Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seek, and you will find

"The Bible gives to every man and to every era such answers to their questions as they deserve.  We shall always find in it as much as we seek and no more:  high and divine content if it is high and divine content that we seek; transitory and 'historical' content, if it is transitory and 'historical' content that we seek--nothing whatever, if it is nothing whatever that we seek.  The hungry are satisfied by it, and to the satisfied it is surfeiting before they have opened it.  The question, What is within the Bible? has a mortifying way of converting itself into the opposing question, Well, what are you looking for, and who are you, pray, who make bold to look?"

Karl Barth, "The strange new world within the Bible," The Word of God and the word of man (Das Wort Gottes und die Theologie) II (trans. Douglas Horton, Great books of the Western world, 2nd ed. (Chicago, IL:  Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1990), 458).

David Martin on the necessity of judgment

"there is no escaping the social logic of authority.  Compassion has to include judgement and all the catch-phrases about 'non-judgemental compassion' are a sentimental gloss on the Gospels.  Vast harm is done by the refusal to exercise judgement, just because it makes you feel good."

David Martin as interviewed by Rupert Shortt in God's advocates:  Christian thinkers in conversation (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2005), 157.

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis?

"The crux is the necessity of authority, which is a 'functional prerequisite' of social organisation, let alone civility, and includes a settled claim to power and the legitimate use of violence.  Whatever the contemporary decline in deference and respect, and the proper fear of authoritarianism, authority is a key to everything worthwhile, indeed the key to any reform.  Just think of all the Christian experiments throughout history and it is clear that fraternity depends on discipline, on fathers-in-God as well as brothers, otherwise the wolf of chaos destroys the fold."

"My research on Pentecostalism reminded me of my grandfathers, who preferred standing up as 'speaking men' in the street or the chapel to taking a back seat while the military and the squirearchy read the lessons."

Pentecostalism is "a movement of Christian revival comparable to Islamic revival.  Yet when it comes to Pentecostalism, there isn't even a margin of violence.  One has to ask why people in Latin America, Africa and the Far East with much more to motivate hostility to 'the West' than the Middle East are so resolutely peaceful and anxious simply to work  hard to improve their own circumstances by the classic path of individual and group mobility.  Pentecostalism had an autobiographical resonance for me because I saw it as the kind of religious mobilisation of the poor seeking 'respectability'.  By that I mean the self-respect and the respect of others, through the respect shown them by the grace of God that had moved my own parents.  It is why I revived the theory of Halévy about Methodism and the entry of England into modernity. . . ."

David Martin as interviewed by Rupert Shortt in God's advocates:  Christian thinkers in conversation (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2005), 156, 170, 169.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"FOR OUR SAKE THE WORD OF GOD BECAME AS GRASS" (Is 40:6-9; cf. 1 Pt 1:24-25)

from the moment God's humanity becomes known, from that moment [his] benignity cannot remain obscure.

"Ubi . . . Dei innotescit humanitas, iam benignitas latere non potest."

     St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon 1 on the Epiphany.  Bernhard von Clairvaux:  Sämtliche Werke, lateinisch-deutsch 7, p. 322, ll. 5-6; PL 183, col. 143A.  Modern critical editions:  Opera omnia, ed. Leclercq & Rochais; SC 526.  Office of readings for 29 December, Liturgy of the hours, vol. 1, p. 447:  "God's Son came in the flesh so that mortal men could see and recognize God's kindness.  When God reveals his humanity, his goodness cannot possibly remain hidden.  To show his kindness [(benignitatem suam)], what more could he do beyond taking my human form?"
     Here is that sermon as excerpted in the Liturgy of the hours:

The goodness and humanity of God our Savior have appeared in our midst. We thank God for the many consolations he has given us during this sad exile of our pilgrimage here on earth. Before the Son of God became man his goodness was hidden, for God’s mercy is eternal, but how could such goodness be recognized? It was promised, but it was not experienced, and as a result few believed in it. Often and in many ways the Lord used to speak through the prophets. Among other things, God said: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. But what did men respond, thinking thoughts of affliction and knowing nothing of peace? They said: Peace, peace, there is no peace. This response made the angels of peace weep bitterly, saying: Lord, who has believed our message? But now men believe because they see with their own eyes, and because God’s testimony has now become even more credible. He has gone so far as to pitch his tent in the sun so even the dimmest eyes see him. 
     Notice that peace is not promised but sent to us; it is no longer deferred, it is given; peace is not prophesied but achieved. It is as if God the Father sent upon the earth a purse full of his mercy. This purse was burst open during the Lord’s passion to pour forth its hidden contents—the price of our redemption. It was only a small purse, but it was very full. As the Scriptures tell us: A little child has been given to us, but in him dwells all the fullness of the divine nature. The fullness of time brought with it the fullness of divinity. God’s Son came in the flesh so that mortal men could see and recognize God’s kindness. When God reveals his humanity, his goodness cannot possibly remain hidden. To show his kindness what more could he do beyond taking my human form? My humanity, I say, not Adam’s—that is, not such as he had before his fall. 
     How could he have shown his mercy more clearly than by taking on himself our condition? For our sake the Word of God became as grass. What better proof could he have given of his love? Scripture says: Lord, what is man that you are mindful of him; why does your heart go out to him? The incarnation teaches us how much God cares for us and what he thinks and feels about us. We should stop thinking of our own sufferings and remember what he has suffered. Let us think of all the Lord has done for us, and then we shall realize how his goodness appears through his humanity. The lesser he became through his human nature the greater was his goodness; the more he lowered himself for me, the dearer he is to me. The goodness and humanity of God our Savior have appeared, says the Apostle. 
     Truly great and manifest are the goodness and humanity of God. He has given us a most wonderful proof of his goodness by adding humanity to his own divine nature.
      There are other translations, just e.g. the one in (presumably) Cistercian fathers series 51, trans. Edmonds & Beckett.

"We needn't discuss the inanity of that."

