Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Eucharistic Advent. Not First or Second, but Sacramental

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand; | Ponder nothing earthly-minded, for with Blessing in His Hand | Christ our God to earth descendeth, our full homage to demand.

King of Kings, yet born of Mary, as of old on earth He stood, | Lord of Lords, in Human Vesture—in the Body and the Blood— | He will give to all the Faithful His Own Self for Heavenly Food.

Rank on rank the Host of Heaven spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of Light descendeth from the realms of endless day,
That the Powers of Hell may vanish as the darkness clears away.

At His Feet the six-winged Seraph:  Cherubim with sleepless eye
Veil their faces to the Presence, as with ceaseless Voice they cry—
Alleliua, Alleliua, Alleliua, Lord most High!

     Gerard Moultrie, Lyra eucharistica: hymns and verses on the holy communion, ancient and modern; with other poems, 2nd ed. (London:  Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1864), 133, following a prose translation of the Cherubic Hymn (τοῦ χερουβικοῦ) of the mid-5th-century-or-earlier Liturgy of St. James by Thomas Rattray (ODCC, 3rd rev. ed.; J. R. Watson in The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology).  The Cherubic Hymn appears on p. __ of the critical edition in Patrologia orientalis 26 (1950):  119-256, and on pp. 41-42 of Brightman, Liturgies eastern and western (1896), pp. 31-68 (Greek) and 69-110 (Syriac).  I reproduce only the Greek here from Brightman, substituting italics for Brightman's unical:
Σιγησάτω πᾶσα σάρξ βροτεία καὶ στήτω μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου καὶ μηδὲν γήϊνον ἐν ἑαυτῇ λογιζέσθω, ὁ γὰρ βασιλεὺς τῶν βασιλευόντων Χριστὸς ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν προέρχεται σφαγιασθῆναι καὶ δοθῆναι εἰς Βρῶσιν τοῖς πιστοῖς, προηγοῦνται δὲ τούτου οἱ χοροὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων μετὰ πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐξουσίας, τὰ πολυόμματα χερουβὶμ καὶ τὰ ἑξαπτέρυγα σεραφὶμ τὰς ὄψεις καλύπτοντα καὶ βοῶντα τὸν ὕμνον Ἀλληλούϊα

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and stand with fear and trembling, and ponder nothing earthly in itself; for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Christ our God, cometh forward to be sacrificed and to be given for food to the faithful; and He is preceded by the choirs of the Angels, with every Domination and Power, the many-eyed Cherubim, and the six-winged Seraphim, that cover their faces, and vociferate the hymn, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Let all mortal flesh be silent, and stand with fear and trembling, and meditate nothing earthly within itself:—For the King of kings and Lord of lords, Christ our God, comes forward to be sacrificed, and to be given for food to the faithful; and the bands of angels go before Him with every power and dominion, the many-eyed cherubim, and the six-winged seraphim, covering their faces, and crying aloud the hymn, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Liturgy of St. James "at Zante (and sometimes elsewhere) on 23 Oct. (acc. to the E. Church, the day of St James's death) and at Jerusalem on the Sunday after Christmas" (ODCC).

