Monday, June 26, 2017

"Whenever the Church renounces . . . her native tongues"

"progressive Catholicism (a category that for [Del Noce] would include both the Catholic left and elements of the Catholic right) has aided and abetted the new totalitarianism and made its home comfortably within it. We see this whenever the Church renounces her own inherent 'Platonism' by speaking in the language of psychology, sociology, economics, and politics rather than in her native tongues of metaphysics and theology."

     Michael Hanby, "What Del Noce saw," First things no. 274 (June/July 2017):  51 (49-51).  The crisis we find ourselves in "will continue apace until we somehow rediscover an ethics distinct from politics, a truth distinct from function, an authority distinct from power."

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dennis Duncan in a wonderful article on "the weaponized index"

William King, Times literary supplement
"The fashion for satirical indexes had begun in 1698, when the poet and lawyer William King contributed a four-page table to the second edition of Charles Boyle's attack on the King's Librarian, Richard Bentley.  King's index, inserted at the back of the book, was entitled 'A Short Account of Dr. Bentley by Way of Index', and sure enough, each of the headwords relates to some aspect of Bentley's low character:  his 'egregious dullness, p. 74, 106, 119, 135, 136, 137, 241', for example, his 'familiar acquaintance with Books that he never saw, p. 76, 98, 115, 232', or his 'Pedantry, from p. 93 to 99, 144, 216'.
     "King's index is a rather wonderful twofold attack on Bentley—as Isaac Disraeli once put it, it is 'at once a satirical character of the great critic, and what it professes to be'.  Thus, part of the fun is that those page references are real ones. . . .  At the same time, the 'Short Account' is also a covert attack on Bentley for being an 'index-scholar', a pedant whose scholarship is based on 'alphabetical learning'—looking things up in tables—rather than a real affinity with the works of the ancients."

     Dennis Duncan, "Hoggs that Sh—te Soap, p. 66," Times literary supplement no. (January 15, 2016):  14 (14-15).  Duncan goes on to talk about indexes prepared for the books of the targets themselves, "a new method for satirically attacking the publications of one's political enemies", as, for example, in the case of this index, directed against a work of the young Addison:
Uncultivated Plants rise naturally about Cassis (Where do they not?), p. 1 
The Author has not yet seen any Gardens in Italy worth taking notice of.  No matter, p. 59
And, in the Preface to its second edition,
[This Table] is not indeed of the same bulk with some Dutch Lexicons and Glossaries, but I do not however despair of its finding a place, (as it is an Index) in the most Letter'd, Renowned and Humane Dr. Bentley's Library.
     Now, see, here I, too, a "reference librarian" and therefore an eminent practitioner of the shady art and superficial collecting practices of Dr. Bentley, have turned yet again to "'Common-placing and Indexing'" (15), in this case of an article on "Common-placing and Indexing" as a satirical practice directed against commonplacers, indexers, and all those who rely unduly on works of reference as a way of pretending to more learning than they actually have.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"I have often been disgusted with myself when I came down from the pulpit."

"Ich habe mich offte selbst angespeiet, wan ich vom predigstuel komen bin."

I have often spit upon/despised myself when I have come from the pulpit:  Shame on you!  How did you preach?  You delivered that really well, stuck to no outline [(hast kein Concept gehalten; nullum servasti conceptum)] (as conceived of by you [(wie du es gefaßt hettest)])!  And [yet] the very same sermon have the people praised, [saying] that it has been a long time since I have delivered so fine [a] sermon.  When I have climbed down from the pulpit [(Wan ich hinunter vom predigstuel gestiegen bin)], then have I recalled and realized that I have preached nothing or very little of what, in my mind, I had intended to [(davon . . . das ich bey mir concipirt habe; cf. conceptum/Concept, above)].
In my case, too, it often happens that the delivery of [a] sermon of mine has filled me with shame [(me puduerit, PAi3S)] and perhaps [even] caused me to look upon myself [(putaverim me, PAS1S, I may have esteemed myself)] most coldly.  And [yet] afterwards, by contrast, I have heard the opinion of [my] auditors, who were commending it vehemently.
Thanks to my colleague Robert Smith for posing the question of authenticity and prompting this research.  Being no expert in early 16th-century German (or Latin, for that matter!), I would welcome any suggestions for improvement in these translations.

"Leading or following, the human being who loves" is participating in an archetypical Trinitarian Life

"The redemptive work of God in the world is the common fruit of the Father's power and the Son's pure gift of self ([the] impotence of the cross), while [(et)] the indissociable unity of the [opposing] characteristics [(traits)] of the two is secured [(posée)] here by the Holy Spirit.  An [(L')] effective unity becomes for this reason directly possible:  because the two participants (Father and Son, man and woman) act in love in the most polarized [(polaire)] fashion possible, not in the most assimilated [(semblable)].  It is in the polarity that the equivalence of love (in God an [(l') equivalence] of essence) is guaranteed."

     Adrienne von Speyer, Theologie der Geschlechter, NB 12 (Einsiedeln:  Johannes Verlag, 1969), 23, as quoted in French by Antoine Birot, "Le fondement christologique et de la différence sexuelle selon «Théologie des sexes» (NB XII) de Adrienne von Speyr," Revue catholique internationale Communio 31, nos. 5-6 (septembre décembre 2006):  128 (123-134).  The headine is from p. 36 (the last paragraph in the article).

Sensus plenior, sensus CONSTITUTIVUS

Wycliffe College
"Radner's burden is to show that, far from being a practice limited to the likes of Origen, Augustine, and Wycliffe, figural reading endured as an essential feature of Christian thought among early modern interpreters (Puritans) and flourishes in contemporary churches as well (Pentecostals).
     "One of Radner's central arguments, then, is that figural reading is very much a universal practice identifiable with the Christian Church whenever and wherever it has existed. . . . That figural reading has atrophied in the last two hundred years is not to be explained by its actual deficiencies but rather by Christians' failure to understand what figural reading truly involves."

     Michael C. Legaspi, "Figure it in," a review of Time and the word:  figural reading of the Christian scriptures (Eerdmans, 2016), by Ephraim Radner, First things no. 274 (June/July 2017):  55 (55-56).

The objectivity of the subjective

Wikimedia Commons
"the so-called subjective, or inner, view of things is no less objective than the objective or mechanical view of things.  When questions about the subjective are asked carefully, and in the right way, they are as reliable as the experiments of physics."

     Christopher Alexander, "Making the garden," First things no. 260 (February 2016):  27 (23-28).

"the courage to treat falsehoods with the contempt they deserve"

Wikimedia Commons
"idiots utter idiocies just as plum trees produce plums. . . . The problem is that some readers take them seriously."

     Simon Leys, of the Maoist Maria-Antonietta Macciocchi's On China, as quoted by Henri Astier, "In the age of sham and amnesia," Times literary supplement no. 5885 (January 15, 2016):  5 (5, 7).  The clause in the headline is Astier's.