"Sara Grant in her book Towards an alternative theology. . . . characterizes the unique bond between Creator and creation as a non-reciprocal relation of dependence.  All our relations of dependence are, of course, reciprocal.  It's illuminated in the Arab world, where people's names change when they become parents.  Let's say a couple have a child called Rasheed.  The father then becomes Abu Rasheed, and the mother's name becomes Um Rasheed.  So it reminds us that even though you might think the child depends solely on its parents, they, of course, experience a whole new identity through the birth of their child.  So every relationship between us in the world is a reciprocal one.  In Thomas' view, it's only creation which entails a non-reciprocal relation of dependence.  And, of course, some modern theologians took umbrage at this idea, and invented process theology, which pictures God as changing along with the universe.  We needn't discuss the inanity of that."

     David Burrell as interviewed by Rupert Shortt in God's advocates:  Christian thinkers in conversation (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2005), 139.

Burrell on the distinction between philosophical theology and the philosophy of religion

". . . Thomas Aquinas offers us the stellar example of how someone, in trying to use philosophy to search for the truth of our faith, will have to transform ordinary philosophical categories.  And that transforming is to me the difference between the work I dophilosophical theologyand standard philosophy of religion.  Because the tendency of philosophers of religion is to think that their philosophical categories will work everywhere and there's no need to transform them to talk about God.  To my mind, the result of that is a procrustean picture of Godin effect an idol.  If you've got to fit God into your philosophical categories, then it's no longer God you're talking about.  And interestingly enough, something analogous can happen with ethical categories which have emerged in a climate without reference to a transcendent Creator. . . ."

David Burrell as interviewed by Rupert Shortt in God's advocates: Christian thinkers in conversation (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005), 137.

Burrell on the natural law

"In referring to natural law, Thomas was talking about the fact that we cannot simply decide the rightness or wrongness of certain actions.  Take abortion.  You can argue as an ethicist as to whether abortion can be permitted, but you cannot say that abortion is simply a matter of choice, for the simple reason that certain ethical notions are built into the very grammar of our discourse.  It's not for us to overthrow themeven though in practice, of course, we tend to blur the categories when it suits us."

     David Burrell as interviewed by Rupert Shortt in God's advocates:  Christian thinkers in conversation (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2005), 137.

"how philosophers demonstrate their respect for one another"

"but that's how philosophers demonstrate their respect for one another. . . ."

"[Thomas] read [the Guide for the perplexed] and respondedtaking issue with Maimonides at several points. . . ."  David Burrell as interviewed by Rupert Shortt in God's advocates:  Christian thinkers in conversation (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2005), 129.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Notes on the inversion of stanza 5 of Charles Wesley's 1739 "Hymn for Christmas Day" ("Hark how all the welkin rings," changed by George Whitefield to "Hark! the herald angels sing" in 1753), IN PROGRESS

     Hat tip:  Dr. Jennifer Woodruff Tait, who first alerted me to this via a post on Facebook dated 26 December 2010.  In all of the 25-or-so years I spent in Episcopal churches, I never noticed the inversion.
     In a Facebook post dated 21 July 2014, Jan Biondo noted that what has been true of Episcopalian hymnals since 1827 at the very latest is not, in her experience, true of "Anglican" hymnals.  Having checked Common praise:  a new edition of Hymns ancient and modern (2000), the original edition of Hymns ancient and modern (1860-1861), and a small random sample of Church of England hymnals in between, I can confirm this.  Church of England hymnals do indeed tend to leave the lines of stanza five in the original Wesleyan order of 1739 (below).  (So blame the Americans only, not the mother church.)

1739, Hymns and sacred poems, p. 207, according to the critical edition ed. Maddox and Maddox:

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,

Ris’n with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by. . . .

1786 (added 22 March 2018), A choice collection of occasional hymns; principally designed for the congregation attending Bethesda-Chapel; but calculated for all Denominations of Christians, who desire to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. To which is added, The form of prayer, used in the chapel. By the Rev. Edward Smyth (Dublin:  J. Charrurier, 1786), 84-85 (Hymn no. 102) (cf. pp. 171-172 (Hymn no. 223) in Edward Smyth's A collection of hymns, psalms, and anthems; designed for the congregation attending St. Clement's chapel, Manchester (Manchester:  Sowler and Russell, 1793)):

Hail the heav'nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Ris'n with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings.

1806 (added 21 March 2018), The book of common prayer:  and administration of the sacraments and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America:  together with the Psalter, or Psalms of David (New York:  Printed for Peter A. Mesier, 1806), 28 (Hymn no. 45):

Ris'n with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings;
Hail the Sun of righteousness,
Hail the heaven-born Prince of peace.

Other than 1786, above, an Eighteenth Century Collections Online search, in this case for the phrases "all he brings Hail the Sun" and "Sun of righteousness Hail the", conducted on 22 March 2018, returned no hits.  (I ran these with "Son" as well as "Sun", by the way.)

1823, Church poetry:  being portions of the Psalms in verse, and hymns suited to the festivals and fasts, and various occasions of the church.  Selected and altered from various authors, by Wm. Augustus Muhlenberg, Associate Rector of St. James's Church, Lancaster (Philadelphia:  S. Potter & Co., J. Maxwell, Printer, 1823), 117 (where there are other significant modifications):

Hail, the heav’n born prince of peace!
Hail, the sun of righteousness!
Ris’n with healing in his wings.
Light and life to all he brings.

1824 October 

1827Hymns of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the United States of America.  Set forth in General Conventions of said Church, in the years of our Lord, 1789, 1808, and 1826, #45, p. 30 (followed by no stanza 6).  This is probably the 1826 hymnal referenced on p. 87 of vol. 3A of The hymnal 1982 companion of 1990:

Ris'n with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings;
Hail the Sun of righteousness,
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

1844 April (1843 December):  "In the collection of our Protestant Episcopal brethren, (certified by B. T. Onderdonk, 1832,) our four hundred and ninetieth is very ingeniously altered, and as it is one of the few alterations that can honestly be deemed improvements, we would accept it" (F., in the Methodist quarterly review 26 (3rd ser. 4), no. 2 (April 1844):  197, reviewing an edition of A collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church . . .).

1892 (©1889), according to The hymnal 1982 companion, the first year stanza 6 appears, but now before stanza 5:

Mild He lays His glory by, . . .

