- Disputations on “Modern Prometheuses” (of Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium):
The modern Prometheus claims to be able to define his own nature and to create his own good, and in doing so he creates a monster. He doesn’t just fail to do God’s will, he fails to do his own will, because man isn’t able to define his own nature and create his own good. …
The neopelagianism comes in, I suppose, in the de facto reliance on human actions — the right prayers, said on the right day in the right language — for salvation, rather than on Divine mercy. This reliance on human actions may perhaps be more clearly be seen in attitudes towards those who don’t follow their prescribed orthopraxis. (As an extreme example, I once came across a condemnation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a ruse of the devil to trick Catholics into not praying the Rosary.)
I’ll go so far as to suggest the possibility of a neopelagian orthodoxy — placing one’s hope for salvation in believing the right doctrines, according to the right formulas, rather than in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit promised to those who live according to those doctrines, and Whose presence is a guarantee of salvific grace.
- “The End of Protestantism” turns out to be … Protestant – Michael Liccione responds to Peter Leithart’s “The End of Protestantism” (First Things “On the Square” 11/8/13): “What Leithart is advocating, which he calls “reformational Catholicism,” has been around since the 16th century.”
- Balthasar’s Interpretation of Aquinas Thomistica.net.:
A few years ago I translated Angelo Campodonico’s essay “Il pensiero filosofico di Tommaso d’Aquino nell’interpretazione di H.U. Von Balthasar” for the English edition of Nova et Vetera. It was published as “Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Interpretation of the Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas” in vol. 8 of Nova et Vetera on pp. 33-53. I recently uploaded it to my Academia.edu page. You can find it here.
Since Thomists and Balthasarians often find themselves at odds, this makes Campodonico’s essay all the more interesting, or so it seems to me. In fact, Campodonico argues that Aquinas had a profound influence on Balthasar’s thought. He even makes the (in my view) provocative claim that…
[t]he influence of Thomas Aquinas on the formulation of Balthasar’s theology and philosophy is clear and shows that Balthasar regarded him with perhaps more esteem than any other theologian in history (33-34).
- Texts on natura pura A compilation from Mark Johnson. Thomistica 11/02/13.
- Catholicism and the problem of modernity, by James Chastek. Just Thomism 12/19/13.
- Remembering Jim Morrison, by Paul Beston. The American Conservative. The Doors frontman and his admiral father lived a generation’s turmoil.
- I had the privilege to attend part of the “Thomas Aquinas and Philosophical Realism” Symposium in NYC in November. Among the presenters was Ed Feser (“An Aristotelian Argument for the Existence of God”) and John Haldane (“Aquinas and Realism”). Unfortunately no texts of the presentations have surfaced yet online, although William Briggs gives a detailed account of the conference on his blog. (Feser’s much anticipated Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction will be published next year).
One benefit of being home on vacation is that it affords a little more time to draw. Here are two recent efforts — published to my ongoing “art blog”, Christopher Doodles.
Hand-drawn on 9.75×7.5 composition paper. Colored with Crayola marker and crayons. (Click the thumbnails above for close-ups). For those interested, postcard(s) available.
[Via David Mills @ First Things]:
Father Edward Oakes, S.J., distinguished theologian, gifted writer and teacher, generous ecumenist, and our friend, has died, of pancreatic cancer, at 8:00 this morning. The announcement from the Academy of Catholic Theology, of which Father Oakes was president, reports:
Father Oakes entered the Society of Jesus in 1966, and was ordained a priest in 1979. He received his doctorate in theology from Union Theological Seminary in 1987. He taught at New York University, Regis University, and Mundelein Seminary, where he was deeply loved and valued by his colleagues, students, and indeed everyone on the staff as well.
He was a major contributor to the ecumenical magazine First Things on theological and scientific topics, and a longtime close friend of Father Richard John Neuhaus. For close to two decades he was an influential member of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. He was a founding member of the Academy of Catholic Theology and was elected president of the Academy in May 2013.
A deeply cultured man, Father Oakes enlivened everything of which he was a part by his penetrating intelligence and warm, friendly spirit. He was an esteemed translator of the works of Hans Urs von Balthasar and others. He was the author and editor of important works such as Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology, Pattern of Redemption: The Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, and The Cambridge Companion to Hans Urs von Balthasar.
To say that Father Oakes will be sorely missed is a profound understatement. Let us pray for his soul as he enters into the infinitely loving communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as an adopted son in Jesus Christ!
Goodbyes and Remembrances
- Edward T. Oakes, R.I.P., by David Mills. First Things “First Thoughts” 12/06/13.
