Saturday, September 2, 2017

ICEL, the International Commission for Emotivism in the Liturgy?

Sankt Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, 390, p. 84 (c. 980+)
How the heck do you get from
Domini est terra et plenitudo eius; venite, adoremus eum 
The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; come, let us adore him
Come, let us worship God who holds the world and its wonders in his creating hand 
(Antiphon to the Invitatory, Saturday, Weeks 1 and 3)?
Or to
Come, let us worship God who brings the world and its wonders from darkness into light 
(not yet sure where this one comes from, but see, if not the Liturgy of the hours itself, then at least

Friday, September 1, 2017

"The Christian can accept a fact which is incompatible with Christianity: he cannot accept a theory which is incompatible with Christianity."

     T. S. Eliot, "The Christian in the modern world," a previously unpublished lecture "delivered at the annual meeting of the Church Union Literature Association at Church House on January 31, 1935."  "Outside the catacombs," Times literary supplement no. _____ (July 7, 2017):  16 (16-18).  Eliot is discussing the distinction between "support[ing] a system which is in existence," and "giv[ing] assent to one which is as yet ideal," namely either Communism or Fascism.

"What ideological and semantic shifts might achieve better results, by enrolling everyone in a more productive dialogue?"

"Like Gay, when attempting to discuss white privilege, Eddo-Lodge encounters denial and defensivenessthis is, she says, 'one of the reasons why I stopped talking to white people about race.  Trying to convince stony faces of disbelief has never appealed to me.'  Gay is more circumspect.  'We need to stop playing Privilege or Oppression Olympics', she says, 'because we'll never get anywhere until we find more effective ways of talking about difference.  Indeed, Eddo-Lodge nuances her own stance:  'I am also an insider in so many ways.  I am university-educated, able-bodied, and I speak and write in ways very similar to those I criticize.'  This begs the question:  if we accept that privilege is 'relative and contextual', as [Roxanne] Gay suggests, do we need to re-examine the notion and naming of white privilege?  What ideological and semantic shifts might achieve better results, by enrolling everyone in a more productive dialogue?"

     Bernardine Evaristo, "Check your privilege:  a provocative argument about race relations," Times literary supplement no. ____ (July 7, 2017):  12.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The "'structural' sin of modern liberal cultures"

"the peculiarity of our age lies precisely in its ability to render invisible, as it were, the primacy it accords to relations of power, through its claim of a technology or technical expertise or institutional procedures considered 'neutral' 'in themselves,' and thereby supposedly equally open to moral or immoral use.  Our age's distinctive 'imbecilism,' in other words, consists in its ignorance of the more basicontological-theologicalsense in which a false primacy of power-relations is  hidden already in this claim of neutrality."

     David L. Schindler, "The meaning of the human in a technological age:  Homo faber, Homo sapiens, Homo amans," Communio:  international Catholic review 26, no. 1 (Spring 1999):  90-91 (80-103).
what is most objectionable about 'proceduralism' is not so much that it grants priority to (putatively empty) form over substance, but that the priority it grants to form itself already hiddenly contains (however unwittingly) the substance of mechanism.  'Empty' procedures are exactly the mechanized hence dumb procedures that Bernanos saw as the content of imbecilism.
     . . . an appeal to 'formal' institutional procedures and freedom of choice as the primary means for putting forward a genuinely creaturely notion of the self just so far already embodies (however hiddenly and unwittingly) a contrary, technological notion of the self.  Here, then, we see the peculiar difficulty in dealing with modern technological problems:  those who would offer a solution to these problems characteristically appeal to methods that imply a primacy of the (mechanistic) anthropology-ontology which, at the most basic (objective) level, generates the problems in the first place. . . .
     . . . particular attention must be given to the distinct way in which modern liberal societies conceal their (ontological-spiritual) ambiguity and indeed 'voluntarize-privatize' their sin:  that is, by claiming to have carved out 'public-institutional-technical-procedural' space empty in principle of any ('evil') ideology, leaving evil to be exhaustively identified with an always (supposedly) private abuse of freedom [(99-101)].

Hope springs eternal

"Believers told each other stories of how Hitler carryied a well-thumbed New Testament in his vest pocket.  Even in 1941, a rumor spread 'that Hitler had experienced a conversion [and] now confesses the Christian faith.'"

     Alec Ryrie, Protestants:  the faith that made the modern world (New York:  Viking, 2017), 273, citing The Third Reich and the Christian churches, ed. Peter Matheson (Edinburgh:  T & T Clark, 1981), 96.  This is followed immediately by the section on the German Christians, whose "de-Judaized Bible," the Botschaft Gottes (Weimar:  Verlag Deutsche Christen, 1940), got it nowhere with the Nazis (273-277).