Ris'n with healing in His wings,
Light and life to all He brings,

Hail, the Sun of righteousness!
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

1982 (©1985), The hymnal 1982:

Mild he lays his glory by, . . .

Risen with healing in his wings,
light and life to all he brings,
hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Note:  Over time I hope to check the pre-1827 hymnals of all denominations as listed under this hymn in resources like The Hymn Tune Index, and would appreciate hearing from any who have already done some of this (or other related) work.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

God forbid!

"A young lady of some birth and fortune, who knelt suddenly down on a brick floor by the side of a sick labourer and prayed fervidly as if she thought herself living in the time of the Apostleswho had strange whims of fasting like a Papist, and of sitting up at night to read old theological books!  Such a wife might awaken you some fine morning with a new scheme for the application of her income which would interfere with political economy and the keeping of saddle-horses. . . ."

George Eliot, Middlemarch I.i (Great books of the Western world, 2nd ed. (Chicago, IL:  Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1990), vol. 46, p. 206), of Dorothea.

"after all in a quarter where she had not sought it"

"she was enamoured of intensity and greatness, and rash in embracing whatever seemed to her to have these aspects; likely to seek martyrdom, to make retractions, and then to incur martyrdom after all in a quarter where she had not sought it."

George Eliot, Middlemarch I.i (Great books of the Western world, 2nd ed. (Chicago, IL:  Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1990), vol. 46, p. 205), of Dorothea.

Eliot on "these later-born Theresas"

"That Spanish woman who lived three hundred years ago was certainly not the last of her kind.  Many Theresas have been born who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of far-resonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur illmatched with the meanness of opportunity; perhaps a tragic failure which found no sacred poet and sank unwept into oblivion.  With dim lights and tangled circumstance they tried to shape their thought and deed in noble agreement; but after all, to common eyes their struggles seemed mere inconsistency and formlessness; for these later-born Theresas were helped by no coherent social faith and order which could perform the function of knowledge for the willing soul. . . ."

George Eliot, Middlemarch, Prelude (Great books of the Western world, 2nd ed. (Chicago, IL:  Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1990), vol. 46, p. 204), italics mine.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Soskice, looking back

"Looking back on it, I had very condescending attitudes towards religious believers.  I assumed that they were all people who needed some kind of emotional or social crutch and couldn't manage on their ownwhich is, of course, precisely true.  What changes when you become religious is that you realise you're one of those people. . . ."

Janet Martin Soskice, in an interview with Rupert Shortt.  God's advocates:  Christian thinkiers in conversation (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2005), 24-25.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

". . . those continual prayers that are performed with the body, out of which prayer in the heart is born. . . ."

St. Isaac the Syrian, "Concerning aspects of the way of stillness," =chap. 1 of the long-lost Second Part of the Writings, trans. Sebastian Brock. Sebastian Brock, "St Isaac the Syrian: two unpublished texts," Sobornost 19, no. 1 (1997): 16 (7-32).  Context:  "an easy rule that is useful for someone who is weak":  "because the feeble body grows weary of standing continually on its feet in order to fulfil the customary acts of worship, and for this reason is often hindered from those continual prayers that are performed with the body, out of which prayer is born, you should fall down many times on your face at your seatjust as is described by your handsand spend a while in supplication, in such a way that converse with scripture may be intermingled with prayer.  Then, the light which you will receive from these two quarters will be raised up, to your soul's enjoyment.  As a result prayer will give you delight because of reading, and you will again be illumined in reading by means of the keys of prayer."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just guarding the walls for the sake of Christ

". . . one of the Fathers bids that, as a result of just being seated unoccupied in one's cell, sitting there without any work and just guarding the walls for the sake of the name of Christ, one should have great hope. . . ."

     St. Isaac the Syrian, "Concerning aspects of the way of stillness," =chap. 1 of the long-lost Second Part of the Writings, trans. Sebastian Brock. Sebastian Brock, "St Isaac the Syrian: two unpublished texts," Sobornost 19, no. 1 (1997): 19 (7-32).  "Abba Sarmata in Budge, The Book of Paradise, i. 593 (no.9)", according to Brock.

so that they might be aware of him

"he it is who, while dwelling in his own being when there was none to urge himin that nothing existedof his own accord and in his grace was pleased to will that the worlds should come into being so that they might be aware of him, and he effected the creation in his grace, even holding us human beingswho are dust from the earth, a mute natureworthy, for by means of his creative craftsmanship he raised us up to the state of rationality, so that we might stand and speak in his presence in prayer. . . ."

     St. Isaac the Syrian, "Concerning aspects of the way of stillness," =chap. 1 of the long-lost Second Part of the Writings, trans. Sebastian Brock.  Sebastian Brock, "St Isaac the Syrian:  two unpublished texts," Sobornost 19, no. 1 (1997):  27 (7-32).

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Joyce on the final form of the text

But this prying into the family life of a great man, Russell began impatiently.

Art thou there, truepenny?

Interesting only to the parish clerk.  I mean, we have the plays.  I mean when we read the poetry of King Lear what is it to us how the poet lived?  As for living our servants can do that for us, Villiers de l'Isle has said.  Peeping and prying into greenroom gossip of the day, the poet's drinking, the poet's debts.  We have King Lear:  and it is immortal.

James Joyce, Ulysses, Episode 9 (Ulysses:  the corrected text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler with Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior (New York, NY:  Random House, 1986), 155, ll. 181-188).

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"All at once, and with no two ways about it, I was being told to put my life in order."

