Saturday, October 3, 2015

"a stale paleoparthenoidean odor"

"the Nietzschean Übermensch [(surhomme)] emits, whatever he does, a stale paleoparthenoidean odor [(un relent paléoparthénoïde)].  As had happened to so many others, from Walt Whitman to Henry de Montherlant, when the voice of Zarathustra rises to [its] maximum to affirm the Beyond [Good and] Evil [(le surmâle)], a fatal squawk gives away the old maid in drag [(la vieille fille en travesti)].  The pathetic great man was as capable as your average bourgeois of deceiving himself as to [(pouvait bien s'illusionner bourgeoisement sur)] the initiatory virtues of a noctural descent into the Venetian brothel.  For lack of a better proof of a problematic virility, he brought back from there only the 'French disease'."

     Louis Bouyer, Religieux et clercs contre Dieu, Présence et pensée (Paris:  Aubier Montaigne, 1975), 51.  paléoparthénoïde < παλαιο-παρθεν-οειδης, old maid-like.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


     "'Mag ich zur Hölle fahren, aber solch ein Gott wird niemals meine Achtung erzwingen'  war bekanntlich Miltons Urteil über die Lehre."

     Max Weber on "the doctrine of predestination in the form of the double decree [(die Prädestinationslehre in der Form des doppelten Dekrets)]", Die protestantische Ethik und der 'Geist' des Kapitalismus II.1, "Die religiösen Grundlagen der innerweltlichen Askese", or II.4.A in the English.  Max Weber Gesamtausgabe I.9, Asketischer Protestantismus und Kapitalismus:  Schriften und Reden, 1904-1911, hrsg. Wolfgang Schluchter, in Zusammenarbeit mit Ursula Bube (Tübingen:  J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 2014), p. 253, ll. 22-24.  p. 253, n. 58, underscoring mine:  "Als Zitat bei John Milton nicht nachgewiesen [(As [a] quotation by John Milton not established/proven)].  Zu Miltons sich wandelnder Einstellung zur Prädestinationslehre vgl. unten, S. 254, Anm. 63."  p. 254, n. 63:  "Milton entfernte sich mit seiner Deutung der Prädestinationslehre 'immer weiter vom Standpunkte der calvinistischen Orthodoxie', urteilt Alfred Stern, Milton [und seine Zeit] II/4 [(1877-1879)], S. 157.  In der 'Doctrina Christiana' heiß es:  'Gott beschloß in seiner Weisheit, Mensch und Engel als vernünftige Wesen zu schaffen, d.h. als solche, die frei handeln.  Aber er sah zugleich voraus, wohin sich in der Benutzung ihrer ungehemmten Freiheit der Antrieb ihres Willens neigen würde.  Wie also, werden wir sagen, daß diese Voraussicht oder dies Vorherwissen auf Seiten Gottes ihnen die Nothwendigkeit auferlegte, in irgend einer bestimmten Weise zu handeln?  Nicht mehr, als wenn der küntfige Erfolg von irgend einem menschlichen Wesen vorhergesehen wäre' (zitiert nach Stern, S. 158, der sich hier auf Milton, Doctrina Christiana IV, 38-41, bezieht).  Zum Kontext vgl. Stern, ebd.,S. 156-159; Eibach, Milton, S. 724."

     "'Though I may be sent to Hell for it, such a God will never command my respect', was Milton's well-known opinion of the doctrine."

     Trans. Talcott Parsons ((London and New York:  Routledge Classics, 2001 [1930]), 58 and 177n10).

     I was put onto this by Dr. David Harris Sacks, Richard F. Scholz Professor of History and Humanities, Emeritus, Reed College, raising the question of Weber's source over the listserv FICINO, on 7 September 2015.  No one on FICINO was able to track this to Milton (or even Eibach) either, myself included.  And though the question was forwarded on to MILTON-L, no response was returned.  At that point, it occurred to me to check the Max Weber Gesamtausgabe.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"while in this body we not only experience the daily effects of your care, but even now possess the pledge of life eternal."

"atque in hoc corpore constituti non solum pietatis tuae cotidianos experimur effectus, sed aeternitatis etiam pignora iam tenemus."

