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Things of Note

Evan has notified us of an upcoming Review of Politics issue that is dedicated to the work of William Cavanaugh. Looks like some important reading there.

Also, Millinerd has done a  write-up of what looks to be a very important article on the analogia entis by our own R.O Flyer. The article engages John Betz’s recent work on the topic and brings it into conversation with the work of Eberhard Jüngel. Here’s just a snip from Millinerd’s summary:

Jüngel realizes that the analogia entis “protects the holy grail of the mystery, and as such is really the opposite of what Protestant polemics have made it out to be.” While a quick read of Summa I.13 could have gotten Protestant critics there much earlier, it’s nice to hear such an assertion from a Protestant voice as authoritative as Jüngel’s. Protestants were attacking a phantom Catholic doctrine after all. We can therefore lay down the polemics and get back to the business of unity, right?

Wrong. Siggelkow relates how Jüngel resumes the attack on analogy by criticizing the very mystery of God that the analogia entis hopes to protect. Notwithstanding the fact that Aquinas is a rather vigorous defender of the Incarnation, Jüngel insists that “the theological critique to be directed against the great accomplishment of [the Catholic] metaphysical tradition focuses on the fact that in its obtrusiveness the unknownness of God has become an unbearably sinister riddle.” Jüngel’s alternative to normative Christian theology is an eschatologically charged “analogy of advent,” one that is free from Catholic metaphysical constraints. . . .

To summarize, the sad reality is this: Once Protestants railed against the analogia entis because it made God too near. Now, Protestants rail against the analogia entis because it makes God too far away. One wonders, then, if this debate is telling us more about Protestant attitudes towards Catholicism than about the analogia entis itself. But the real irony, at least the one presented by this incisive issue of the Princeton Theological Review, is even sadder: The mystery of Catholic theology that Jüngel calls an “unbearably sinister riddle” is the common inheritance of Orthodox theology, which of course includes Maximus the Confessor. Which is to say, this issue builds an ecumenical bridge, torches it, and watches it burn.

I still suspect that Flyer and Jüngel are right, though.


  1. Evan wrote:

    Wow, I feel stupid. I had read the article on analogy (and thought it was wonderful), but didn’t make the connection with R.O Flyer even though I knew your real name. Thanks for pointing out the obvious to those of us who are oblivious, Halden. Thanks for the link, too. I’m looking forward to the upcoming issue, and glad that the work of Cavanaugh and others is actually getting attention in political theory.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink
  2. R.O. Flyer wrote:

    Perhaps my pseudonymity is working against me? Thanks for the shout out Halden. Hopefully PTR posts the issue soon.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Permalink
  3. Halden wrote:

    Indeed. I really want to read the article. I didn’t even know that you had drank deeply from Jungel’s well yet.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Permalink
  4. myles wrote:

    Looking forward to the Cavanaugh stuff. And good job, Ry.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 6:30 am | Permalink
  5. Evan wrote:

    Hopefully not everyone is as dense as I am. And I imagine that as often as pseudonymity works against someone in blogging, it works for them as well. ;)

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink

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