". . . Yet more agreeable than bringing modern ideas and scholarship to the Poles was the sight of the old tried ways of Europe, thriving in the face of oppression, and awakening in the young British visitor the deep-down awareness of the Christian way of life. The Oxford students would come to Poland with left-liberal politics, agnostic beliefs, pleasure-loving ways and a habit of sneering at things old and venerable. All of them would leave in a thoughtful frame of mind, sceptical of political utopias, respectful of religion and with a new appreciation of the orderly soul and its destiny.
     "I differed from the students only in my starting point. I too was moved, refreshed and also troubled by those orderly souls that I encountered. . . . Most orderly of all was Barbara, and her beautiful lop-sided face with its high Slavonic cheekbones, dark eyes and left-handed smile gave the impression, when she looked at mewhich she did oftenthat she opened a door into my soul and stood quietly inside it. She was a messenger from another realman angel in the original meaning of the term; and she entered my life like an annunciation.
". . . it was no underground activist, no banned writer, no samizdat publisher, no chivalrous knight of a forbidden order who waited for me in the woods at Każimierż.  It was Basia, who stepped quietly across my path and looked with a disarming seriousness into my eyes.
     "'You have no ring on finger,' she said.  'But in West is freedom, and rings make chains.  So I ask a question.'
     "I took her hand, which was small, like a child's.
     "'Someone waits for you? You get down from that airplane and maybe a face with smiles and a flower comes out of a crowd?'
     "'No flower,' I responded truthfully.
     "'So, just a face.' She detached her hand. 'This is pity because already you are a little bit in my heart.'
     "I received this news in unastonished silence. All at once and with no two ways about it, I was being told to put my life in order.  I reviewed the chaos that had dogged me from year to year since my divorce, and to which I had never yet confessed.
     "'Well yes,' she said, 'you say nothing. It is not for a woman to tell feelingswoman must hide otherwise she is cheap. But you come here for truth I think. So it is much worse than I tell. I love you. I want to be yours. And it is impossible. This is God's work for me. Tohow do you saycome over my love?'
     "'Yes, overcome,' she said with a self-deprecating laugh. . . .
". . . Basia was young and her first need was to confess. I learned that the order in her soul was not innate but acquired, and acquired by swimming constantly against the current of sensual desire. She had visited England as an au pair to a Pakistani family, had been seduced by the husband, and had come back to Poland with his baby inside her. She had lived thereafter in the full consciousness of her body, knowing that it must be ruled and guided. She confessed to her unchastities with chaste and reverent words. And she brought home to me, then and subsequently, what is perhaps the most important truth conveyed by religion, . . . the truth that sex is either consecration or desecration, with no neutral territory between, and that nothing matters more than the customs, ceremonies and rites with which we lift the body above its material need and reshape it as soul. . . . Basia phrased [this thought] in the pure, simple, liturgical language of her church, and showed through her emotion that she had re-made herself, so as one day to give herself entirely. Perhaps she should have been a nun; but it was too late for that. Now her first thought was to encounter the temptation that I presented, not to flee from it, but to vanquish it. For the crazy idea had also come into her head that she could help me to salvation.
". . . [Basia] observed her world with the eye of religion, seeing in everything the sign of God's creative power and the call to free obedience. Hers was a simple, humble, priest-haunted life, and yet it was lived more intensely and more completely than mine. It was wholly natural to her to believe that fulfilment and renunciation coincide, and that a carnal love could be transcended, as the priestess Diotima revealed to Socrates, so as to rescue both lover and beloved from the dross of this world."

     Roger Scruton, "Stealing from churches," chap. 5 of Gentle regrets: thoughts from a life (London: Continuum, 2005), 72-76.

"the full power of worship will only be felt if its sacramental character is realized in undiminished form"

"the full power of [the Christian (73)] worship [that is irreversibly 'the deepest of the springs by which leisure is fed and continues to be vital' (69-70) but that 'cannot be "done" for the sake of' leisure (72)] will only be felt if its sacramental character is realized in undiminished form, that is, if the sign is fully visible.  In leisure, as was said, man oversteps the frontiers of the everyday workaday world, not in external effort and strain, but as though lifted above it in ecstacy.  That is the sense of the visibility of the sacrament:  that man is 'carried away' by it, thrown into 'ecstacy'.  Let no one imagine for a moment that that is a private and romantic interpretation.  The Church has pointed to the meaning of the incarnation of the Logos in the self-same words:  ut dum visibiliter Deum cognoscimus, per hunc in invisibilium amorem rapiamur, that we may be rapt into love of the invisible reality through the visibility of that first and ultimate sacrament:  the Incarnation."

Joseph Pieper, Leisure:  the basis of culture, trans. Alexander Dru (San Fransisco:  Ignatius Press, 2009 [1963/1952]) , 73-74.  The Latin is from the Preface of the Nativity (Octave of Christmas, i.e. Christmas Day through Epiphany Eve, with the exception of the Feast of St. John), and goes back to the Gregorian Sacramentary (nos. 38, 51, and 1537) at least.  See The Gregorian sacramentary under Charles the Great:  edited from three mss. of the 9th century by H. A. Wilson, Henry Bradshaw Society 49 (London:  Henry Bradshaw Society, 1915), :
for through the mystery of the Word made flesh thy splendour has shone before our mind's eye with a new radiance, and through him whom we recognize as God made visible we are carried away in love of things invisible
(The MIssal in Latin and English, being the text of the Missale Romanum with English rubrics and a new translation (New York:  Sheed & Ward, 1959), 763).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"those rootless celebrations, carefully and unspontaneously prepared beforehand, and as artificial as a maypole"

"a feast 'without gods', and unrelated to worship, is quite simply unknown.  It is true that ever since the French Revolution attempts have repeatedly been made to manufacture feast days and holidays that have no connection with divine worship, or are sometimes even opposed to it:  'Brutus days', or even that hybrid, 'Labor Day'.  In point of fact the stress and strain of giving them some kind of festal appearance is one of the very best proofs of the significance of divine worship for a feast; and nothing illustrates so clearly that festivity is only possible where divine worship is still a vital actand nothing shows this so clearly as a comparison between a living and deeply traditional feast day, with its roots in divine worship, and one of those rootless celebrations, carefully and unspontaneously prepared beforehand, and as artificial as a maypole."

Josef Pieper, Leisure:  the basis of culture, trans. Alexander Dru (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2009 [1963/1952]), 66.  "Certainly we must ask whether the great epoch of artificial festivals ['devoid of the true and ultimate affirmation of the world that is the essence of the festive'] is not still to come" (66).

