newness, the modernity, the up-to-dateness of a Church which as such proves and commends it as the true and catholic Church. . . .  modernity, up-to-dateness, has nothing whatever to do with the question of the truth of the Church. For that reason the idea of progress is a highly doubtful one as applied to the Church. What counts in the Church is not progress but reformationits existence as ecclesia semper reformanda. Semper reformari, however, does not mean always to go with the time, to let the current spirit of the age be the judge of what is true and false, but in every age, and in controversy with the spirit of the age, to ask concerning the form and doctrine and order and ministry which is in accordance with the unalterable essence of the Church. It means to carry out to-day better than yesterday the Christian community's one task which needs no revision, and in this way to 'sing unto the Lord a new song.' It means never to grow tired of returning not to the origin in time but to the origin in substance of the community. The Church is catholic when it is engaged in this semper reformari, so that catholicism has nothing to do with conservatism either, but very much to do with the sound common sense of the prayer of the robust Nicholas Selnecker (which is still to be found even in the new Swiss hymnbook): 'Against proud spirits stand and, fight, / Who lift themselves in lofty might, / And always bring in something new, / To falsify thy teaching true.' Therefore neither flirtation with the old nor flirtation with the new makes the Church the true Church, but a calm consideration of that which as its abiding possession is superior to every yesterday and to-day and is therefore the criterion of its catholicity."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, 704-705 =KD IV, 787.  Those Selnecker lines in German:  "Den stolzen Geistern wehre doch, | die sich mit G'walt erheben hoch | und bringen stets was Neues her, | zu fälschen deine rechte Lehr'!"

"Everybody speaks of Reformation but the Reformers!"

     "It is therefore no accident that the concept of 'Reformation' appears so frequently in the texts of this 'Counter-Reformation' Council, while it is used so seldom in the confessional writings of the 16th century on the Protestant side.  One might almost say, Everybody speaks of Reformation but the Reformers!  That the concept is now [widely] assumed [to have been] established by them [(Dass sich ausgerechnet bei ihnen der Begriff festsetzt)] is not lacking in a certain irony.  History takes at times strange paths, and historiography follows it [in this].  Yet it has, as it happens, [an] absolute right to call those men 'Reformers' who never designated themselves as such, [and] to understand [(Doch hat sie in der Sache absolut Recht, indem sie . . . nennt; indem sie . . . versteht)] by 'Reformation' what was for the Radical Reformers too little, and the Catholic Reformers too much:  the question of the decisive foundation [(Fundament)] of all renewal in Christendom, without regard for the present form of the church."

     Emidio Campi, "»Ecclesia semper reformanda«:  Metamorphosen einer altehrwürdigen Formel," Zwingliana 37 (2010):  9 (1-19).  To inquire into "the use of the formula ecclesia semper reformanda in modernity" is to be confronted with a paradox:  "it looks—for starters at any rate [(jedenfalls zunächst)]—as though the Roman Catholic Church has something like a concept of reform over against which would stand on the Protestant side only incomprehension, indeed bewilderment [(Konzeptionlosigkeit, ja Verwirring)]." For the Protestant emphasis on the centrality of the Word of God raised the question of "the essence of legitima reformatio" "to a completely new [and unanticipated] level" (6).  Hmmm.

Monday, July 31, 2017

NUPER REFORMANDA

"I am not aware of any evidence that a reformanda saying served as a motto or slogan for a person, movement, or institution before 1983, when one appeared on the interim seal of the newly created Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)."
Michael Busch, "Calvin and the Reformanda sayings," in Calvinus sacrarum literarum interpres: papers of the International Calvin Congress on Calvin Research, ed. Herman J. Selderhuis (Göttingen, 2008), 289 (285-299). That by itself simplifies the argument of the article considerably, but it's sure striking!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The road not taken