     Preface VI of the Sundays in Ordinary Time, Missale Romanum, from the 8th century Prague sacramentary.  (According to Ward & Johnson, "tuae . . . pietatis effectus" appears also in the Gelasian sacramentary.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

(5th- and) 6th-century enhypostaticism (ἐνυπόστατ-icism) brought to bear on contemporary sexual ethics

"Journalist Brandon Ambrosino argued that the best argument for same-sex marriage is that Jesus was simply wrong about marriage, owing to the fact that he was ignorant of contemporary scientific notions of sexual orientation and the evolving standards of a morality of love. It takes quite a messiah complex to school the actual Messiah on moral and ethical truth, all while claiming to follow him. This argument is immediately off-limits for Evangelicals because they are, first of all, “mere Christians” who agree with Nicaea and Chalcedon about who Jesus is. The argument that “Jesus would agree with us if he’d lived to see our day” won’t work for people who know that Jesus is alive today—and that his views aren’t evolving (Heb. 13:8)."

     Russell D. Moore, "Evangelicals won't cave:  why Evangelicals will not be surrendering to the sexual revolution," First things no. 266 (October 2015):  .

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Agreeing to agree

     "For this unity to be fully realized, we do not ask our separated brethren to forego any part of what is positive and authentic in their great religious insights. On the contrary, we ask them to draw from these fearlessly all their logical conclusions. We ask them to realize that the Church does not oppose them in order to deny or to minimize what they rightly hold to be essential, but rather to safeguard the full reality, in a completeness that no truth of Christianity can possess except in the one, whole Body of Christ.
     "Nonetheless, to have the right to ask of them this effort, we Catholics have to make one of our own, which undoubtedly is no less considerable and urgent than that we require of them.
     "We must, in the first place, understand them and, before hastening to say ‘no’ to what is erroneous, however extensive, be prompt to say ‘yes’, frankly and unreservedly, to all truths, even and especially if they are ones to which we habitually pay little attention. Afterward, no doubt, but only afterward, comes the corresponding duty to help our brethren to sort out for themselves the great truths they have rediscovered from the errors involved with them. This second task, certainly, is no less essential to a real ‘ecumenism’ than the first; but to enter on it without regard for the first, without working at the first, would be to toil in vain.
     "This being so, it is equally essential for us to give a clear, positive witness to the truth that we chance, or rather have the undeserved grace, to possess. But this witness must be given to the whole truth and not merely to certain aspects of it to which we habitually restrict ourselves out of habit, facility, or mere indolence. Since there is but one Christian truth, Catholic truth in the real sense of the word, that is, a truth complete and whole, it is by making this effort of total fidelity to our own patrimony, and making it fully, that we shall be best prepared to make the required effort of opening our minds to the truths rightly cherished by our separated brethren.
     "But we must be fully aware that all that has been said will be of no effect unless accompanied by an effort, constantly renewed, to bring our own practice, our daily life, into harmony with the doctrine we profess."

     Louis Bouyer, The word, church, and sacraments in Protestantism and Catholicism, trans. A. V. Littledale (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2004 [1961, 1960]), 89-91.

Burden of proof

"just as the Church of apostolic times seems never to have had the least difficulty in admitting the apostolic witness, the Church of succeeding ages, by a natural transition, without any sign of check, has never had the slightest difficulty in admitting the continuity of the episcopal with the apostolic witness. . . .
     ". . . If there is any assertion that requires proof, proof that seems not easy to furnish, it is not that made by the Catholic Church.  On the contrary, it is the assertion, made at so late a  date, so void of precedent, that with the death of the last apostle the truth of the Divine Word within the Church ceased to be entrusted to a responsible body of men, invested for that purpose with the very authority of their master, ceased therefore to be the truth of a living Word kept in men's hearts, and became the wholly exterior truth of the unchanging letter of a book."

     Louis Bouyer, The word, church, and sacraments in Protestantism and Catholicism, trans. A. V. Littledale (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2004 [1961, 1960]), 56-57.
     "wholly exterior" is of course a straw man.

Unacknowledged magisteria

"from the moment men on principle reject and persist in rejecting the authority of the traditional Church as contrary to that of the Word of God, the recognition they do in fact give to the authority of the interpretation of Scripture made by one or the other great religious personality, and of one or the other organization that strives to uphold that interpretation, are perforce no more than grudging and shamefaced."

     Louis Bouyer, The word, church, and sacraments in Protestantism and Catholicism, trans. A. V. Littledale (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2004 [1961, 1960]), 46, italics mine.