Pieper on an all-too familiar form of codependency

"all these different forms of proletarianism, particularly the last two, mutually attract one another and in so doing intensify each other.  The 'total work' State needs the spiritually impoverished, one-track mind of the 'functionary'; and he, in his turn, is naturally inclined to find complete satisfaction in his 'service' and thereby achieves the illusion of a life fulfilled. . . ."

Joseph Pieper, Leisure:  the basis of culture, trans. Alexander Dru (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2009 [1963/1952]), 58.  Proletarianism is defined here as "a symptomatic state of mind common to all levels of society and by no means confined to the 'proletariat', to the 'worker', a general symptom that is merely found isolated in unusually acute form in the proletariat; so that it might be asked whether we are not all of us proletarians and all of us, consequently, ripe and ready to fall into the hands of some collective labor State and be at its disposal as functionarieseven though explicitly of the contrary political opinion" (58-59).

Does the unreconstructed 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century insistence on the suffering of God rest on THIS mistake?

"This aspect too of 'intellectual work'the exaggerated value which is put upon the 'difficult' simply because it is difficultbecomes evident in the accentuation of a particular trait in the look of the 'worker':  the fixed, mask-like readiness to suffer in vacuo, without relation to anything.  It is the absence of any connection with reality or real values that is distinctive.  And it is because this readiness to suffer (which has been called the heart of discipline, of whatever kind) never asks the question 'to what end' that it is utterly different from the Christian conception of sacrifice.  The Christian conception of sacrifice is not concerned with the suffering involved qua suffering, it is not primarily concerned with the toil and the worry and with the difficulty, but with salvation, with the fullness of being, and thus ultimately with the fullness of happiness:  'The end and the norm of discipline is happiness.'"

Josef Pieper, Leisure:  the basis of culture, trans. Alexander Dru (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2009 [1963/1952]), 35.  The closing sentence is from Summa theologiæ 1 (not 1):  temperantiae ipsius finis et regula est beatitudo.



A tradition associated with Epiphany in southern Bohemia of the baroque period, at least:  children collecting money for the poor inscribe C+M+B plus the date in chalk on the lintels of the doors that are opened to them.  Bernard Klasen, "Passer la porte, penser la porte," Transversalités (Institut Catholique de Paris) 92 (Octobre-Décembre 2004):  123-124 (123-130).

Martin Walraff's "«Ego sum ostium»:  Kirchenportale und andere Türen im antiken Christentum" (Theologische Zeitschrift 62, no. 2 (2006):  321-327) has more on this at pp. 324-325 and 325n16 (where he gives three further references), though without restricting the custom to southern Bohemia.  The example he gives is 20+C+M+B+10.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Takuan on "the central Buddhist teaching of no-self that sees no evil in killing"

"The uplifted sword has no will of its own, it is all of emptiness.  It is like a flash of lightning.  The man who is about to be struck down is also of emptiness, and so is the one who wields the sword.  None of them are possessed of a mind that has any substantiality.  As each of them is of emptiness and has no 'mind', the striking man is not a man, the sword in his hands is not a sword and the 'I' who is about to be struck down is like the splitting of the spring breeze in a flash of lightning."

"the seventeenth-century Zen Master Takuan," as quoted by Katherine Wharton, in her review of Buddhist warfare (ed. Michael K. Jerryson and Mark Juergensmeyer (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2010)) entitled "Pen and the sword:  the doctrine of no-self sees no evil in killing," Times literary supplement, October 1, 2010, p. 10 (10-11).  Wharton speaks of "the overwhelming historical evidence of human evil set out in Buddhist Warfare", and, following the essay therein by Brian Victoria, implicates especially D. T. Suzuki in "unqualified support" for "the 'unity of Zen and the sword'".

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pomplun on the high medievals on Hilary

"the beatific vision is thus the sole instance in which an act of the will is wholly free and wholly subject to its own natural necessity. . . . in stark contrast to modern voluntarism . . . the soul enjoys such delightful spontaneity only because she has been created with a natural desire for supernatural fulfillment.
"This conception of the beatific vision is an important bulwark against the misleading objection that Hilary's teaching implies that the Word did not suffer 'naturally' or 'spontaneously.' . . . The beatific act that perfects human nature cannot make us less human. . . . Christ's impassibilitythe unique integrity of his body and soulis precisely what allows him to experience pain more vehemently and so identify with those who suffer in a way that we cannot. . . . Christ's freedom from pain's tyranny cannot make him less free. . . .
"Just as perfect impassibility ensures that Christ feels suffering and sorrow all the more vehemently, the perfect love the beatific vision enables Christ to accept that suffering and sorrow with a perfectly natural spontaneity.  Christ's possession of the beatific vision not only guarantees that his humanity is a perfect instrument (in the properly Thomistic sense of the phrase), it also ensures that his sacred body suffers in the mystical proportion necessary to reconcile the world to himself.  His saving atonement, the consummation of love and spontaneity, requires nothing less than perfect impassibility.  More importantly, the two are theologically inseparable:  The suffering that Christ obediently undertook as a necessary component of his mission'He learned obedience from what He suffered' (Heb. 5:8)becomes true passion by dint of the perfect and total cooperation afforded by the beatific vision that Christ possessed from the moment of his conception'For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world' (John 18:37).
"And so it remains that Christ felt the force of his suffering without its sorrow, for his suffering was made all the greater by the impassible nature he had from the Father, coursing into the soul that bore his body across the waters, that shook his sacred body with tears for his friend Lazarus, that blazed in his transfiguration like fire flashing from an alabaster jar.  That Hilary saw no need to trisect Christ into deity, soul, and body is his strength.  But if we must import the later categories of divine and human nature, considered abstractly, into his meditations, we can see that the medieval and early modern treatments of Hilary largely make more sense than most of our contemporary historical treatments.  Knowing full well the difficulties that surrounded Hilary's peculiar vocabulary, these theologians confronted the difficult passages of De Trinitate with the the same ardor, but without the same perplexity, as many of their modern successors.  Having never forgotten the spiritual importance of impassibility, they applied the necessary distinctions in the serenity afforded by their common tradition.  They maximilized the Patristic tradition, to be sure, but they also humanized Christ, and their joint contribution to Christology shows us that impassibilityproperly understoodallows Christ to suffer more, not less; allows him to do so with greater freedom, not less; allows him to embody the maximal love (John 15:12) and nothing less.  It allows, in sum, God's power to be made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9), and so overcome weakness once and for all."