"The new interest in nature was not a step outside of a religious outlook, even partially; it was a [subsequent] mutation within this outlook.  The straight path account of modern secularity can't be sustained.  Instead, what I'm offering here is a zig-zag account, one full of unintended consequences.  That the autonomy of nature eventually (after a number of further transpositions, of which more anon) came to serve as grist to the mill of exclusive humanism is clearly true.  That establishing it was already a step in that direction is profoundly false.  This move had a quite different [and profoundly theological] meaning at the time, and in other circumstances might never have come to have the meaning that it bears for unbelievers today.
". . . an interest in nature for itself, either in scientific study, or aesthetic portrayal, or ethical reflection, isn't always the same kind of thing.  It can be something very different, depending on the background understanding within which the things of nature show up for us."

     Charles Taylor, A secular age (Cambridge,MA:  The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2007), 95.

"to detract from the perfection of creatures is to detract from the perfection of divine power."

"Detrahere ergo perfectioni creaturarum est detrahere perfectioni divinae virtutis."

     Thomas Aquinas, ScG lib. 3 cap. 69 (De opinione eorum qui rebus naturalibus proprias subtrahunt actiones) n. 15.

"our secular age has geographical and social as well as temporal boundaries."

     Charles Taylor, A secular age (Cambridge,MA:  The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2007), 59.

"a real promise of joy in God"

"the [Christian] teaching of divine impassibility [is] not simply a limit placed upon our language, a pious refusal to attempt trespass upon God's majesty in his light inaccessible, but [is] in fact very much part of the ground of Christian hope, central to the positive message of the evangel, not simply an austere negation of thought, but a real promise of joy in God."

     David Bentley Hart, "No shadow of turning:  on divine impassibility" (2002), in The hidden and the manifest:  essays in theology and metaphysics (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2017), 46-47 (45-69).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The more of God, the more of me

Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study
"Each actuality, in differing from God, testifies to the fullness of God's actuality.  Indeed, the 'ever greater unlikeness' of the proportion means that the 'likeness' is itself ever greater the more fully anything is what it is, the more it grows into the measure of its difference, the more profoundly it drinks from the transcendent moments that compose it and allow all its modes of disclosure to speak of God's infinite goodness."

     David Bentley Hart, "The offering of names:  metaphysics, nihilism, and analogy" (2005), in The hidden and the manifest:  essays in theology and metaphysics (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2017), 42 (1-44).

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Heidegger the onticologist

"Heidegger was in error, and for the most surprising of reasons:  because he, perhaps more than any other philosopher in Western thought, was oblivious of the difference between being and beings."

     David Bentley Hart, "The offering of names:  metaphysics, nihilism, and analogy" (2005), in The hidden and the manifest:  essays in theology and metaphysics (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2017), 9 (1-44).

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"If they do not grow, they are not desires."

Encyclopaedia Britannica
"When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. . . .  Holy desires likewise . . . grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires."

"actumque est ut desideria dilata crescerent, et crescentia caperunt quod invenissent. . . .  Sancta enim desideria . . . dilatione crescent.  Si autem dilatione deficient, desideria non fuerunt."

     Pope Gregory the Great, Homily 25.2, as translated somewhat loosely by the Liturgy of the hours (Office of readings, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene), which does not mark the two lacunae.  
SC 522, ed. Raymond Etaix (2008), ; CCSL 141, ed. Raymond Etaix (1999), ; PL 76, col. 1190.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"more directly and more intimately than . . . their bodies"

"By matrimony, therefore, the souls of the contracting parties are joined and knit together more directly and more intimately than are their bodies, and that not by any passing affection of sense of spirit, but by a deliberate and firm act of the will; and from this union of souls by God's decree, a sacred and inviolable bond arises."

"Coniugio igitur animi iunguntur et coalescunt, hique prius et arctius quam corpora, nec fluxo sensuum vel animorum affectu, sed deliberato et firmo voluntatum decreto: et ex hac animorum coagmentatione, Deo sic statuente, sacrum et inviolabile vinculum exoritur."