Monday, December 11, 2017

Semper reformanda

Although there are now many variants on the phrase semper reformanda, at the core of them all lies (in the 21st century) the formulation ecclesia reformata semper reformanda"The church reformed [and/but/because] always to be reformed," i.e. perpetually in need of further reformation.  (It should be noted that one might say exactly this of the Christian university (Universitas) as well.)  It was not used by the 16th-century Protestant Reformers, who thought the requisite degree of reformation achievable, and even—as did Calvin, who was followed in this by Jerome Zanchi (1516-1590), André Rivet (1572-1651), François Turretin (1623-1687), and Peter von Mastricht (1630-1709)—urged their successors not to introduce any further innovations (Busch, 298; van Lieburg is rightly more cautious, but cites no specifics:  "The conviction that the church had continually to examine and purify itself in doctrine and practice cannot be denied to great reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin" (44, italics mine)).  Indeed, "The 'reformanda' is in Zanchi and Turretin to be understood of Papism" exclusively, and "not the Reformed Church", such that Peter von Mastricht could speak of a two-fold theology:  "reformanda or papal, & reformata by Zwingli, Luther, and others" (Mahlmann (2010), 405n130 and especially 424n224).
The origin of the idea of, and indeed even the explicit contrast between a church reformata and yet reformanda as applied to the reformed (reformata) churches (according to Mahlmann "a hitherto unheard of claim", a "break with the tradition [that extended clear] back to Calvin" (424 and 424n224)) was until quite recently thought to lie in the late-17th-century Dutch proto-Pietists of the Nadere Reformatie ("further Reformation"), and in particular Jodocus van Lodenstein ("Such a person of understanding would not have called the Reformed Church reformata, or reformed, but reformanda, or being reformed" (Lodenstein in 1678 (not 1674), as quoted at Busch, 286, and Mahlmann (2010), 387 and 387n24, 424)), where it apparently still does represent a reversal of "the dynamic [established by Jerome Zanchius, 'The only sixteenth-century theologian . . . to use the two participles . . . in a single context to speak of the problem of reformation in the [supposedly already reformed] church'], so that reformanda [rather than the 16th-century's relatively achievable reformation] became the ideal, while reformata came to represent a passive, self-satisfied complacency in the face of lax faith and morals" (Busch, 291-292).
But it does not lie there (Mahlmann (2010), 435).  In his groundbreaking article of 2010, already much referenced above, Theodor Mahlmann pushed it—the concept, that is—nearly a century further back, as far as a Reformed 1595 hypothetically, but to a Lutheran 1610 for sure.  Here I list only the relevant Latin (rather than the many vernacular) highlights, though the treatment given this by Mahlmann is nothing if not astonishingly fulsome:
  • 1595 (Bremen)/1596 (Anhalt)/Marburg (1605)/Brandenburg (1613)/Bohemia (1618-1620):  Mahlmann hypothesizes, short of the documentary evidence he is so exceptionally good at uncovering, that the abortive attempt at a "Calvinization" ("Calvinisierung") of these areas is the background against which Friedrich Balduin was writing in 1610 (Mahlmann, 441-442).
  • 1610:  Friedrich Balduin of Wittenberg, on Mal 1:1, the ultimate source of the very nearly identical Latin claim in Johann Schmidt (1719):  "semper in Ecclesia opus esse Reformatione, quia semper occurrunt corruptelæ morum & doctrinæ" (Mahlmann, 438 ff.; in Schmidt it was est).
  • 1629-1637:  Sweder Schele of the Castle Welbergen:  "In omni facultate et ordine semper reformandum est, hos est ad principia redeundum, in Ecclesia ad Principium verbi Dei divinæ veritatis, in Politia ad ius[,] . . . et . . . in domo ad bonum ordinem domesticum et commodum honestum rei familiaris" (Mahlmann, 434 ff.).
  • 1660:  Johannes Hoornbeecks:  "commune opus reformandae in melius ecclesiae" | "reformantium, & non tantum reformatorum, ut semper debeamus reformare, siquidem reformati esse cupimus, & nomine isto digni, quia studio" (Mahlmann, 426 ff.).  1663:  Johannes Hoornbeecks:  "Omnis reformatus, est & reformans", etc. (there is more; Mahlmann, 430 ff., on "Hoornbeecks' program of a reformation of the present Reformed churches . . . on all [of the] levels at which the Reformation of the 16th century was once directed" (430)).
  • 1678 (not 1674, as usually stated, for example by Busch):  Jocodus van Lodensteyn:  "een geleerd Man de Gereformeerde Kerke [(namely Hoornbeecks, above)] genoemt woude hebben niet Reformata of Gereformeerd maar Reformanda of te Reformeeren.  Wat een suy vere Kerek woude dat werden die altijd daar in besig was?  hoe bondig in Waarheyd, hoe heylig in Practijke" (Mahlmann, 424, where, at 424n223, Busch's quotation of this is corrected).
  • 1696:  Johann Heinrich Heidegger of Zurich:  "Ecclesia quaevis particularis purgatione & reformatione indiget | Sed duplex Ecclesiae Reformatio, ordinaria, & extraordinaria est.  Illa continue esse debet" (Mahlmann, 420 ff.).
These, the concept's rather innovative and elemental roots in the early 17th-century (or possibly even the very late 16th century) aside, as blossoming on out into
  • the 18th- and 19th-century vernacular, but into
  • Latin aphorisms in the case of Alexander Schweizer in 1847-1848 and 1863and Wilhelm Goeters in 1911 (Mahlmann (2010), 420, a summary of 411 ff.), and into the Latin aphorism that Mahlmann was still ascribing to Barth alone (Mahlmann (2010), 384 ff.) in at least Kuyper in 1892 (Mouthaan, 88) and Bauer in 1893 (Perisho),
it was in fact the 20th-century Reformed theologian Karl Barth who from 1947 greatly popularized the saying that we tend to think of as so ancient today, as amplified with the re-insertion of reformata by Peter Vogelsanger in 1952 (Mahlmann (2010), 420).
Unaware of those occurrences of "ecclesia semper reformanda" in 1892 and 1893, uncovered in 2014 and 2017 respectively (but not yet the earliest such, undoubtedly!), Mahlmann could speak of Barth's having forgotten that he had been the one to coin the phrase, and note that within a decade or so of 1947 he (Barth) was apparently asking the Catholic theologian Hans Küng—who, following Barth, had called the Catholic Church, too, an "Ecclesia reformanda" in an unpublished lecture delivered at Barth's invitation in January of 1959, and was later instrumental in getting the phrases "Ecclesia . . . semper purificanda" and "perennem reformationem" inserted into the documents of Vatican II (Mahlmann (2010), 391n43)—if he (Küng) could perchance shed any light on its presumably ancient (perhaps even, as Küng once speculated, its pre-16th-century) origins (since by that time Barth had apparently accepted that his formulation, too, was owed to ancient tradition (in the German of Mahlman (2010) at 388, "scheint Karl Barth . . . gar angenommen zu haben, diese verdanke sich alter Überlieferung").  It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that Peter Vogelsanger, editor-in-chief of the journal Reformatio, was calling it "th[at] ancient [(alt)] Reformed formula of the ecclesia semper reformanda" as early as 1961 (Mahlmann (2010), 394).
For an extensive treatment of the period after Barth (1947-2009), in which, by the way, Vogelsanger's mistake (?) was often made (for example by Pedersen as late as 2007 (Mahlmann (2010), 404)), see Mahlmann (2010), 384-404.
The medieval precedent for the very phrase does not appear to have been studied extensively (van Lieburg, 44), but Mahlmann cites a "monasteria semper reformanda" (403-404), and Mouthaan, a "semper reformari debet monasterium de hominibus eiusdem professionis, si fieri potest" attributed in 1582 to the canonist Bernard of Parma (d. 1266) (88).  To these van Lieburg adds certain "slogans of the Carthusian Order" ("numquam reformata, quia numquam reformanda (never reformed because it never needed reform) or numquam reformata, quia numquam deformata (never reformed because never deformed)"), and the late medieval goal of a "reformatio in capite et in membris (reformation in head and members)" (van Lieburg, 43).
For the patristic concept of reform in general, see (for starters) the undoubtedly somewhat dated classic by Ladner, below.
Busch, at least, claims to be unaware "of any evidence that a reformanda saying served as a motto or slogan for a person, movement, or institution before 1983, when one appeared on the interim seal of the newly created Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)" (289, italics mine, and quoted without any criticism at Mahlmann (2010), 391n44).
A Select Bibliography on the History:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Do pagans dream of the Cath'lic deep?