Trent Pomplun, "Impassibility in St. Hilary of Poitier's De Trinitate," in Divine impassibility and the mystery of human suffering, ed. James F. Keating and Thomas Joseph White, O.P. (Grand Rapids, MI:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 211-213 (187-213).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Nor are we expected to forgive the unrepentant sinner."

"no reconciliation, no forgiveness and no negotiations are possible without repentance. The Biblical teaching on reconciliation and forgiveness makes it quite clear that nobody can be forgiven and reconciled with God unless he or she repents of their sins. Nor are we expected to forgive the unrepentant sinner. When he or she repents we must be willing to forgive seventy times seven times but before that, we are expected to preach repentance to those who sin against us or against anyone. Reconciliation, forgiveness and negotiations will become our Christian duty in South Africa only when the apartheid regime shows signs of genuine repentance."

     Challenge to the church:  a theological comment on the political crisis in South Africa (The KAIROS document, 25 September 1985), 3.1 (Reconciliation).  I have not read this through.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Schweitzer on service: "the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

"And when I answer such letters I add something else:  'Seek a humble sort of thing.'  Our hearts often look for something very big, something wanting a lot of sacrifice, and often our heart does not see the humble things.  At first you must learn to do the humble things and often they are the most difficult to do.  In those humble things, be busy about helping someone who has need of you.  You see somebody alonetry and be with him, try to give him some of the hours which you might take for yourself and in that way learn to serve:  and then only will you begin to find true happiness.  I don't know what your destiny will be.  Some of you will perhaps occupy remarkable positions.  Perhaps some of you will become famous by your pens, or as artists.  But I know one thing:  the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

Albert Schweitzer, in a speech to the students of Silcoates School, Wakefield (along with "a number of boys and girls from Ackworth School"), on "The Meaning of Ideals in Life," at approximately 3:40 p.m. on 3 December 1935.  "Visit of Dr. Albert Schweitzer" (as translated from the French of the address by Dr. Schweitzer's interpreter), The Silcoatian, New Series No. 25 (December, 1935):  784-785 (781-786 with 771-772 ("Things in General")).  I have mounted the scan of the entire address so kindly supplied by Louise Leach, Administrative Assistant to the Silcoates School Foundation, on 3 November 2010, with her permission, granted on 7 February 2011.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Scruton on freedom

"We are not born free. Freedom is something we acquire. And we acquire it through obedience."

     Roger Scruton, in The uses of pessimism and the danger of false hope (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2010), 50, as quoted in The Telegraph by Simon Heffer on 12 June 2010.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Snyder on the Holocaust

"Rather than consider the political or historical backdrop, we should rely upon our intuitions, upon 'what we know about individual and social life in general.' This ostensible knowledge includes the capacity to perceive the 'beast within'—within other people, that is, never Goldhagen himself or his readers. National societies, we are to understand, differ in their level of subhumanity: 'there is variation of beastliness across cultures and subcultures.'
"Goldhagen's writing has been, as his publisher says, 'very popular,' perhaps because it is tempting to distinguish among murderers and the murdered in such a stark way. [Yet] Goldhagen's own categories, if rigorously applied, reveal a problem with his approach. For Goldhagen, a 'perpetrator' is someone who 'knowingly contributes in some tangible way to the deaths or elimination of others, or to injuring others as part of an annihilationist or an eliminationist program.' . .
"Goldhagen is right that no account can do without the ideologically motivated leaders. . . . [Yet] in Engelking and Leociak's compendium of the creation and destruction of the Warsaw ghetto, the importance of its two thousand Jewish policemen is also excruciatingly clear. They did most of the work and they knew what was happening; by Goldhagen's definition, they too were 'perpetrators.' As such, the Jewish policemen must have acted, in Goldhagen's account, according to their anti-Semitic desire to eliminate Jews. This is absurd.
"Goldhagen might of course counter that Jewish policemen acted from non-ideological motivations, such as the desire to save themselves or their families. But his analysis leaves no room for perpetrators who act according to such calculations. He might wish to argue that Jewish policemen armed with clubs were taking orders from German policemen armed with guns, as was the case. But Goldhagen explicitly and repeatedly denies the importance of coercion to the actions of perpetrators. He seems reluctant to examine the layers of authority that brought Jews to the death factories. . . .
"Goldhagen is of course right that anti-Semitism is indispensable to the explanation of the Holocaust. Where Goldhagen differs from other scholars is his impatience with plural causality. . . . He is wrong to see free will, and only free will, everwhere we find mass killing. The Holocaust as it actually happened involved the participation of many tens of thousands of people who, contrary to Goldhagen, had no 'decision-making moment,' had not 'freely opted' to participate in the killing, and had taken part in no murderous 'conversation about the dehumanized or demonized victims.'
". . . Like the Jewish policemen, [these captured Soviet soldiers under German command] were not free actors realizing their individual wills withing 'supportive eliminationist milieus.'"

Timothy Snyder, "What we need to know about the Holocaust," New York review of books 57, no. 14 (September 30, 2010), 78.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yeago on "the gnostic and antinomian devolution of contemporary Protestantism"

     "If it is true that the law oppresses simply because of its formal character as ordered demand, then the converse would seem to hold:  anything with the formal character of ordered demand oppresses.  That is to say, anything which proposes some particular ordering of our existence or calls for a determinate response from us will be perceived as being, simply as such, the oppressive law from which the gospel delivers us.  And since the gospel's liberating character is defined in terms of its antithesis to the law, it will not be our sinful abuse of the law and hostility to the commandment, and God's wrath against us on that account, from which the gospel liberates us.  Rather, the gospel will liberate us from the situation of having to hear commandment at all, from having to reckon with any word whatsoever which has the formal character of ordered demand.
     "Thus the law oppresses because it proposes a determinate ordering of our existence and calls for a specified response, and it follows that the gospel liberates because it delivers from determinate order and specified response. . . ."
"already in the tough-minded [Werner] Elert[, even,] we are [therefore] well on the way to contemporary tender-minded rhetoric about all those 'hurting people' who need more than anything else to be liberated from all order and absolved of all expectations by the redemptive 'inclusivity' of the antinomian church."