     Pius XI, Casti connubii 7 (31 December 1930).  I was put onto this by Jean Laffitte, "Le papes et la famille:  de Casti Connubii à Familiaris Consortio," Revue internationale catholique Communio 40, no. 1 (janvier-février 2015):  17 (13-26), who calls this an "originality" of the encyclical.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A couple of the ground rules: Schubert on the medieval and early modern disputatio

Karl Friedrich Lessing (1867)
"before the beginning of the real disputation came rules for the Tragen, [rules] that were to guarantee the inviolability of Church teaching.  Only doctors appointed to a university who had acquired the [requisite] 'licentia disputandi' were permitted to dispute freely, i.e. on a self-chosen theme.  And even they could only choose [from among] themes 'salva fide catholica'.  More than that, the disputants had to guarantee under oath, in a 'protestatio' offered at the start, [that they [(man)] meant to have discussed only 'disputative' everything that might be said in the heat of the battle and [everything that] might militate against [(gegen . . . verstoßen werde)] the doctrine of the Church, but [to have] treated nothing 'assertive'.  The integrity of church doctrine was in this way already secured by the choice of disputants, the choice of themes, and the scientifico-theoretical definition of the status of [a given (des)] statement."

"Especially significant was the ban against calling the remark of an adversary heretical, a [charge] that [(was)] could have life-threatening consequences for the accused."

     Anselm Schubert, "Libertas disputandi:  Luther und die Leipziger Disputation als akademisches Streitgespräch," Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 105 (2008):  415-416 (411-442).

"took . . . and ate" redux

"The Eucharist is an act—better:  a decision.  [A] decision so irrevocable that, in it, Jesus can already communicate the fruits of the act itself before it has [actually] taken place:  it is thus that, on Holy Thursday, in anticipation of the sacrifice of the Cross, [and] even though his body has not yet been tortured and his blood had not yet been poured [out], Jesus can share with his disciples his Body given for us and his Blood poured [out] for us.  And this, by rendering them capable, by communion in this mystery, of not making of it a harpagmos, but of receiving it in the same spirit in which he is given to them [(il leur est donné)] in order that [they], in their turn might themselves be given [(se donner)].  [The verbs] ‘take’ and ‘eat’ have henceforth [been] transformed in sense:
In Genesis 3:6, these same verbs describe coveteousness in action:  in order to be as the god of the serpent and to master everything, the woman takes and eats.  It is these acts of taking and eating that Jesus invites his disciples to undertake [(poser)] when he shares the bread with them.  But the meaning of these two gestures is very different.  There they render concrete the totalizing envy that denies all alterity; here they are [a] reception of the other who manifests his desire to give himself [away].  In the case of the bread 'given in order that the world might have life' (Jn 6:51), to take and eat on the word of Jesus is the act par excellence of the acknowledgement of God who, in this Jesus, reveals that gives [us] all things (cf. Rom 8:32).
The fruit of the eucharistic attitude of Jesus (an action within the passion!) is to cause us to enter into the 'new and eternal' covenant with God.  It is not just, in fact, that the Eucharist gives us a share in this paradoxical act, but that, by actualizing the resurrection that is its end game [(aboutissement)], it gives us the capacity to respond to it and to deploy the fecundity of it in our lives by taking the same road.  Thus, the request for our daily bread is inscribed within the pascal act of him who 'suffered for [us] and left [us] the way to the end that [we might follow] in his steps' (1 Pet 2:21).  [The] request for [the] life which is death to self, it prepares us to live our own death as Christ experienced his:  in order that it might be given in communion with as [a] source of life."

     Jean-Pierre Batut, "Don du pain et combat de la persevérance," quoting André Wénin, Pas seulement de pain. . . .  Violence et alliance dans la Bible (Paris:  Cerf, 2002), 96-97, underscoring mine.  Revue internationale catholique Communio 42, no. 2 (mars-avril 2017):  72-73 (65-73).
  • Gen 3:6:  καὶ λαβοῦσα τοῦ καρποῦ αὐτοῦ ἔφαγεν· καὶ ἔδωκεν καὶ τῷ ἀνδρὶ αὐτῆς μετ᾽ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἔφαγον.
  • Mt 26:26:  λάβετε φάγετε.  The synoptics use the same verb for "gave" as well, Mk and Lk even the very same form (ἔδωκεν).