Emmanuel College, Cambridge
"Nobody in the West can be wholly non-Christian. We cannot help continuing to be influenced by the old dreams, as for example Marxists, anarchists, utopians, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, and Jürgen Habermas were when they all continued to pursue some version of the old biblical vision of a fully reconciled, free and open future society, the messianic Kingdom here on this earth. Whether or not you personally think of yourself as being a Christian does not very much affect the extent to which Christianity goes on influencing your hopes and your dreams. . . . You may call yourself a non-Christian, but the dreams you dream are still Christian dreams, and you continue to be part of the history of Christianity. That’s your fate. You may consider yourself secular, but the modern Western secular world is itself a Christian creation."

     Don Cupitt, The meaning of the West:  an apologia for secular Christianity (London:  SCM Press, 2008), 66-67.  I was put onto this by Matthew Rose, "Our secular theodicy," First things no. 278 (December 2017):  41 (37-42).  Cupitt, I gather, would say that secular Christians such as himself are, however, the true heirs of the Christian tradition.

Be a vessel, not a channel, a lake without an outlet

William Pye, Cathedral font, Salibury.
"The man who is wise . . . will see his life as more like a reservoir [(concham)] than a canal [(canalem)].  The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water until it is filled, then discharges the overflow [(quod superabundat)] without loss to itself.  He knows that a curse is on the man who allows his own property to degenerate. . . . Today there are many in the Church who acts like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare.  So urgent is the charity of those through whom streams of heavenly doctrine flow to us, that they want to pour it forth before they have been filled; they are more ready to speak than to listen, impatient to teach what they have not grasped, and full of presumption to govern others while they know not how to govern themselves."

". . . si sapis, concham te exhibebis, et non canalem.  Hic siquidem pene simul et recipit, et refundit; illa vero donec impleatur exspectat, et sic quod superabundat sine suo damno communicat, sciens maledictum qui partem suam facit deteriorem. . . . Verum canales hodie in Ecclesia multos habemus, conchas vero perpaucas.  Tantae caritatis sunt per quos nobis fluenta caelestia manant, ut ante effundere quam infundi velint, loqui quam audire paratiores, et prompti docere quod non didicerunt, et aliis praeesse gestientes, qui seipsos regere nesciunt."

     Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon on the Song of songs 18.3 (1135/1136), trans. Walsh & Edmonds.  SC 431, 90, 92; Sämtliche Werke lateinisch/deutsch 5, 104.  I was put onto this by Jeff Van Duzer.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Cantemus Alleluia

Samoan firefighters singing an Alleluia
as they come off of the fireline,
Helena Fire, Trinity County, CA,
September 2017.
"[1. . . .] Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still live in anxiety [(solliciti)], so that we may sing it one day in heaven in full security [(securi)]. Why do we now live in anxiety? Can you expect me not to feel anxious [(sollicitus)] when I read: Is not man’s life on earth a time of trial? Can you expect me not to feel anxious when the words still ring in my ears: Watch and pray that you will not be put to the test? Can you expect me not to feel anxious when there are so many temptations here below that prayer itself reminds us of them, when we say: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us? Every day we make out petitions, every day we sin. Do you want me to feel secure [(securus)] when I am daily asking pardon for my sins, and requesting help in time of trial? Because of my past sins I pray: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and then, because of the perils still before me, I immediately go on to add: Lead us not into temptation. How can all be well with people who are crying out with me: Deliver us from evil? And yet, brothers, while we are still in the midst of this evil, let us sing alleluia to the good God who delivers us from evil.