     David S. Yeago, "Gnosticism, antinomianism, and Reformation theology:  reflections on the costs of a construal," Pro ecclesia 2, no. 1 (Winter 1993):  41, 42 (37-49).  But the costs are not just ethical; they are also dogmatic (pp. 43 ff.).  For "Within a horizon structured by the absolute antithesis of law and gospel, of form and freedom, dogma must be suspect simply as such, as a form of that oppression and bondage from which the gospel is to liberate us" (43):
     It is not only that from within a theological universe structured by the absolute antithesis of law and gospel the very idea of dogma is finally inadmissable. . . . The problem lies even deeper.  If the saving gift of God through the gospel is deliverance from form, liberation from order and the call for order, then the God of the gospel cannot himself be a God who has 'taken form' concretely in history.  When the law/gospel distinction is absolutized, it becomes at least plausible to regard the triune God, the God who is conclusively self-bestowed and self-identified in the particular history of Jesus, as the oppressive, hidden God of the law, the God who enslaves and torments the human spirit.  As Robert W. Jenson has written, 
Surely, it is said, God . . . cannot be Jewish, or male, or a figure from a long-past century, or an apocalyptic seer, or hung up on legal commandments, or . . . Whatever may be true of the human individual Jesus, it is said, surely the 'Christ' of Christianity must be a 'Christ principle' or a 'Logos-in-itself' or something similarly metaphysical and malleable, that is not Jewish, or male, or crucified, or blessed with a mother, or hung up on righteousness, or etc.
     It matters little what feature of the particularity of God's self-bestowal is singled out for offense; the deeper offense is that God should take form in history at all.
     The logic is simple:  if form is enslavement, then a God who took form in history would be an enslaving God.  The liberating God must therefore be a formless God, a God at most dialectically related to any particular form, a God who is everywhere and nowhere, whose faceless elusiveness frees us from the tyranny of the particular and ordered and definitive.  This is the God whom, we are told, we must not 'limit,' that is, whom we must not confess as definitively self-given and self-identified in Jesus Christ.  This is the God whom we know only in an endless sequence of throwaway 'images' whose utility consist solely in their novelty, their capacity to shake us loose from familiar forms.  This is the God with whom we commune only on an endless 'spiritual journey,' an infinite quest with no goal and no purpose except sheer ceaseless movement beyond form [43-44].

Monday, September 20, 2010

Labourdette on faith as, not test, but indispensable principle

"the recognition of the divine authority in the testimony of the First Truth calls on our part for [simple] obedience and the acceptance of what it affirms, but that is not the whole of faith; above all it is in no sense its raison d'être.  God does not demand faith of us in order to humble [(humilier)] us in this time of testing; he gives it to us as the indispensable principle of our orientation towards our supernatural end, the beatific vision; he thus offers us already, but on [the strength of] his word, not face to face, the First Truth the [ultimate] vision of which will [someday] beatify us.  It is to this Truth that faith unites us; the substance of the object of faith, this will be what manifests to us its mystery and the means by which God saves us and leads us to see him in heaven."

M.-M. Labourdette, O.P., "La vie théologale selon saint Thomas," Revue thomiste 58 (1958):  614 (597-622).

Gavrilyuk on the rule of faith

"the diversity of early Christianity was substantially different from that of pagan religions and early Judaism.  The concern for the unity of the kerygma, for the right teaching and practice was dominant in Christianity from the very beginning.  The pagan cults, in contrast, exhibited no tendency toward the unification of beliefs.  While some syncretism and blending was inevitable, the cultic leaders showed no interest in reconciling divergent mythological accounts or providing one confessional statement. . . .
"The Christianity of the great church emerged and differentiated itself from all religions of the Roman Empire, as well as from most of its heterodox rivals, as a confessional faith, as a religion uniquely committed to the rule of faith."

Paul L. Gavrilyuk, "Scripture and the regula fidei:  two interlocking components of the canonical heritage," Canonical theism:  a proposal for theology and the church, ed. William J. Abraham, Jason E. Vickers, and Natalie B. Van Kirk (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2008), 33 (27-42).  Footnote after "from the very beginning" cites Gal 1:6-9, 5:20; 1 Cor 11:18-20; 1 Tim 1:3; Heb 2:1; Acts 18:26; 1 John 2:24, 4:2-3; Ignatius, Trallians 6.1, Philadelphians 2.1; Polycarp 3.1.  Footnote after "a religion uniquely committed to the rule of faith" quotes Frances Young as follows:
Christianity is the only major religion to set such store by creeds and doctrines.  Other religions have Scriptures, others have their characteristic ways of worship, others have their own peculiar ethics and lifestyle. . . . But except in response to Christianity, they have not developed creeds, statements of standard belief to which the orthodox are supposed to adhere
(The making of the creeds (London:  SCM Press, 1991), 1).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wesley on the early Quakers, among others

"[I.]4. Yet the number of those who abused the ordinances of God was far greater than of those who despised them, till certain men arose, not only of great understanding (sometimes joined with considerable learning), but who likewise appeared to be men of love, experimentally acquainted with true, inward religion.  Some of these were burning and shining lights, persons famous in their generations, and such as had well deserved of the church of Christ for standing in the gap against the overflowings of ungodliness.
"It cannot be supposed that these holy and venerable men intended any more at first than to show that outward religion is nothing worth without the religion of the heart; that 'God is a Spirit, and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth;' that, therefore, external worship is lost labour without a heart devoted to God; that the outward ordinances of God then profit much when they advance inward holiness, but when they advance it not are unprofitable and void, are lighter than vanity; yea, that when they are used, as it were, in the place of this, they are an utter abomination to the Lord.
"5. Yet is it not strange if some of these, being strongly convinced of that horrid profanation of the ordinances of God which had spread itself over the whole church, and wellnigh driven true religion out of the world, in their fervent zeal for the glory of God and the recovery of souls from that fatal delusion, spake as if outward religion were absolutely nothing, as if it had no place in the religion of Christ.  It is not surprising at all if they should not always have expressed themselves with sufficient caution; so that unwary hearers might believe they condemned all outward means as altogether unprofitable, and as not designed of God to be the ordinary channels of conveying his grace into the souls of men.
"Nay, it is not impossible some of these holy men did at length themselves fall into this opinion:  in particular those who, not by choice, but by the providence of God, were cut off from all these ordinances—perhaps wandering up and down, having no certain abiding-place, or dwelling in dens and caves of the earth.  These, experiencing God's grace in themselves, though they were deprived of all outward means, might infer that the same grace would be given to them who of set purpose abstained from them."

