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Incapable of doubt, incapable of faithThe majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities, and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or much faith. -- T.S. Eliot, Introduction (1931), Pascal's "Pensees"
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Problem or Mystery?A problem is something which I meet, which I find completely before me, but which I can therefore lay siege to and reduce. But a mystery is something in which I am myself involved, and it can therefore only be thought of as a sphere where the distinction between what is in me and what is before me loses its meaning and initial validity. -- Gabriel Marcel
Our Ways of Understanding"Our ways of understanding have been collective, beginning with the stories that we told each other around the fire when we lived in caves. Our ways today are still collective, including literature, history, art, music, religion, and science." - Freeman Dyson
"Referee won't blow the whistle / God is good but will he listen?" -- U2
- "When someone opposes me, he arouses my attention, not my anger. I go to meet a man who contradicts me, who instructs me. The cause of truth should be the common cause of both." -- Montaigne
- "If your anger decreases with time, you did injustice; if it increases, you suffered injustice." -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- "And the missionaries, they tell us we will be left behind. / Been left behind a thousand times, a thousand times." -- Arcade Fire
Wittgenstein on Kierkegaard
"Kierkegaard was by far the most profound thinker of the[nineteenth] century. Kierkegaard was a saint." - Ludwig Wittgenstein, to his friend Maurice Drury.
Read Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard: Religion, Individuality, and Philosophical Method by Charles L. Creegan free online.
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Liturgy For The PeopleThe liturgy is essentially not the religion of the cultured, but the religion of the people. If the people are rightly instructed, and the liturgy is properly carried out, they display a simple and profound understanding of it. For the people do not analyze concepts, but contemplate. The people possess that inner integrity of being which corresponds perfectly with the symbolism of the liturgical language, imagery, action and ornaments. The cultured man has first of all to accustom himself to this attitude; but to the people it has always been inconceivable that religion should express itself by abstract ideas and logical developments, and not by being and action, by imagery and ritual. --Romano Guardini, "The Awakening of the Church in the Soul"
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Arts and humansArt is the signature of man. -G.K. Chesterton
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The Anguished QuestionIf you really enquire about God, not with mere curiosity, not, as it were, like a spiritual stamp collector, but as an anxious seeker, distressed in heart, anguished by the possibility that God might not exist and hence all life be vanity and one great madness -- if you ask in such a mood as the man who asks the doctor, "Tell me, will my wife live or will she die?"-- if you ask thus about God, then you know already that God exists; the anguished question bears witness that you know. -- Emil Brunner, "Our Faith"
Category Archives: academicsImage
I’m curious if anyone thinks the following observation, made by C.S. Lewis in the 1940s, is less true today than it was when it was written:
“If we did all that Plato or Aristotle or Confucius told us, we should get on a great deal better than we do. And so what? We never have followed the advice of the great teachers. Why are we likely to begin now?”
That’s the central issue I’m after.
However, it seems unfair not to include how Lewis continues:
“Why are we more likely to follow Christ than any of the others? Because He is the best moral teacher? But that makes it even less likely that we shall follow Him. If we cannot take the elementary lessons, is it likely we are going to take the advanced one? If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes no difference.
“But as soon as you look at any real Christian writings, you find that they are talking about something quite different from this popular religion. They say that Christ is the Son of God (whatever that means). They say that those who give Him their confidence also become Sons of God (whatever that means). They say that His death saved us from our sins (whatever that means).”
(Quotations from Beyond Personality, which was later included in Mere Christianity.)
New book offers first critical biography of C.S. Lewis’ friend Ruth Pitter, first woman to win Queen’s poetry award
LiturgicalCredo.com has posted an interview with Don W. King, author of Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter (Kent State University Press). The book is due in May.
In 1955, English poet Ruth Pitter became the first woman to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. She had previously won two other major poetry awards.
Pitter was admired by W.B. Yeats and C.S. Lewis, as well as other members of the Inklings.
Don W. King discovered references to letters between Lewis and Pitter while he was doing research for his 2001 book, C.S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse (Kent State University Press). After that, he continued to research Pitter, and the result was Hunting the Unicorn.
You’ll find the interview prominently displayed on our home page.
(Mac users, if you happen to notice any strange breaks in the text of the interview, please let us know by leaving a comment on this post.)
Colin Foote Burch