June 11, 2005


Naomi Riley in “God on the Quad” says that what divides Catholics is not the liturgy or view of matters sexual but their take on ecumenism. An example is whether to avoid prostelyzing Jews –liberals are comfortable with that while conservatives would ask why prohibit Jews from the truth? I wonder if the true divide – caution you are entering a Bias Zone – is more that conservatives see the church as their parent (i.e. Mother Kirche). Conservatives accept Church rules just as we accepted our mother's rules because we believed her when she said it was for our own good. We brushed our teeth as children trusting that the temporary boredom of the action promised some future unseen good. But I have trouble remembering the last time a progressive wanted the Church to do something that was for some spiritual good that wasn't attached to some obvious temporal benefit. Not that I've given much thought. Remember, you entered a Bias Zone.

“God in the Quad” is a very interesting read. She mentions how not all students at Thomas Aquinas College are Catholics but that “many will (convert) after they read Augustine’s “City of God” their sophomore year.” Alas, another classic book I haven’t read. (Jeff Culbreath wants to read it too. I will if you do? Can I get a witness?) She says the great debate at Thomas Aquinas College is Plato vs. Aristotle. Since Augustine used Plato and Aquinas used Aristotle, is this the source of the of the Augustine/Thomist divide (happily, an unthreatening divide) in the Church? Knowing little of Augustine and Thomas and less of Plato and Aristotle, I’m wondering how the Augustinianian/Thomist debate manifests itself “one layer up”, i.e. when you get to my undereducated level.

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