"[3. . . .] Even here amidst trials and temptations let us, let all men, sing alleluia. God is faithful, says holy Scripture, and he will not allow you to be tried beyond your strength. So let us sing alleluia, even here on earth. Man is still a debtor, but God is faithful. Scripture does not say that he will not allow you to be tried, but that he will not allow you to be tried beyond your strength. Whatever the trial, he will see your through it safely, and so enable you to endure. You have entered upon a time of trial but you will come to no harm – God’s help will bring you through it safely. You are like a piece of pottery, shaped by instruction, fired by tribulation. When you are put into the oven therefore, keep your thoughts on the time when you will be taken out again; for God is faithful, and he will guard both your going in and your coming out.

"But in the next life, when this body of ours has become immortal and incorruptible, then all trials will be over. Your body is indeed dead, and why? Because of sin. Nevertheless, your spirit lives, because you have been justified. Are we to leave our dead bodies behind then? By no means. Listen to the words of holy Scripture: If the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead dwells within you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your own mortal bodies. At present your body receives its life from the soul, but then it will receive it from the Spirit.

"O the happiness of the heavenly alleluia, sung in security, in fear of no adversity [(O felix illic Alleluia! O secura! o sine adversario)]! We shall have no enemies in heaven, we shall never lose a friend. God’s praises are sung both there and here, but here they are sung by those destined to die, there, by those destined to live for ever; here they are sung in hope, there, in hope’s fulfillment; here they are sung by wayfarers, there, by those living in their own country [(Ibi laudes Deo, et hic laudes Deo: sed hic a sollicitis, ibi a securis; hic a morituris, ibi a semper victuris; hic in spe, ibi in re; hic in via, illic in patria)].

"So, then, my brothers, let us sing now, not in order to enjoy a life of leisure, but in order to lighten our labors. You should sing as wayfarers do – sing, but continue your journey. Do not be lazy, but sing to make your journey more enjoyable. Sing, but keep going. What do I mean by keep going? Keep on making progress [(Modo ergo, fratres mei, cantemus, non ad delectationem quietis, sed ad solatium laboris. Quomodo solent cantare viatores; canta, sed ambula: laborem consolare cantando, pigritiam noli amare: canta, et ambula. Quid est ambula? Profice, in bono profice)]. This progress, however, must be in virtue; for there are some, the Apostle warns, whose only progress is in vice. If you make progress, you will be continuing your journey, but be sure that your progress is in virtue, true faith and right living. Sing then, but keep going [(Tu si proficis, ambulas: sed in bono profice, in recta fide profice, in bonis moribus profice: canta, et ambula).  Desire neither to wander, nor to turn back, nor to remain.  Wheel about [and head straight] for the Lord (Noli errare, noli redire, noli remanere. Conversi ad Dominum), etc.]"

     St. Augustine, Sermo 256, "De Alleluia" (Sunday, 5 May 418), secs. 1 and 3, as excerpted without ellipses in the Office of Readings for the Saturday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Liturgy of the hours (vol. 4, pp. 608-610).  Cf. WSA III/7, trans. Hill.  PL 38, cols. 1191-1193 (1190-1193).
     Cf. the lovely The Oikos or Ikos (Ὁ Οἶκος) to the Kontakion for the Orthodox funeral service in the church.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Prize the reality of virtue over the appearance of it

It was a goodly Swaine, and of great might, | As euer man that bloudy field did fight; | But in vaine sheows, that wont yong knights bewitch, | And courtly seruices tooke no delight, | But rather ioyd to be, then seemen sich: | For both to be and seeme to him was labour lich.

     Edmund Spenser, The faerie queene III.vii.29, of Sir Satyrane.  "sich":  such, so.  "labour lich":  identical work, according to Thomas P. Roche, Jr.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Ah God, what other could he do at least, | But loue so faire a Lady?

But foolish boy, what bootes thy seruice bace | To her, to whom the heauens do serue and sew? | Thou a meane Squire, of meeke and lowly place, | She heauenly borne, and of celestiall hew. | How then? of all loue taketh equall vew: | And doth not highest God vouchsafe to take | The loue and seruice of the basest  crew? | If she will not, dye meekly for her sake; | Dye rather, dye, then euer so faire loue forsake.

     Edmund Spenser, The faerie queene III.v.47.

Friday, November 24, 2017

"Of chastity and virtue virginall"

La dolce vita
Eternal God in his almighty powre, | To make ensample of his heauenly grace, | In Paradize whilome did plant this flowre, | Whence he it fetcht out of her natiue place, | And did in stocke of earthly flesh enrace, | That mortall men her glory should admire | In gentle Ladies brest, and bounteous race | Of woman kind it fairest flowre doth spire, | And beareth fruit of honour and all chast desire.

     Edmund Spenser, The faerie queene III.v.52.

"there is no anxiety or sadness or fear you feel right now that cannot be cured by political action."

