Saturday, September 5, 2009

Brague on the damage done by fast-talking media stars and intellectuals

"legends abound about the Middle Ages. I have done my utmost to destroy that teeming vermin. . . . I have no illusions about the sucess of my venture: any fast-talking media star can do a thousand times more in one minute to perpetuate falsity than we library rats can do in ten lifetimes to unmask it. That said, you do not have to have hope to take on a challenge. And if what the 'intellectual' has to sell is a 'fine-talk' version of the dominant opinion, the duty of the university professor is above all to reestablish what he or she believes to be the truth, whether it is agreeable or not."

RĂ©mi Brague, The legend of the Middle Ages: philosophical explorations of medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009): viii-ix.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Christum aufer, mutus fiet mundus

Remove Christ, [and] the universe will fall silent.

I.e., become incapable of articulate speech; be rendered mute or inarticulate; be struck dumb (cf. Ps. 19:1-4). Peter M. Candler after Antonio Cittandini (Thomae aufer, mutus fiet Aristoteles): "apart from Christ, the world cannot speak to us." In "The logic of Christian humanism," Communio: international Catholic review 36, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 79. Candler got Cittandini from Ralph McInerny, Praeambula fidei: Thomism and the God of the philosophers (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2006): 306.