Showing posts from May, 2012

Calvin to Farel on Melanchthon, Bucer, Ecclesiastical Ceremonies, and Ecumenics

Some of you may remember that I recently purchased a 7-volume set of Calvin’s tracts and correspondence. I’ve been reading through the first correspondence volume as a sort of summer vacation treat (and to prepare for teaching a Reformation course in the Fall…), and it has been a lot of fun. I came across the following passage and decided to post it since (a) it is interesting on a number of levels, and (b) I knew that Tim Butler would be interested in seeing it (he’s in the early stages of a doctoral program aimed at writing on Bucer). It might also be of interest to friend-of-the-blog Jason Ingalls , who has worked on the influence of Calvin on early Anglican theology. So, here we go… Calvin was very involved in the political and theological maneuvering within the Holy Roman Empire during his stay in Strasbourg. Bucer had recognized Calvin’s talent early on, and tended to keep him nearby if disputations were in the works. As far as I can tell, this letter’s context are preparatio

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend… …or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere. Again, I’m playing fast and loose with that whole “Fortnight” thing, although we’re pretty close this time – only a few days short. Anyway, here’s another batch of links to keep you busy. The buffer is getting lower now, but it isn’t empty yet so look for another installment in due course. This will be a big one, though… To begin, there have been a few posts with actual content here at DET since the last of these posts. One of these was contributor Scott Rice’s post dealing with Ben Myers’ paper on Augustine and Romans 5 at the recent PTS Romans conference. Speaking of Scott, if you flip over to the DET contributing authors page , you will notice that Scott has graduated from PTS and will begin the ThD program at Harvard Div next semester. Well done, Scott! There was also a post from me on Dan Migliore and fideism . And don't forget the stuff on recent Roman Catholic shenan

Roman Catholicism in the News, with some Protestant Reflections

This was originally an appendix to the link post that I have scheduled for Saturday morning. But it continued to grow and began to take over that post, so I decided that it required separate billing. I recognize that I'm diving into dangerous territory here, what with rolling up theological, ecumenical, sexual, and political issues into a big ball...but what are blogs for if not stuff like this? I’m sure you have heard about the current fracas within Roman Catholicism over the recent Vatican (CDF, actually) censure of a large North American nun organization (Leadership Conference of Women Religious, representing ~57,000 women whose median age is over 70…). There have also been reports of the USA bishops "investigating" the Girl Scouts and, of course, there's all that stuff in the political arena at the moment over health insurance and contraception. For my very Protestant money, this is one more instance of the deeply broken nature of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, a

Pictures on a Tuesday

Not much to post about at present, but I figured I'd throw up something of a more personal interest - namely, a few photos of the DET HQ, as it were. In other words, here are some pictures of my close...I mean, office. In all seriousness, it isn't as bad as these pictures might make it look, but we humanities profs certainly don't get the prime real-estate. The best news is that I should be moving next door to slightly plusher digs later in the summer... Anyway, here is the view from the hallway. I actually put up a nice PTS Barth postcard above my nameplate since I took this shot... Thrilling, eh? Nice, old-school radial heater there, and a window A/C unit that is pretty old but can still do its job. And I definitely put it through its paces here in MO... Anyway, here is the cockpit, with some books behind - part of M through Z, for those who keep track of such things. My favorite bit of that photo are the post-it notes on the wall next to my desk. High-class o

Dan Migliore on Fideism

One charge that is often leveled against folks of a more Barthian persuasion is that of fideism. Barthians are fideistic, so the argument goes, because they do not accept the existence of generally accessible knowledge of the Christian God. This refusal, one is told, results in an intellectual ghettoization, since it is clear that one can only benefit from intellectual engagement with other traditions of thought if one is willing to grant them a common starting point. In other words, Barthians are told that natural theology is necessary if they want to avoid intellectual autoeroticism. As you can well imagine, gentle readers, this argument has never satisfied me. I know that is a surprise to you, but it is true. Really, it is. So I was happy to find the following passage where Migliore helpfully distinguishes between fideism on the one hand and faith-seeking-understanding on the other. After all, what we Barthians want is a thorough version of the latter. Daniel L. Migliore, Faith

Ben Myers on Augustine and Romans 5

Last week at Princeton Theological Seminary ’s Roman’s Conference Ben Myers offered a resourceful presentation on the Adam/Christ typology of Romans 5, Augustine, and the Confessions . While I will only give a cursory overview of Myers’ message, a full text (including an additional section on Augustine and the Psalms) is forthcoming. The gist of Myers’ presentation is a response to Krister Stendahl’s claim that the introspective turn in theology to self-consciousness (e.g., Luther’s ‘Where can I find a gracious God?’) can be traced as far back as Augustine. Wherever one looks for this turn, notes Myers, Augustine is not the culprit. To make this point Myers looks to the Adam/Christ typology embedded within the Confessions , particularly in two unforgettable moments: the ‘pears’ account and Augustine’s conversion. In the first account Augustine mirrors the Genesis 3 narrative when he and his friends steal the coveted fruit from the garden: "[I] tasted nothing in them but my own

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend… …or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere. Well, not even a fortnight this time. Only ten days have passed since the last of these link roundup posts , and I’m still working off my backlog. So without further ado… To begin, we celebrated Karl Barth’s birthday here at DET (for the first time, I believe, although don’t hold me to that!) the other day with, among other things, a picture of a very special cake . Remember a month or so ago? That Holy Week think? Well, on Holy Thursday il papa gave a speech chastising a group of priests who have been agitating for opening the priesthood to women and removing the requirement of clerical celibacy. Against such dangerous free-thinkers, Benedict recommended the “radicalism of obedience.” Here is an article about it . In a delicious line, the article’s author notes that this phrase “perfectly captures the essence of the theologian pope’s thought.” Kim Fabricius showed up the next da

It’s Karl Barth’s Birthday

So, Karl Barth was born 126 years ago today. I feel like I am celebrating his birth today because I just had the pleasure of hearing a paper criticizing Protestant criticisms of Thomas Aquinas on nature and grace from one of our graduating seniors (who is, coincidentally, going on to graduate work at St. Louis University – we’re all very proud of her!), and I concluded the colloquy, if you will, by discoursing on the history of doctrine on this point from Augustine to Barth. I’m mildly ashamed of this, but comfort myself since there were no other questions / comments forthcoming at that point… Anyway, here is an excerpt from Eberhard Busch, Karl Barth: His Life from Letters and Autobiographical Texts : Karl Barth was born in Basle on 10 May 1886. He came into the world on a Monday morning, about five o’clock, at Grellingerstrasse 42, and he was called Karl after his mother’s older brother. His parents’ names were Johann Friedrich (‘Fritz’) Barth and Anna Katharina, née Sartorius.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend… …or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere. As has been true of the last few installments, “fortnight” applies only loosely. Just because I don’t have time to post here as the semester finishes up doesn’t mean that I’m not paying attention to the theo-blogosphere. I am, and I have – as usual – culled some of the more interesting stuff for your consideration. Some of this stuff was getting a bit dated, so when I found a few minutes sitting on my hands I figured that I would share them with you. To begin, you’ll want to be sure and check out what has been available recently on DET: a post on Barth’s dialog with Catholicism in his Münster period , a call for papers from an upcoming graduate student conference at Harvard , and an announcement for the C. S. Lewis Essay Prize . That said, here is some of the other stuff, presented as bullet-points in a more-or-less random order: Why not start with politics? Here is an article ab