     Chris Murphy on Twitter, 28 July 2017, following the defeat of the Republican health care bill.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"our Lords the poor" and "sick"

"domini nostri pauperes" et infirmi

     A very common theme throughout the statutes of the medieval Christian hospitals (Maisons-Dieu), as collected by Léon Le Grand (Statuts d’hotels-Dieu et de léproseries:  recueil de textes duXIIe au XIVe siècle, Collection de textes pour servera l’étude et a l’enseignement de l’histoire (Paris:  Alphonse Picard et fils, 1901).

  • "domini nostri pauperes", our lords the poor (8 par. 2)
  • "quasi dominus secundum posse domus", as if, as able, the lord of the manor (11 par. 16 (on "secundum posse", see, for example, Thomas Aquinas, ST I-II.28.4.Resp., "to the best of his means"; Schütz, Thomas-Lexikon, sv posse:  "nach Möglichkeit, nach Kräften"))
  • "ut domini", as lords (17 par. 2)
  • "quasi dominus domus", as if the lord of the manor (40 par. 34, 46 par. 21, 113 par. )
  • "ensi que li sires de la maison", as if the lords of the manor (56 par. 14)
  • "quasi dominus domus", as if the lord of the manor (113 par. 73, De infirmis; var.:  quia, because, for quasi)
  • "tanquam dominus domus", as if the lord of the manor (124 par. 26)
  • "comme seigneur de la maison", as [the] lord of the manor (137 par. 12)
  • "comme li sires de la meson", as the lords of the manor (159 par. 10)

See also pp. 18 and 79 (index under Seigneurs malades, sick lords, on p. 279).  Other summative phrases I've encountered:  "nos seigneurs les malades", our lords the sick (Dictionnaire de spiritualité, sv Maladie (tom. 10, col. 144)); les seigneurs malades and les seignors malades, the sick lords; seigneurs de la maison, lords of the manor; etc.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Give us a never-failing and ever-increasing appetite for the Good of which you've just given us just a taste, and by which alone we truly live

"We have been fed, O Lord, with heavenly delights, and beseech Thee, that we may ever hunger after those things by which we truly live.  Through" (Baronius Press 1962 Missal of 2009).

Having been fed, O Lord, with heavenly delights, we pray that we may always have an appetite for the same, by which we truly live (Perisho).

"Caelestibus, Domine, pasti deliciis:  quaesumus:  ut semper eadem, per quae veraciter vivimus, appetamus.  Per."

"Coelestibus, Domine, pasti deliciis:  quaesumus:  ut semper eadem, per quae veraciter vivimus, appetamus.  Per."

"Grant, Lord, that we who have feasted at thy heavenly banquet may ever hunger after the true bread of life:  through" (The Missal in Latin and English (New York:  Sheed & Ward, 1949).

     Postcommunion, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Roman missal (Sixth Sunday after Epiphany in the Missal of 1962 and before).  =Corpus orationum no. 536 (vol. 1, pp. 274-275) =Bruylants no. 97 (vol. 2, p. 35).  8th century (Gregorian no. 54*, Gelasian no. 1311, etc.).

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The "stuttering ineptitudes" uttered by the (presumably encyclopaedic) university when asked to articulate its raison d'être

"In an instructive irony, the very institutions that claim to provide an arena for sophisticated debate about important questions, issue nothing but 'stuttering ineptitudes' when asked to describe the nature, goal, and unified parts of the university itself."

     Thomas S. Hibbs, channeling Alasdair McIntyre, Three rival versions of moral inquiry:  encyclopaedia, genealogy, and tradition, being the Gifford Lectures delivered in the University of Edinburgh in 1988 (Notre Dame, IN:  University of Notre Dame Press, 1990), 221.  "The research university in crisis (again):  MacIntyre's God, philosophy, universities," Nova et vetera:  the English edition of the international theological journal 9, no. 1 (Fall 2011):  951 (947-966).  MacIntyre:
It is precisely because universities have not been . . . places ['where rival and antagonistic views of rational justification, such as those of genealogists and Thomists, are afforded the opportunity both to develop their own enquiries, in practice and in the articulation of the theory of that practice, and to conduct their intellectual and moral warfare'] and have in fact organized enquiry through institutions and genres well designed to prevent them and to protect them from being such places that the official responses of both the appointed leaders and the working members of university communities to their recent external critics have been so lamentable.  How did this come about?  The central features of the history have all already been noted. . . . It is a history with three stages [(222)].

"'God made man male and female'; the male is Christ, the female is the Church"

"the living church is the body of Christ.  For the Scripture says, 'God made the human male and female.'  The male is Christ, the female is the church."

