#TheologyOfWomen: The Prophetic Vocation

Famously, Pope Francis called for a better theology of women. This intersects with my interests, as I agree with him that there is much to do here, as John Paul II himself saw with his call for a "new feminism."In this regard, one idea has been nagging me and I submit here for purview. The three great anointed offices of the Old Testament, which culminate in Jesus and which we all receive by baptism, are that of king, priest and prophet.One word about the priestly vocation, first. When … [Read more...]

Preliminary Thoughts On Theological Aesthetics

Since I'm on a Balthasarian kick these days, it's impossible not to talk about the idea of theological aesthetics.Much of Balthasar's thought springs from the idea of the Beautiful as the "forgotten transcendental." Think of the three Great Transcendentals of classical Greek philosophy: the True, the Good and the Beautiful. Both theology and philosophy place great emphasis on the first two and tend to overlook the third. Balthasar's idea in writing a Theodramatik was precisely to give the Be … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving As The Meaning Of Life

I've already written about the meaning of morality as worship (coda). I've already written (maybe only in my mind?) about the meaning of our existence as self-donation in imitation of the Persons of the Trinity. If God is the very nature of Being itself, as Scripture and the Scholastics say, and if God is a self-giving union of Persons, then, as Ratzinger puts it, the nature of being itself is being-in-relation. But there is more. This relation between the Persons of the Trinity is not any relat … [Read more...]

Desperately Needed: New Relationship Scripts

My wonderful Patheos co-blogger Leah Libresco has recently been hosting a symposium of sorts on her blog on relationships, dating, and the "Nice Guy Problem." Here's the roundup.Man, are we in a bad way. Cultures have relationship scripts: i.e. memes or cultural stories that more-or-less dictate how relationships work. The script doesn't mean that everybody follows it, but it tells us what to expect, and what is culturally expected of us. For many centuries, we had the more-or-less arranged … [Read more...]

Book Review: Richard Bauckham, “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”

A number of prominent Bible scholars believe that Richard Bauckham's book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses just might be the most important book of New Testament scholarship in many decades--the kind of paradigm-shifting work that will be ignored by most current scholars and only taken up by a new generation, as science advances "one funeral at a time".In a word, the book argues that the Gospels are books of oral history; in other words, that they are based on the direct accounts of specific, … [Read more...]