Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"the deceitful dream of a golden age"

"Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections, weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? Is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age, and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct, that we, as well as the other inhabitants of the globe, are yet remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue?"

     Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist no. 6, The [New York] independent journal; or, the General advertiser, 14 November 1787.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"a Christology without a full Marian account fails to be incarnational in any meaningful way"

"the Jesus-Mary relation is so integral to the incarnational fact, and therefore to a coherent Christocentrism, that a Christology without a full Marian account fails to be incarnational in any meaningful way and is reduced to mere abstraction."

     Aaron Riches, Ecce homo:  on the divine unity of Christ (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2016), 17.  This "full Marian account" would have to begin with the claim that she is Theotokos and presumably extend (though I haven't yet got that far) to an orthodox form of the doctrine of "co-redemption" (the "Coda" on Chardon (17)).

The more of God, the more of me

"if Jesus is the true human, the irreducible difference of the human being in relation to God is perfected in direct (as opposed to inverse) relation to the perfection of the unio of his humanity with the divine Logos.  In Christ, the relation of divinity and humanity must be, in the first place, and basically, non-contrastive and non-competitive. . . .
". . . only the confession of the 'one Lord Jesus Christ' maximally preserves the integrity and difference of verus homo before verus Deus. . . . [B]eginning from an abstract idea of what his humanity might be apart from that unio, Christian theology fails before it even begins."

     Aaron Riches, Ecce homo:  on the divine unity of Christ (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2016), 7-8.  7n12:  "the deeper and more perfect the union, the more each is realized in its distinct integrity.  Union [with true God!] differentiates."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"the body of him who is the heavenly bread, and the blood of him who is the sacred vine"

"What you receive is the body of him who is the heavenly bread, and the blood of him who is the sacred vine; for when he offered his disciples the consecrated bread and wine, he said: This is my body, this is my blood. We have put our trust in him. I urge you to have faith in him; truth can never deceive."

"quod accipis, corpus est illius panis coelestis, et sanguis est illius sacrae vitis.  Nam cum panem consecratum et vinum discipulis suis porrigeret, sic ait:  Hoc est corpus meum:  hic est sanguis meus.  Credamus, quaeso, cui credidimus.  Nescit mendacium veritas."

     St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Bresica, Sermo 2 De Exodi lectione secundus, as trans. in the Liturgy of the hours.  CSEL 60; PL 20, col. 859A.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Why are racist 'mere words' deeds, but the anti-racist 'mere words' of a university just lip service?

     "Note, too, that the expressivist position suffers from an uncomfortable contradiction.  A university administration that merely condemns hate speech, without mobilizing punitive sanctions, is held to have done little, to have offered 'mere words.'  And yet this skepticism about the power of 'mere words' comports oddly with the attempt to regulate 'mere words' that, since they are spoken by those not in a position of authority, would seem to have even less symbolic force.  Why is it 'mere words' when a university only condemns racist speech, but not 'mere words' that the student utters in the first place?  Whose words are 'only words'?  Why are racist words deeds, but anti-racist words just lip service?"

     Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "Let them talk:  Why civil liberties pose no threat to civil rights," The New Republic 209, no. 12/13 (September 20/27, 1993):  43 (37-49).
     Note, by the way, that, at Middlebury and elsewhere of late, the students (and/or those posing as such), now taking the opposite side, haven't just been uttering "'mere words'"; they have been engaging in forms of low-grade assault.  It is, I suspect, in part for this reason that some have been calling for the application of "punitive sanctions" on the part of college and university administrations.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Those "thick" conservatives

     "Moral foundation theory is one of the more recent and productive models within moral psychology developed by Jonathan Haidt and many colleagues.  Among other things, Haidt has argued that people (across time and culture) have characteristically decided if something is right or wrong using up to six moral dimensions:  care vs. harm, fairness vs. cheating, loyalty vs. betrayal, authority vs. disrespect, purity vs. degradation, and liberty vs. oppression.  One of the intriguing conclusions coming out of this work is the notion that progressives based moral decisions on a subset of these dimensions (largely care and fairness) while conservatives tend to invoke all six dimensions when making moral decisions."

     Rod Bassett, reviewing A house divided:  sexuality, morality, and Christian cultures (Wipf and Stock, 2016), by Geoffrey W. Sutton, Journal of psychology and Christianity 36, no. 1 (Spring 2017):  83 (83-84).

Saturday, April 29, 2017

"freed from the hypocrisies of the family and the school"

     "A plague upon (all) of the (verbal) decencies of an emasculated time [in] which, under their hypocritical mantle, there blossomed too often only neurosis and poison!  And a plague also upon the chaste Latins:  I am a Celt."

     "Foin des pudeurs (toutes verbales) d’un temps châtré qui, sous leur hypocrite manteaux, ne fleurent trop souvent que la névrose et le poison!  Et foin aussi des purs latins:  je suis un Celte."

     Louis Pergaud, Préface to La guerre des boutons (1912), my translation.