"τό ἅρσεν ἐστὶν ὁ Χριστός, τὸ θῆλυ ἡ ἐκκλησία"

     Pseudo Clement, 2 Corinthians (more commonly known as 2 Clement) 14, trans. Bart D. Ehrman (LCL 24 (2003), 187).  The heading is from the trans. by Kirsopp Lake.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Abramowski on a potential pre-Augustinian source for the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the bond of love betwen the Father and the Son

"an already pre-Augustinian origin for the interpretation of the inner-Trinitarian function of the Spirit as bond of Father and Son":
1. When Athanasius says that “the Spirit does not bind (or unite) the Logos with the Father, but rather the Spirit receives [the Father] via the Logos” (contra Arianos 3.24), he is attacking Eusebian positions on the Holy Spirit, not Arian ones, and Augustine, too, as it were, in advance (468-469).  
2. When Augustine says that “in the Holy Spirit an agreement [(concordia)] of unity and equality.  And these three are all one on account of the Father, all equal on account of the Son, all connected [(connexa)] on account of the Holy Spirit” (De doctrina Christiana 15.5), he is correcting, in his native Latin, the Eusebian Greek.  The question is whether this neo-Nicene correction of Eusebian disunity and subordination is original to Augustine or was taken over by him from someone else, possibly Ambrose (469).
3. When Augustine says that “the Holy Spirit is an ineffable communion [(communio)] of Father and Son” (De Trinitate V.11-12), he is rendering into Latin the Greek term κοινωνία, which belongs in the ideosphere of the [Eusebian?] terms συνάφεια and ἀσύγχυτος ἕνωσις (469).
4. Augustine was familiar with the late-second-century Neoplatonic Oracula chaldaica, and quotes it twice in De civitate Dei.  The Oracula chaldaica says in its first part that “Out of them both [(namely, the Monad and the Dyad)] flows the bond [(δέμα)] of the first Triad” (Frag. 31, available to us today thanks to the Neoplatonist Damascius, c. 458-post 533), and "This looks like the origin of both [1] the concept of the Holy Spirit as bond of the Trinity and [2] the controversial conception of the procession of the Holy Spirit ex patre filioque."  Porphyry would have been Augustine’s (and before him Eusebius') source for this, the former via Latin translations of the De philosophica ex oracuhs haurienda and the De regress animae.  But as tempting as it would be to assume that Augustine created his Trinitarian principle, so decisive for the Western doctrine of the Trinity, out of a Latin version of Porphyry directly, we must keep in mind what has just been said on the subject of the Eusebian universe of discourse, the Eusebian conceptuality, and its echo in Augustine.  And indeed, Eusebius himself remains our principle source for the 'oracular philosophy' of Porphyry (470-471).
So until we know better for sure, it would be best to continue to think of Augustine’s description of the bond of unity as love as his own contribution.

     Luis Abramowski, “Zur Trinitätslehre des Thomas von Aquin” (16 February 1995), Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 92, no. 4 (1995): 468-471 (466-480).

Sunday, November 5, 2017

"Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises"

Wouter Engler,
Ethiopiër Assefa Bentayehu,
Marathon Rotterdam 2013.
"Almighty and merciful God, by whose gift your faithful offer you right and praiseworthy service, grant, we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things you have promised.  Through."

"Omnipotens et misericors Deus, de cuius munere venit, ut tibi a fidelibus tuis digne et laudabiliter serviatur, tribue, quaesumus, nobis, ut ad promissiones tuas sine offensione curramus.  Per."

Mohlberg:  "Omnipotens et misericors deus, de cuius munere uenit, ut tibi a fidelibus tuis dignae et laudabiliter seruiatur:  tribue, quaesumus, nobis, ut ad promissiones tuas sine offensione curramus.  Per."

Almighty and compassionate God, by reason of whose gift it happens that to you by your faithful [people] service is worthily and laudably offered, grant to us, we pray, that we to(wards) your promises may run without stumbling.  Through.

     Collect for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Roman missal.  =Corpus orationum no. 3739 (vol. 6, pp. 18-19), Bruylants no. 742 (vol. 2, pp. 209-210), and no. 574 in the 1956 Mohlberg edition of the Leonine/Veronese, which considers it a mid-5th-century collect of anti-Semipelagian composition (Datierungversuch no. 28, on p. LXXIV).

1549 BCP (Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity):
"Almyghtie and mercyfull God, of whose onely gift it cometh that thy faythfull people doe unto thee true and laudable seruice; graunte we beseche thee, that we may so runne to thy heauenly promises, that we faile not finally to attayne the same; through Jesus Christe our Lorde."

1662 BCP:
"Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh, that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

1928 BCP:

"Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

1976 BCP (Proper 26, The Sunday closest to November 2), Traditional:
"Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service:  Grant, we beseech thee, that we may run without stumbling to obtain thy heavenly promises; through [. . .] Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen."

1976 BCP:
"Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service:  Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen."

Cf. this one.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Impurity of heart

"when our hearts are corrupt we are hardly in any condition to contemplate Order in ourselves.  We only take pleasure in considering the imaginary relations things have to us, and we scorn the real relations they have between themselves.  Thus we may love Mathematics, but only because we are honored by doing so, or draw profit from it."

"lorsque le cœur est corrompu, on n’est guère en état de contempler l’ordre en lui-même:  on ne considère avec plaisir que les rapports imaginaires que les choses ont avec soi, et on méprise les rapports reels qu’elles ont entre elles.  On peut alors aimer les mathématiques; mais c’est qu’on s’en fait honneur ou qu’on en tire de profit."

