Thursday, February 02, 2006

Reading First Things

As I noted before, I picked up the February issue of First Things earlier this week. I've been reading FT since high school, and this month's issue reminds me why. I haven't got through it all yet (I'm a little worried that it looks like one of those issues where you have to read it all); but I've enjoyed a wonderful reflection on the history of a Polish parish, now about to close its doors; Amy Welborn's lovely review of a book on the Gunpowder Plot, which takes place in a period of history I have great interest in (though, as one can judge by the lack of flux on the sidebar, not too much time to read about); Timothy George's extremely enlightening look at Evangelicalism over the psst century, particularly with regards to their ecumenical outlook (or, at times, antipathy to); and Fr. Neuhaus' Public Square, and marvelous reflection on the risk of a "Truce of 2005".

But perhaps most interesting theologically is Avery Cardinal Dulles' essay on Pope Benedict's thinking on the Second Vatican Council, with a particular care for changes in his view of the Council's work from his days as a theologian at VII to his years in the CDF.

I'm afraid no excerpt will really do justice to the essay, so here's a little bit that amused me:
The pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes in final form was primarily the work of French theologians. The German group did not control the text. At the time of the council Ratzinger already noted many difficulties, beginning with the problem of language. In opting for the language of modernity the text inevitably places itself outside the world of the Bible, so taht as a result the biblical citations come to be little more than ornamental. Because of its stated preference for dialogue, the constitution makes faith appear not as an urgent demand for total commitment but as a conversational search into obscure matters. Christ is mentioned only at the end of each section, almost as an afterthought.
Goodness. Can't the French do anything right?


Blogger DilexitPrior said...

I've caved in and bought myself a student subscription (which actually isn't that expensive). . . I'm still waiting for my first issue to arrive though...

February 03, 2006 9:14 AM  

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