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"It was only a matter of an inch; but an inch is everything when you are balancing."

"it is exactly this which explains what is so inexplicable to all the modern critics of the history of Christianity.  I mean the monstrous wars about small points of theology, the earthquakes of emotion about a gesture or a word.  It was only a matter of an inch; but an inch is everything when you are balancing."

     G. K. Chesterton, "The paradoxes of Christianity," Orthodoxy (London:  John Lane, 1909), 182.

Monday, July 17, 2017

You cannot serve [both] God and Hegel

"This [one] text alone should have checked the blind dash of all those who hurl themselves into pretending to be at once Christians and Hegelians."

"Ce seul texte aurait dû retenir l’élan aveugle de tous ceux qui se précipitèrent à se pretender àla fois chrétiens et hégéliens."

     Jean-Luc Marion, "À partir de la Trinité," Revue internationale catholique Communio 40, no. 6 (novembre-décembre 2015):  25n5 (23-37).  The passage in question is Phenomenology of spirit Preface.19, in one online translation (I have not checked any of this, least of all the German, against a critical edition),
The life of God and divine intelligence, then, can, if we like, be spoken of as love disporting with itself; but this idea falls into edification, and even sinks into insipidity, if it lacks the seriousness, the suffering, the patience, and the labour of the negative. 
Das Leben Gottes und das göttliche Erkennen mag also wohl als ein Spielen der Liebe mit sich selbst ausgesprochen werden; diese Idee sinkt zur Erbaulichkeit und selbst zur Fadheit herab, wenn der Ernst, der Schmerz, die Geduld und Arbeit des Negativen darin fehlt.
Marion's point is that Hegel
  • blasphemously "denies [Christ] before men" (Mt 10:33 and parallels) by subordinating the agape that is "the greatest" because it loves "to the end" (Jn 13:1) to these other virtues;
  • ignores the "theoretical (namely historical) consequences" of this thesis; and
  • remains oblivious of the fact that he had already been refuted in advance by St. Paul, "who defines agape by assigning to it precisely the four terms that Hegel will want to attribute to negation (au négatif).  For agape "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor 13:7).  I.e., St. Paul explores more than anyone else in the world and even beyond the world "the seriousness (pisteuein), the suffering (umpomenein), the travail (stegein), and the patience (elpein)" of agape.  "It is a question here of edification to be sure, but the 'edification of the [body of] Christ through himself [(par lui-même)] in agape' (Eph 4:16), without any danger of sinking into insipidity, because nothing endures as much as agape".  Hegel can't see what it is almost impossible for the philosopher to see qua philosopher (26).
Cf. David Bentley Hart:
Hegel's logic cannot work that way, and the system is not something to be trifled with:  it is too well thought out, and one step toward it is complete capitulation.
"No shadow of turning:  on divine impassibility" (2002), in The hidden and the manifest:  essays in theology and metaphysics (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2017), 52 (45-69).

"my temple and my tow'r"

Pride of man and earthly glory,
Sword and crown betray his trust:
What with care and toil he buildeth,
Tower and temple, fall to dust.
But God's power,
Hour by hour,
Is my temple and my tow'r.

     Robert Bridges, stanza two of "All my hope on God is founded" (Yattendon Hymnal (1898), no. 69), a very loose translation of "Meine Hoffnung stehet feste" (A und Ω. Joachimi Neandri Glaub- und Liebes-Übung (1680); 3rd printing, 1686, pp. 115 ff.), by Joachim Neander.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

"let us never speak of 'divine kenosis' on the cross."