     Nicholas Malebranche, Treatise on ethics (1684) V.xxii, trans. Craig Walton, Archives internationales d'histoire des idées 133 (Dordrecht:  Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993), 81;  French from here for now.

A world gone mad

"nothing is more equivocal and more confusing than the actions of men, and often nothing is more false than what passes for certain with an entire culture."

"il n’y a rien de plus équivoque et de plus confus que les actions des hommes, et souvent rien de plus faux que ce qui passe pour certain chez peoples entiers."

     Nicholas Malebranche, Treatise on ethics (1684) V.xvi, trans. Craig Walton, Archives internationales d'histoire des idées 133 (Dordrecht:  Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993), 80;  French from here for now.

"the classical metaphysics [practiced by Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas] need not blush at its fecund alliance with technology"

     "Despite the rejoinders that it is possible to formulate in face of the accusation that metaphysics has bonds with artifaction [(la technique, technics, technology)], it therefore appears clearly that these bonds, if in fact real, can be understood much more positively than is suggested by the philosophy of Meßkirch [(i.e. Heidegger)].  Its critique here is finally fecund in this [respect], that it obliges one to bring to light the characteristics by which a classical metaphysics precisely escapes it.  It in fact obliges one to recognize the analogy of the causes and their non-reduction to the formal cause.  It forces a revalorization of the causes material, efficient, and final.  But more profoundly still, it obliges one to look more closely into [(à s’interroger sur)] the first efficient cause’s mode of action.  It underscores its bond with the wisdom that can also extend ultimately beyond all preoccupation with artifaction [(toute preoccupation technique)], because in the first cause resides an understanding [(connaissance)] of the causes, and because the [human] search for the causes [of a phenomenon] results in a partial accession to that ultimate understanding.  At the same time it puts a finger on the effect of this cause, namely the existence [(l’être, i.e. esse)] of the entity[, not to mention the very existence and operation of the causes].  [And] finally, it accomplishes in its own way the [very] program to which Heidegger at times (for example in the lecture 'Contribution to the question of Being') attaches himself, namely, a revivification or appropriation of metaphysics by the question of Being, because it [(the question of Being)] has been lost from view, and concerning which [program of revivification] one might ask oneself why Heidegger himself did not carry it through to success.
     . . . As distinguished from the transcendental metaphysics that developed out of the work of Scotus, "the classical metaphysics [practiced by Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas] need not blush at its fecund alliance with artifaction [(la technique)].  It rediscovers, inasmuch as [it] is a form of wisdom [(selon ce qu’est la sagesse)], the reception of being through the causes, and [it] renews [its friendship] with the question of Being that lies at its root [(origine)], without having to pass first through negativity and anguish, but rather through astonishment and admiration."

     Michel Bastit, “Sagesse et technique,” Bulletin de littérature ecclésiastique 105, no. 3 (Jul-Sep 2004):  233-234 (217-234), italics mine.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

"We ought to be as deeply pessimistic as is compatible with a belief in Divine Providence."

"As to whether we can even contrive a reopening of genuine public debate about rival conceptions of the good in contemporary America, let alone bring such a debate to an effective conclusion, the evidence, as I understand it, suggests that we ought to be as deeply pessimistic as is compatible with a belief in Divine Providence.  But as to the remaking of ourselves and our own local practices and institutions through a better understanding of what it is that, in an Aristotelian and Thomistic perspective, the unity of moral theory and practice now require of us, we have as much to hope for as we have to do, and not least within the community of this university."

     Alasdair MacIntyre, "The privatization of good," The review of politics 52, no. 3 (Summer 1990):  360-361 (344-361).

"When the Almighty himself condescends to address mankind in their own language, his meaning, luminous as it may be, is rendered dim and doubtful, by the cloudy medium through which it is communicated."

     [James Madison], The Federalist no. 37 (the Daily advertiser (New York), 11 January 1788, on "An abstract view of the subject"). 

"a proper distribution of the public burthens"

"Happy it is when the interest which the government has in the preservation of its own power, coincides with a proper distribution of the public burthens, and tends to guard the least wealthy part of the community from oppression!"

     [Alexander Hamilton], The Federalist no. 36 (the New-York packet, 8 January 1788, on "The representations of interests and federal taxation").  Hamilton is speaking here of "commercial imposts" imposed by federal rather than state regulation, and argues that "any real difficulty in the exercise of the power of internal taxation . . . must naturally tend to make it a fixed point of policy in the national administration to go as far as may be practicable in making the luxury of the rich tributary to the public treasury, in order to diminish the necessity of those impositions, which might create dissatisfaction in the poorer and most numerous classes of the society."

Monday, October 23, 2017

"Our transgressions, by which [our] adversaries" rule over us

Our transgressions, by which (the) adversaries rule, wipe away, O Lord, and in your compassion everywhere defend us.

"Delicta nostra, domine, quibus adversa dominantur, absterge, et tua nos ubique miseratione custodi."

