Friday, May 01, 2020

The Medieval Mind and Academic Bias - with Rachel Fulton Brown

Eastern Christian Books: Orthodoxy and Contemporary Thought

Eastern Christian Books: Orthodoxy and Contemporary Thought

Pickwick/Wipf & Stock: Theology and Philosophy in Eastern Orthodoxy: Essays on Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought edited by Christoph Schneider

Adam DeVille Reviews Eros Crucified


CWR Dispatch:The Idolatry of Eros and the Corporeality of God by Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille
Matthew Clemente’s Eros Crucified is philosophy of religion done by a young scholar in such a way as to give one great hope for the future not just of the discipline, but of Catholic letters and intellectual culture more generally.

Some thoughts:

DeVille writes:

One popular, and often dreaded, buzzword in the academy today is “intersectionality,” which is just a newer version of the idea Newman first demonstrated so winsomely: “all knowledge forms one whole.” Clemente, a young Catholic philosopher of religion at Boston College, lives Newman’s method in this book (without mentioning him). Clemente ranges freely across theology and philosophy, refusing to allow them to be forcibly separated via an act of what Paul Ricoeur famously called “controlled schizophrenia.” But Clemente’s point, and method, is not merely reflective of current academic preoccupations to bring things together. It is, in fact, the only method on offer to human thinkers, who cannot (and must not) be bamboozled into seeing the world as divisible, the end result of which is the creation of some “private” sphere labelled the “secular” from which God has been exiled into some other sealed sphere called “religion.” In philosophizing in this way, Clemente is reflecting some of the best insights of recent philosophers including Charles Taylor and one of Clemente’s mentors, the philosopher (and Greek Orthodox priest) John Panteleimon Manoussakis.

Is Clemente's book really philosophy of religion, as opposed to Christian theology? For an unbeliever who reasons accordingly, it might be philosophy of religion. But for a Christian who thinks thus? It is theology, even if the author's academic degree is in philosophy.

Clemente wants us to think about the corporeality of God and its nakedly erotic self-giving in the Eucharist (“this is my body”) as well as its implications for us as human beings in our quotidian living, desiring, and dying, our lovemaking and birth-giving. (Clemente’s one-and-a-half-page conclusion, a meditation on watching and waiting with his wife give birth to their first son, packs in more biblical theology than a year’s worth of homilies from your average preacher.) Clemente writes with verve and a wide sweep of philosophy and theology, ancient and modern. All this learning, including considerable insights from psychoanalytic thought, is rendered in a way that is at once lively and serious.
Might there be some truth in Freud's writings? Perhaps. Would it be better to rely upon sound philosophical psychology which is open to the insights of Christians with rich interior knowledge and wisdom? I would think so. But doesn't it depend on one's audience? What if one is reaching out to those who have been influenced by Freud? How many of those are left?

One does not have a conversation with the dead who can no longer answer for themselves, but with the living, and this is true even in the scholastic method. So how many committed Freudians are there who need an apologia of Christianity or of Christ?

Then there is the question of whether Freud's reasoning and not just his claims can be captured well in essay form... This does raise a question of what the best way of transmitting reasoning through the written word. Something for theologians and philosophers to consider, even if they reject the manualist approach.

Blackfriars 2020 Aquinas Lecture for by Russell Hittinger

"Tradition or Pottage: Reflections on Catholic Social Doctrine"


Fr. Simon Gaine, O.P.: "Did Christ See the Father?"