Thursday, August 24, 2017

"whether the human body—the sexually differentiated bodies of men and women—has any inherent meaning prior to the arbitrary imposition of one by an act of will"

"the deepest theological meaning of the Reformation. . . . turns not on whether the Son assumed human nature—most communities that identify themselves as Christian still agree on that—but rather, ultimately, on whether there really is such a thing as nature, including human nature, for the Son to assume.  Of course the answer to this question determines not only the meaning of the Incarnation and every other theological question, but whether we can any longer mount a coherent and comprehensive defense of the humanum.
     "It is around this question of fundamental anthropology and the salvation of the humanum that the New Reformation is likely to take place, even if that too is not always fully clear to the people and communities that take part in it.  For it is ultimately this question that is dividing Protestant communities internally, and it is ultimately the Church’s various attempts to maintain and even deepen the understanding of the human person as a per se unum, a meaningful body called in love to a gift that is comprehensive, complete, and fruitful, that has provoked the most vociferous opposition from the world, from other Christian communities, and from within the Church itself.  These facts suggest that the Catholic Church, though battered and bruised from without and humiliated by scandal within, will remain for all that the last bastion of a complete and genuine humanism capable of comprehending the incomprehensible mystery of the person in its totality.  As those who find themselves stranded have this question forced upon them, they may find, like Peter himself, that there is nowhere else to turn."

Insofar as the Reformation is not sustained by theology, or rather insofar as the real theological stakes of the Reformation remain misidentified [(cf. 567.2)], none of the factors currently upholding it is sufficient to prevent it from succumbing to the ravages of contemporary culture or is capable of preserving those traditions in their distinction from that culture [(568)].
Cf. this, which strikes me as problematic for those "conservative" groups operating on the margins of the mainline:  "few Protestant denominations maintain their separation from Rome out of commitment to the same theological convictions that prompted their separation in the first place" (567).
     There is much more of value here.
     The heading comes from p. 570.

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