     Opening 8th-century collect (Gelasian etc.) for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost later dropped from the Roman missal in favor of its contemporary, "Largire, quaesumus, domine, fidelibus tuis indulgentiam placatus et pacem", itself (I think) abandoned after Vatican II.  According to Corpus orationum no. 1062, the last occurrence of "Delicta nostra, domine" was in the mid-11th-century Udalricianus.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Is the Superior General Catholic?

Giuseppe Cardinal Pizzardo, prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities, "expressed his disdain for [college and university] administrators who were in constant communication with Jesuit authorities in Rome, but never with the Catholic authorities (the emphasis was his)."

     James Tunstead Burtchaell, The dying of the light:  the disengagement of colleges and universities from their Christian churches (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1998), 588.  This was somewhere between 1949 and 1965.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Well, good for her. And count me among those who "seemed to be sure what was right and what was wrong."

"Gerty Pestalozzi and Eduard Thurneysen really tried to understand the different problems each of the three had and did not advise a certain direction.  But others seemed to be sure what was right and what was wrong. . . .  His mother very often expressed how little she agreed to what he was doing.  In 1933, when they consider the option of divorce, he tells his mother that he is tired of having to discuss all issues with her:  'Again:  I would be very happy if you could tell yourself that a man who is 47 years old should be able to know what he does when he comes to such a conclusion after a marriage of 20 years, and if you could trust this son of yours who after all is not unfamiliar to you that he does not want unscrupulously [(er nicht gewissenlos will)].'  His mother responds the following day harshly that God’s commandments are for all.  'What is the most brilliant theology good for, if it is to be shipwrecked in one’s own house [(Was hilft die scharfsinnigste Theologie, wenn sie im eigenen Hause Schiffbruch leidet)]?'"

     Christiane Tietz, "Karl Barth and Charlotte von Kirschbaum," Theology today 74, no. 2 (July 2017):  106-107 (86-111).  There are problems with this article:  the fact that the wife of Barth's youth gets only a few lines in a footnote by way of a biography, but Charlotte, nine short paragraphs in a eponymously entitled sub-section of the main body; the clumsy translations; Tietz' (starstruck?) refusal to cut bait (as exemplified by the condescension exhibited here towards those who "seemed to be sure what was right and what was wrong", as well as the word "harshly"); and so forth.  And then there are the serious problems with Barth as outlined by (but by no means condemned in) it:  the compromised life, the theology of personal "experience [(Erfahrung)]" (!) and feeling constructed to justify it, and the implications of the said theology of personal experience for the very great confusions our own time, despite Barth's purported "No!" to all of that (though of course I am by no means a Barth specialist).  If this makes me "'the legalist that under different circumstances [(i.e. without the persistent adultery) Barth] might have become'" (111), then so be it.  For "We reject the false doctrine that with human vainglory the Church could place the Word and work of the Lord in the service of self-chosen desires, purposes and plans" (The Barmen Declaration).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"intellectual resources about which the contemporary academy, for the most part, has only crude and tendentious intimations"

     "What . . . academicians [invoking ‘the academic motif of intellectual freedom, patient research, evidence-based judgment, and rational argument’] ignore . . . is that the gospel within the church has continually been at the center of intense and critical dialectic:  textual, hermeneutical, historical, intercultural, philosophical, theological.  Further, the church has steadfastly recognized the revelatory powers of inspiration, witness, repentance, and communal conflict within and without, as a stimulant to continuous redefinition and purification.  These are intellectual resources about which the contemporary academy, for the most part, has only crude and tendentious intimations.
     "Christian scholars knowledgeable in the long dialectical tradition of their faith know that it has zestfully grappled with criticism in diverse cultures and centuries.  It has been able to learn:  often when it was right, and also from when it was wrong.  If Christian scholars have the insight and the nerve to believe that the gospel and its church are gifted, that together they offer a privileged insight, a 'determinative perspective,' then they will be grateful to grapple some more, using the very insights of the gospel to judge critically both the church and the academy and the culture.
     "But if they lose their nerve and are intimidated by their academic colleagues, . . . they, too, will end up judging the church by the academy and the gospel by the culture.  In time, they will probably lose the capacity to tell them apart.  They will fail to judge the academy, or to notice intellectuals who are in thrall, not free; argument that is not rational; judgments that have become dogmas roughly enforced."

     James Tunstead Burtchaell, The dying of the light:  the disengagement of colleges and universities from their Christian churches (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1998), 850-851.
     . . . sophisticated learning is [not] like wealth and power, those inexorable corrupters of authentic faith.  Yet . . . higher learning, if not an irresistible seducer, is still a very able one.  The mind's affluence does seem at least as beguiling as that of the body.  There was, in the stories told here, little learned rage against the dying of the light.  Yet this book is written in the belief that the ambition to unite 'knowledge and vital piety' is a wholesome and hopeful and stubborn one.  It is a shame that so much of yesterday's efforts has become compost for those of tomorrow. 
     . . . The failures of the past, so clearly patterned, so foolishly ignored, and so lethally repeated, emerge pretty clearly from these stories.  Anyone who requires further imagination to recognize and remedy them is not up to the taks of trying again, and better.