"Christ Jesus performs in his passion precisely the same performance of agapè as in the Trinity, because the Son that he is from all eternity never 'steps out' of/'leaves' [(«sort» de)] the Trinity, never alienates himself from or externalizes himself in relation to it, in accordance with the absurd (in order to go where?) and blasphemous (the Son, would he set aside [(se déferait-il de)] his [own] filiation?) doctrine of the philosophers.  The opposite is true:  Christ Jesus re-integrates the world—despite its finitude and sin—into the Trinitarian play [(jeu)]; he 'recapitulates all things' (Eph 1:10) in himself, 'to the end that God may be all in all' (1 Cor 15:28).  The Trinitarian paradox [that] the Son possesses nothing that he has not received and for this very [reason] is in principle absolutely—this [Trinitarian paradox] Christ Jesus articulates and accomplishes in the economy, from the depths of finitude and human [(notre)] sin. . . .  The 'kenosis' does not introduce the negation [(negatif)], the alienation, namely the 'death of God' into (or rather outside of) the Trinity; it renders manifest, to men trapped in the obscurity of sin and rotting in hatred of self and of all of all, the eternal play of the gift and of the abandonment in which the three [Persons] of the Trinity triumphantly rejoice [(triomphent et jubilant)].  The masterwork accomplished by Christ does not consist in the heroism of his virtues or the enormity of his suffering (for in itself neither the exemplarity of a model nor the pain of an expiation saves [(sauve qui que ce soit)]); it consists in this, that, like an inspired musician, he performs the melody and the orchestration to perfection [(la mélodie et l’orchestration les plus parfaits)] on an instrument that has now but a single remaining string (free choice), a single string rendered (by the perversity of evil) completely discordant.  With this instrument—our nature which plays always false—he plays perfectly true [(parfaitement juste)] in accordance with its true nature [(suivant sa propre nature)].  [On the] strength of this performance, he can promise us that we, too, we will come to play true (or almost), provided that we allow ourselves to be inspired by the same Spirit who unites him eternally with his Father."

     Jean-Luc Marion, "À partir de la Trinité," Revue internationale catholique Communio 40, no. 6 (novembre-décembre 2015):  33 (23-37).  And, on p. 36:
At the very least, let us never speak [(ne parlons jamais)] of 'divine kenosis' on the cross.  The Trinitarian glory is manifest in the kenosis, but the kenosis is not equivalent to it.  The kenosis must be contemplated from and in view of the Trinity.  The kenosis brings the Trinity to light [(expose)], but does not explicate [(explique)] it.  On the contrary, [the kenosis] is a question of a revelation, through the obscurity of sin, of the Trinitarian play—in which agapè goes beyond, in its gravity [(sérieux)], its travail, its patience, and its suffering, all that our poor understanding and profound resentment imagines to be the gravity of the concept.  There is infinitely more gravity in the Trinitarian joy than is found in the futility—grim to be sure, but finite—of our sin.  The Trinity is at work even in the kenosis, because the distance within [the Trinity] includes and surpasses even those [distances]—still finite—of evil, of sin, of death.  'Power (dunamis) is made perfect in weakness' (2 Cor 12:9) precisely because 'with God all things are possible (para tô theo panta dunata)' (Mk 10:27 & Lk 18:27).

Friday, July 14, 2017

"Christian, look hard at them . . . in silence, and then ask for the print of the nails."