- Edward T. Oakes, S.J.: An Appreciation First Things “On The Square” 12/07/13.
- Eloquent Critic Of Creationism Passes Away, by John Farrell. Forbes 12/07/13.
- Goodbye, Friend, by R. R. Reno. First Things‘ “First Thoughts” 12/06/13.
- Fr. Edward T. Oakes, SJ, Requiescat in pace The distinguished theologian and professor dies after a battle with cancer. Catholic World Report. 12/06/13.
- Jesuit theologian remembered for scholarship, joyfulness, by Kevin Jones. Catholic News Agency. 12/06/13.
Articles and Book Reviews
- Reason Enraptured Commending the theological project of Hans Urs von Balthasar. (April 2013).
- Bell’s Present Heaven. Review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. (October 2011).
- A Review of Mad World. Review of Paula Byrne’s Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead. (April 2011).
- Newman’s Ideal University “Theology as the reason-shaped science of revelation requires an infallible magisterium.” (March 2011).
- Shades of Infallibility. Review of Mark E. Powell’s Papal Infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue. (August / September 2009).
- Reconciling Judas, Evangelizing the Theologians Crisis July 28, 2009.
- Atheists and Christians Together (June / July 2009).
- Richard’s Book Club (April 2009).
- The Body of the Church. Review of Barry Harvey’s Can These Bones Live? A Catholic Baptist Engagement with Ecclesiology, Hermeneutics, and Social Theory. (January 2009).
- More on Balthasar, Hell and Heresy (with Alyssa Lyra Pitstick). (January 2007)
- Balthasar, Hell and Heresy: An Exchange (December 2006).
- The Road from Damascus. Review of Edward Stourton’s Paul of Tarsus: A Visionary Life. (May 2006).
- A Jesus Just For Me. Review of Garry Will’s What Jesus Meant. (March 2006).
- What do Zombies Think? (January 2006).
- The “I” of Christ. Review of John McGuckin’s Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy. (August / September 2005).
- The Missionary Pope: John Paul II and the New Evangelization Crisis May 21, 2005.
- The Age of Shakespeare and the Trial of Man. (June / July 2004).
- The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition by F.E. Peters (Review). (February 2004).
- Luther: The Movie (January 2004).
- The Reality of the Beautiful. Review of Denis Donoghue’s Speaking of Beauty. (December 2003).
- Second-Hand .Civ. Review of Rémi Brague’s Eccentric Culture: A Theory of Western Civilization. (June / July 2003).
- Newman’s Liberal Problem. (April 2003).
- Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of the Emotions (October 2002).
- –Icons and Kitsch. Review of The Forbidden Image: An Intellectual History of Iconoclasm, By Alain Besançon Translated by Jean Marie Todd. (March 2001).
- The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism (January 2001).
- Philosophy in An Old Key. Review of Brian Magee’s Confessions of a Philosopher: A Personal Journey Through Western Philosophy from Plato to Popper. (December 2000).
- Shakespear’s Millenium (December 1999).
- Modernity and Crises of Identity (December 1994).
- Poisoned Eros. Review of Allan Bloom’s Love and Friendship. (January 1994).
- Pascal: The First Modern Christian (August / September 1999).
- Natural Law in Judaism (Review). (May 1999).
- The Man Behind The Curtain Review of Unauthorized Freud: Doubters Confront a Legend, Edited by Frederick Crews. (January 1999).
- Making the Wager. Review of Patrick Glynn’s God: The Evidence. The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World. (August / September 1998).
- The Blind Programmer. Review of Stephen Pinker’s How the Mind Works. (March 1998).
- The Heart of the Church. Review of Jaroslav Pelican’s Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture. (February 1997).
- The Achievement of Alasdair MacIntyre. (August / September 1996).
- Eros and Rage. Review of Martha Nussbaum’s The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. (August / September 1995).
- Discovering the American Aristotle (December 1993).
- Evangelical Theology in Crisis. Review of David F. Wells’ No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology. (October 1993).
- Jewish Ethics Engaged Review of David Novak’s Jewish Social Ethics. (June / July 1993).
- The Wonders of Ordinary Language. Review of Cyril Barrett, S.J.’s Wittgenstein on Ethics and Religious Belief. (October 1992).
- Ludwig Wittengstein Confesses (June / July 1992).
- From Aquinas to Aquarius. Review of Peter McDonough’s Men Astutely Trained: A History of the Jesuits in the American Century (May 1992).