On being “real men”

10 08 2009


From the blog, Reading Notes, via the Ochlophobist:

Though I am generally impressed with their prose style, I am always struggling to take the litanies of Esolen & Co. complaints seriously. Sometimes I want to sit back and imagine that “Anthony Esolen” and “S.M. Hutchens” are pseudonyms for some outstandingly clever satirist who is trying to show what the world would be like according to the dictates of man-children held captive by an almost perverse fascination with medieval legends as models for living and an adolescent schoolgirl’s approach to morality.

My only comment is that such obsession with “victimization” seems to deflect and cheapen the plight of people who are actually victims. Also, Esolen once again exploits a real problem to spread his crypto-medievalist myopia about the “crisis of civilization”. To speak of a “crisis of boys” in the broader context of today’s humanity seems like a veritable comedy of errors in a world where, let’s face it, women still get the short end of the stick in most places.

The hollow victory over Jansenism – part III

10 08 2009


Some notes on historical theology

Epistemological pessimism and the menace of the miraculous

In the last two posts on this subject, I have addressed the Jansenists’ losses and victories in the metaphysical, liturgical, and theological realms. In this post, I will explain how the suppression of the miraculous tendencies of late Jansenism served as a watershed moment of the Church in Western world. Plainly situated in the Enlightenment and before the traumatic events of 1789 that opened the secular, revolutionary epoch, the suppression of the miraculous manifestations sealed the modern Church’s attitudes regarding the relationship between the miraculous and authority. Afterwards, being Catholic would be increasingly defined as the political relationship of the citoyen to the Peuple de Dieu. In these latter times, however, the menace of the miraculous is making a comeback, set in some places to overthrow dogma and tradition in the name of an amorphous “religion of the Spirit” sweeping many parts of the “developing world”.
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