     "'While Martin was praying in his cell, the evil spirit stood before him, environed in a glittering radiance, by such pretence more easily to deceive him, clad also in royal robes, crowned with a golden and jeweled diadem, with shoes covered with gold, with serene face, and bright looks, so as to seem nothing so little as what he was.  Martin at first was dazzled at the sight; and for a long while both parties kept silence.  At length the evil one began:—"Acknowledge," he says, "O Martin, whom thou seest.  I am Christ; I am now descending upon earth, and I wished first to manifest myself to thee."  Martin still kept silent, and returned no answer.  The devil ventured to repeat his bold pretence.  "Martin, why hesitate in believing, when thou seest I am Christ?"  Then he, understanding by revelation of the Spirit, that it was the evil one and not God, answered, "Jesus, the Lord, announced not that He should come in glittering clothing, and radiant with a diadem.  I will not believe that Christ is come, save in that state and form in which He suffered, save with the show of the wounds of the Cross [(nisi in eo habitu formaque, qua passus est, nisi crucis stigmata)]."  At these words, the other vanished forthwith as smoke, and filled the cell with so horrible an odour as to leave indubitable proofs who he was.  That this so took place, I know from the mouth of Martin himself, lest any one should think it fabulous.’ —[Sulpicius Severus, ]Vit. B. M. 2[4, CSEL 1, ed. Halm (1866), 134]
     "The application of this vision to Martin’s age, is obvious; I suppose it means in this day, that Christ comes not in pride of intellect, or reputation for ability.  These are the glittering robes in which Satan is now arraying.  Many spirits are abroad, more are issuing from the pit:  the credentials which they display, are the precious gifts of mind, beauty, richness, depth, originality.  Christian, look hard at them with Martin in silence, and then ask for the print of the nails."

     John Henry Newman, The Church of the Fathers, 2nd ed., (London:  J. G. F. & J. Rivington, 1842), chap. 21, pp. 413-414.  On p. 206 of vol. 2 of the Historical sketches of 1876, that last paragraph was modified as follows:
     The application of this vision to Martin’s age, is obvious; I suppose it means in this day, that Christ comes not in pride of intellect, or reputation for philosophy.  These are the glittering robes in which Satan is now arraying.  Many spirits are abroad, more are issuing from the pit;  the credentials which they display are the precious gifts of mind, beauty, richness, depth, originality.  Christian, look hard at them with Martin in silence, and ask them for the print of the nails.
 I was put onto this by First things.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

"a sword will pierce through your own soul also"

"God wills that Mary be in time the Mother of his Son; [and] this on the condition that the extremely exalted bond of affinity by which Jesus belongs to her will be the foundation of a grace that will separate her from him all the more.  She will be his Mother not in order that she might revel ecstatically in the sweets of his presence while he is afflicted with exhaustion [(ennui)] and consumed by sorrows; it is rather in order that he might be in her womb a bouquet of extremely bitter myrrh, and that she might be for him, in the flesh that she supplies and the nourishment that she provides him with, a living source of displeasures [(dèplaisirs)]. . . . Her motherhood [(qualité de mère)] detaches her from her Son, and her extremely exalted affinity with the incarnate Word is a cross that crucifies [both] God and Mary."

     Louis Chardon, La croix de Jésus (Paris:  Cerf, 2004 [1647]) 1.28.369, as quoted by Aaron Riches, Ecco homo:  on the divine unity of Christ, Interventions (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2016), 242n28 (translation mine, though I see that a translation by Murphy & Thornton was published in 1957-1959).  Apparently Chardon goes on to sketch out the "pilgrimage of faith" by which Mary is led to embrace ever more concretely this ever more wrenching separation (242-246):
The whole 'weight' of Jesus' life leading to the Cross is the weight of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit who drove Jesus into the wilderness (cf. Mark 1:12) now drives him to the Cross where he offers himself without blemish 'through the Spirit' (cf. Heb 9:14).  The Spirit is the 'crucifier,' the unio that joins Son to Father in his being and in his abandonment.  The vinculum amoris pours forth in the moment of total sui exinanitio [(self-emptying)] in order to realize the living death and dying life that is the Christian vocation perfectly revealed and lived by Mary in the moment of the Sacrifice of Calvary [(245-246, underscoring mine)].

