Thursday, September 10, 2015

"The humanism of Golgatha" that is alone capable of crowning and regenerating both "the humanism of the Acropolis" and a Church that has lost its way

     "In order to remake itself, Catholic theology will require the environment recreated by a culture in which the sympathetic objectivity made [possible] by the best of the human sciences is allied with an art and a poetry that will rediscover, beyond the clear consciousness [(la conscience claire)] of Descartes and the empty consciousness [(la conscience vide)] of Kant, the mysterious depths of the whole consciousness [(la conscience totale)].  But neither the one nor the other will be possible outside of a tradition renewed by life in the faith.  And that, we well know, cannot be rejuvenated and transmitted anew unless we resubmit ourselves [(nous remettions)] to the school of Christian ascesis, [an ascesis] required by the aspiration after the parousia, [an ascesis] such as [that] ancient monasticism received from primitive Christianity and adapted [for the] first time to the contemporary necessities of a world in perpetual transformation."

     Louis Bouyer, Religieux et clercs contre Dieu (Paris:  Aubier Montaigne, 1975), 42.  This forms an inclusio with the comments on "l'humanisme du Golgatha" that "crowns" and positively "regenerates" "l'humanisme de l'Acropole" (pp. 32-33) at the start of the long but rapidly sketched history of decline and failed reformation begun on pp. 30-33.  Interestingly, the history sketched by this convert from French Lutheranism seems remarkably Protestant.  For Bouyer is (after the early church) pretty critical of all but the 16th-century Catholic (and humanistic) reformers Erasmus and More, and their disciples (first full paragraph on p. 39).  But was Erasmus and ascetic?

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