Saturday, June 6, 2009

Nicola Carati on tough love

"I should have stopped them [both at that same door]. I loved them both, but I wasn't capable of imprisoning them with this love. It was my idea of freedom. I thought everyone had a right to live as they pleased. But what freedom is death?"

Nicola Carati to his sister Giovanna, in the outstanding six-hour 2003 Italian miniseries The best of youth (La meglio gioventù). Nicola says this to Giovanna just after [SPOILER ALERT!] their brother Matteo has committed suicide, and just before he (Nicola) reverses himself and decides to betray his partner Giulia Monfalco, a member of the Red Brigade and the mother of his daughter Sara, to Giovanna (a judge as it happens), thus "imprisoning [her] with [his] love" (a decision that turns out to have been the right one). The English is taken straight from the subtitles.

Gilson on the theological emancipation of philosophy

"in order the better to secure the services of its slave [philosophy], theology has just begun to set it free."

Étienne Gilson, Études de philosophie médiévale (Strasbourg: Commission de publications de la Faculté des Lettres, 1921), 114, as quoted by Jean-Pierre Torrell, “Philosophie et théologie d’après le Prologue de Thomas d’Aquin au Super Boetium de Trinitate: essai d’une lecture théologique,” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale: rivista della Società internazionale per lo studio del medioevo latino 10 (1999): 325. This, the approach of St. Thomas, Torrell contrasts with that of St. Bonaventure, according to whom "one asks of [the sciences] only that they serve [theology], not [that they] contribute any truth of their own" (324-325). The context is a discussion of St. Thomas on the ancillae theologiae.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Traces of God?

When the waters saw thee, O God,
when the waters saw thee, they were afraid,
yea, the deep trembled.

The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
thy arrows flashed on every side.

The crash of thy thunder was in the whirlwind;
thy lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.

Thy way was through the sea,
thy path through the great waters;
yet thy footprints were unseen [(ועקבותיך לא נדעו)].

Ps 77:16-19 RSV, italics mine. LXX: καὶ τὰ ἴχνη σου οὐ γνωσθήσονται. Vulgate: et vestigia tua non cognoscentur. Parallel MT/LXX from CCAT, and MBHS via the Oxford Text Archive. Converted to Unicode with Eng/Heb versification by David Instone-Brewer, 2005.