Small on the "fruits of modernity"

     "So yes, liberalism didn't happen, peace and prosperity didn't materialize.  But because Bellaigue's value system is backwards binary—modernity equals good, bad equals not modernity—he's ultimately unable to make coherent sense of the history he's telling.  Secret police, genocides, one-party states, revolutionary utopianism, consumerism, radical terrorism, rentier economies, huge sovereign debts:  all these dispiriting twentieth-century phenomena are fruits of modernity.  Indeed, they happened because of, not despite, the Enlightenment, reaching their modern forms, so repugnant to any truly enlightened sensibility, thanks not to religious 'bigots' and 'stick-in-the-muds', but to the modern cast of mind Bellaigue champions so uncritically:  literate and ideological, obsessed with science and technology, and fixated on the future, never on the past, on new and final solutions, never on traditional wisdom."

    Thomas Small, "Truly modern Muslims:  the thorny question of what it means to be Islamic," a review of, among others, Christopher de Bellaigue, The Islamic enlightenment:  the modern struggle between faith and reason:  1798 to modern times, Times literary supplement no. 5958 (June 9, 2017):  8-9 (7-9).  I have not read the book.
     Commenting on Tariq Ramadan's Islam:  the essentials, Small says
Ramadan does not ignore jihadbut I almost wish he had.  Again, it's all smoke and mirrors, beginning with his claim that it is only in an echo of 'the Christian crusades' that Westerners present jihad as 'holy war', which is getting it precisely backwards.  By the time of the Crusades, Christendom in both East and West had endured centuries of aggression at the hands of the Caliphate, and Christian knighthood took on a sacralized dimension only in emulation of the ghazis of Islam.
Etc.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Luther on the Divine office

"in the wake of the Leipzig Debate, Luther's attitude to his monastic vocation began to alter.  From his early years as a monk, he had been obliged to attend services and perform the 'hours,' the repetition of prayers that took such a prominent place in a monk's daily routine and consumed much of his time.  Even after the Augsburg discussions, when Staupitz had released Luther from his vows, he still found it hard to give up this duty, as if it were a burden he could not put down.  At some point in 1520, however, he stopped altogether.  He recalled in 1531, 'Our Lord God pulled me by force away from the canonical hours in 1520, when I was already writing a great deal, and I often saved up my hours for a whole week, and then on Saturday I would do them one after another so that I neither ate nor drank anything for the whole day, and I was so weakened that I couldn't sleep, so that I had to be given Dr. Esch's sleeping draught, the effects of which I still feel in my head.'  In the end, a 'whole quarter-year' of hours had mounted up:  'This was too much for me, and I dropped it altogether.'  The resulting liberation—and the amount of time it freed up—may have played a part in the burst of creativity he experienced in 1520:  Now he could devote himself to writing and thinking without interruption or guilt."

     Lyndal Roper, Martin Luther:  renegade and prophet (New York:  Random House, 2017), 134 and 446nn1-3, citing WA Tischreden 2, p. 11 (no. 1253), and 5, p. 137 (133 ff., no. 5428).  See also (says Roper) 3, no. 3651; 4, nos. 4082, 4919, and 5094; 5, no. 6077; and WA 17.1, 112ff. (a sermon of 1525).

Thursday, June 29, 2017

"as before death Christ's flesh was united personally and hypostatically with the Word of God, it remained so after His death, so that the hypostasis of the Word of God was not different from that of Christ's flesh after death".

"sicut ante mortem caro Christi unita fuit secundum personam et hypostasim verbo Dei, ita et remansit unita post mortem, ut scilicet non esset alia hypostasis verbi Dei et carnis Christi post mortem".

