Thursday, February 4, 2010

Colón-Emeric on the Methodist house and the Thomist cathedral

"The Methodist house of religion is no English manor but a simple dwelling with a porch, a door, and an interior.  The porch of this house is repentance; the door to this house is faith; the inside of the house is holiness itself.  When we turned to Aquinas the scene shifted tremendously.  We found ourselves not before a humble if hospitable house, but before a Gothic cathedral that threatened to overwhelm us by its sheer scale.  The interior of this cathedral is cavernous; there are such treasures in this place that centuries of Thomist commentators have not surveyed them all.  Our study amounted to little more than a cursory walk through.
     "Looking at Wesley and Aquinas side by side it is easy to feel dizzied by the differences.  Methodist house and Thomist cathedral, what can these two possibly have in common?  Even when focused on a central doctrine, like perfection, the differences seem to be so great as to render any comparison as fruitless as that of the proverbial apples and oranges.  Yet in the same way that both house and cathedral have generic common features (walls, roofs, doors, etc.) that allow for comparison, so do Aquinas' and Wesley's respective teachings on perfection.  The chief commonality that their teachings share is that they are grounded  in the Scriptural Witness [(the Sermon on the Mount)] as interpreted by the Christian tradition."

     Edgardo A. Colón-Emeric, Wesley, Aquinas, and Christian perfection:  an ecumenical dialogue (Waco, TX:  Baylor University Press, 2009), 125.  I haven't yet read this book, but, in skimming through it, stumbled upon this, which, understandably, caught my eye.  Cf. p. 149 and elsewhere.

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