John Wesley, "The Means of Grace" (Sermon 16 (which is undatable), on Mal. 3:7), [I.]4-5.  The works of John Wesley (The Bicentennial edition of the works of John Wesley), ed. Albert C. Outler et al., vol. 1, Sermons I, 1-33 (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, ), 379-380.  Wesley continues as follows:

"6. And experience shows how easily this notion spreads, and insinuates itself into the minds of men:  especially of those who are throughly [sic] awakened out of the sleep of death, and begin to feel the weight of their sins a burden too heavy to be borne.  These are usually impatient of their present state, and trying every way to escape from it.  They are always ready to catch at any new thing, any new proposal of ease or happiness.  They have probably tried most outward means, and found no ease in them—it may be, more and more of remorse and fear and sorrow and condemnation.  It is easy, therefore, to persuade these that it is better for them to abstain from all those means.  They are already weary of striving (as it seems) in vain, of labouring in the fire; and are therefore glad of any pretense to cast aside that wherein their soul had no pleasure; to give over the painful strife, and sink down into an idolent inactivity."

Those last lines would be unfairly applied to the leading early Quakers, but the first four paragraphs are wonderfully generous.  I'm not sure that the position Wesley assumes in response (his position on the number (II.1 par. 4) but also nature of "the means of grace") is quite enough of a corrective, but find his insistence that the Quakers and other such "burning and shining lights" (Jn 5:35) be considered saints virtually driven into error by the consolations afforded them in a time of great persecution (application to them of Heb 11:38, among others!) very moving.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Newman on those who mistake the signs of His coming

"I had rather be he, who, from love of Christ and want of science, thinks some strange sight in the sky, comet or meteor, to be the sign of His coming, than the man, who, from more knowledge and from lack of love, laughs at the mistake."

John Henry (Cardinal) Newman, "Waiting for Christ" (6 December 1840, on Rev 16:15), Parochial and plain sermons, vol. 6, Sermon 17.  Cardinal Newman's best plain sermons, ed. Vincent Ferrer Blehl, S.J. (New York, NY: Herder and Herder, 1964), 129 (120-137).  This follows
though Christians might be mistaken in what they took to be signs of Christ's coming, yet they were not wrong in their state of mind; they were not mistaken in looking out, and that for Christ.  Whether credulous or not, they only acted as one acts towards some person beloved, or revered, or admired on earth.  Consider the mode in which loyal persons look up to a good prince; you will find stories current, up and down the country, in his favour; people delight in believing that they have fallen in with tokens of his beneficence, nobleness, and paternal kindness.  Many of these reports are false, yet others are true, and, on the whole, we should not think highly of that man who, instead of being touched at this mutual sympathy between sovereign and people, occuped himself merely in carping at what he called their credulity, and sifting the accuracy of this or that particular story.  A great thing, truly, after all, to be able to detect a few mis-statements, and to expose a few fictions, and to be without a heart!  And forsooth, on the other hand, a sad deficiency in that people, I suppose, merely to be right on the whole, not in every particular, and to have the heart right!  Who would envy such a man's knowledge?  Who would not rather have that people's ignorance?  And, in like manner, I had rather . . .
etc. (128-129). Nonetheless, Newman does distinguish "loyal persons" like these from "Enthusiasts, sectaries, wild presumptuous men" (131).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Newman's toast

"if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts, (which indeed does not seem quite the thing) I shall drink,—to the Pope, if you please,—still, to conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards."

John Henry Newman, A letter addressed to His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, on occasion of Mr. Gladstone's recent expostulation § 5 (Conscience) ((London:  B. M. Pickering, 1875), 66).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dupré on the embellishment "by a religious glow" of one's "basically secular existence"

"the fundamental question from our point of view is not whether the new trend is weak or strong, but whether it is fully religious, that is, whether it restores the sacred to its previous position. . . . Indeed, one might intepret the [new] religious trend as a more radical (and more sophisticated) effort to be secular by expanding the immanent world view so as to include even the religious experience.  Thus modern man would attempt to embellish by a religious glow his basically secular existence. . . . After man has ceased to take seriously the traditional expressions of the transcendent, he nevertheless continues to feel the need for that other dimension which neither Enlightenment nor scientism nor even the new social activism can provide.  So he endeavors to regain the experience which now lies buried in deserted cathedrals and forgotten civilizations.  But he intends to do so at no cost to his secular lifestyle, that is, without accepting a commitment to the transcendent as to another reality.  Instead of risking the leap into the great unknown which his ancestors so adventurously took, he cultivates self-expanding feelings.  He may even share his religious enthusiasm with a privileged few and articulate it in symbols borrowed from ancient traditions.  But by and large he is not committed to their content and his concern remains primarily with his own states of mind."

Louis Dupré, "Has the secularist crisis come to an end?," Listening 9, no. 3 (1974):  14 (7-19).  "feelings, by their very nature, lack real transcendence.  One feels one's feelings and nothing more. . . . to be truly religious, feelings must be determined by a more outward-oriented act:  In themselves, they remain self-centered and never fully deserve the name religious.  There is no doubt that feelings and passive experiences have at all times played an important role in the religious consciousness.  But they have never been sufficient.  Today this is more than ever the case because the 'religious feelings' of the new culture are, as a rule, no longer contained within the complex structure of dogmas, myths and moral and ritual demands which once provided them with the necessary outward-orientation.  They appear in a more fragmented state, isolated from any religious attitudes.  To escape the immanence of the secular universe demands a positive commitment" (15).