     St. Thomas Aquinas, ST III.50.2.Resp., trans. FEDP.  Latin from Corpus Thomisticum.  I was put on to this by Aaron Riches, Ecce homo:  on the divine unity of Christ, Interventions (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2016):  204-208 ("The body of Christ in the tomb"), a wonderful discussion:
"'what belongs to the body of Christ after death is predicated of the Son of God [(ST III.50.2.sed contra)].'  The entombed cadaver—maximally different from God's apatheia—is nevertheless predicable only by virtue of the hypostatic union" (205). 
"There is no autonomous particularity, no 'thingness' or 'thisness' that can be granted to any aspect of the incarnate Christ, not even to the corpse in the tomb, apart from the Son.  The whole incarnate reality of Christ exists and is real only insofar as it subsists in union with the divine hypostasis of the Son" (207) 
"'The divinity was so indissoluably united to the humanity of Christ that, although body and soul were separated from each other, nonetheless the very divinity was always perfectly present both to the soul and the body.  Therefore, the Son of God was both in the tomb with the body and descended into hell with the soul [(et ideo in sepulcro cum corpore fuit filius Dei, et ad Inferos cum anima descendit)]'" (207; St. Thomas Aquinas, Sermon conferences on the Apostles' Creed, trans. Ayo (Notre Dame, IN:  University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), 79 =Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum 5).
And from the concluding paragraph of the book by Riches (249):
     The indissoluble union of the Incarnate Logos is 'stretched out' from the height of the Son's eternal being with the Father to the cold stone on which his cadaver is laid, from the human breast of the Mother to the region of hell in which the crucified soul of Jesus is abandoned.  This mystery at the core of all being is not a tidy fact about divinity or humanity; it is the scandal of the Incarnate Son of God.  And 'none of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory' (1 Cor 2:8). 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"a war fought without a good stock of money is only a wispy shadow of what a war should be."

     The fearsome monk, in chap. 46 of François Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, as trans. Burton Raffel.  The original French doesn't seem as interesting to me:
guerre faicte sans bonne provision d’argent, n’a q’un souspirail de vigueur.
souspirail = souffle (ed. Huchon & Moreau) or maybe soupirail (air-hole, vent, ventilator).  "a dissipation of vigor"?  "Trans." Urquhart & Motteaux:
war, begun without a good provision of money before-hand for going through with it, is but as a breathing of strength, and blasts that will quickly pass away.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"we have beheld his glory"

"Because the reality of the relation is only maintained on the created side, the Incarnation cannot be reduced to an episode in the longer (eternal) life of the Logos.  Rather, the episode of this life must express fully the whole immutable reality on which it depends:  the person of the eternal Son.  What the Logos thus receives ex Maria, he receives in a mode that, rather than changing him, recapitulates [(read as something like transfigures, divinizes)] the reality into which he is incarnated" (166), such that (to quote Gregory of Nyssa) "'the mortal [element] that came to be in the immortal became immortality, and the corruptible [was] likewise changed into incorruptibility, and all the other [properties] similarly were transformed into impassible and divine [properties]. . . .'"

     Aaron Riches on St. Thomas Aquinas on the Incarnation, quoting also Gregory of Nyssa, Ad Theophilum (GNO 3.1, pp. 124-125), as trans. Behr, in Ecce homo:  on the divine unity of Christ, Interventions (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2016), 166, 167, underscoring mine.  This in the context of Aquinas' famous insistence (a highly technical one) that God is not "really" related to the universe:
'the union of which we are speaking is not really in God, except only in our way of thinking; but in the human nature, which is a creature, it is really' [(165, quoting ST III.2.7)]. 
The relation between God and created being, the unity of this human nature with the Logos, allows God himself to be the foundation of reality on the creaturely side, while on the side of God—precisely because his is this foundation of reality—the relation cannot alter him in any way [(168)].


Monday, June 26, 2017

"Whenever the Church renounces . . . her native tongues"

"progressive Catholicism (a category that for [Del Noce] would include both the Catholic left and elements of the Catholic right) has aided and abetted the new totalitarianism and made its home comfortably within it. We see this whenever the Church renounces her own inherent 'Platonism' by speaking in the language of psychology, sociology, economics, and politics rather than in her native tongues of metaphysics and theology."

     Michael Hanby, "What Del Noce saw," First things no. 274 (June/July 2017):  51 (49-51).  The crisis we find ourselves in "will continue apace until we somehow rediscover an ethics distinct from politics, a truth distinct from function, an authority distinct from power."