Medievalism and theory

Bruce Holsinger’s book, The Premodern Condition , is reviewed in the April 14 issue of TLS. Holsinger is tracing the rise of theory in France of the 1960s, and shows that the avant garde was “surprisingly heavily indebted to medievalism.” He describes their relationship to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Third Sunday of Easter

Easter is about faith, because by His resurrection Jesus has been installed as the mediator, the firmament boundary between God and man. In the Old Testament, priests served as mediators, who stood in the middle between God and man. Organized in a ring around Yahweh’s tent, the priests served . . . . Continue Reading »

Word and Water

Baptism, Luther says in his Small Catechism, is not water only, but water “comprehended in God’s word and connected with God’s command.” The following question asks what word constitutes the water as baptism, and cites Matthew 28: “Go ye therefore . . . ” That . . . . Continue Reading »

War against Mimesis

Baillie quotes the opening lines of Rousseau’s Confessions , and notes that it, like Descartes’s cogito, is an “effort to avert attention from what Girard calls mimetic desire, the elimination of which is tantamount to the rejection of Christian anthropology. Rousseau begins his . . . . Continue Reading »

Image of God

Gil Baillie, working in a Girardian framework, suggests that the claim that man is made in the image of God means “this creature can only fulfill its destiny by becoming like someone else. So counterinstinctual and counterintuitive is such a thing, that the likelihood of this creature . . . . Continue Reading »

Creative destruction

Vitz suggests that postmodern thought has been largely an act of “creative destruction” serving as an “expose, in the best sense of the term.” The result is “a much large intellectual framework within which everyone, including Christians, can function. It provides a . . . . Continue Reading »

Modern self

Paul Vitz describes the modern self this way: “The modern self is characterized by such things as freedom and autonomy, by a strong will, and by the presumption that the self is self-created by the will, operating freely in its construction. The self is assumed to be strong, capable, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Metanarratives

Many Christians find Lyotard’s claim that postmodernity is incredulity toward metanarratives directly contrary to Christian faith, but James KA Smith offers an interpretation of Lyotard’s that is not hostile to Christianity. For Lyotard, he argues, the issue is not so much the scope of . . . . Continue Reading »

Anti-antimedievalism

David Burrell writes, “Modernity was fairly constituted by a quite specific opposition to medieval thought, as we have noted, so could be called ‘post’ or even ‘antimedieval’ . . . this mode of thinking proceeded by avoiding, if not aggressively removing, any reference . . . . Continue Reading »