Thread on the Catholic thing in the context of a new center, from a talk given earlier this fall: "Good theology, in my estimation, almost always bleeds into other disciplines—philosophy, history, philology, etc.… Catholicism behaves in history like a wildfire. 1/7
"It brings light, but also burns, and it transforms the landscape where it appears. It both meets cultures & at the same time is its own culture. A center for the study of global Catholicism, in my estimation, aspires to be as fearless as a fire. 2/7
"By exploring Catholicism globally, it unsettles whatever constructs seek to contain it. And by interrogating Catholicism, it explores not an idea, or a worldview, but a “living tradition.” 3/7
"This means that all disciplines that explore human life lived together—the humanities, certainly the social sciences, & perhaps even some of the life sciences—can sit around the table. Let me switch metaphors. The most fundamental idea in Catholicism is the incarnation- 4/7
"the belief that God became human in history. If God can become human, then we can become divine; “whatever humanizes, divinizes” is perhaps the most laconic answer to the question as to how this religious culture produced its art & literature. 5/7
"A center for the study of global Catholicism embraces what makes us human by excluding nothing that humans make. It would be a loss, let me conclude, if it omitted the transcendent from its field of exploration 6/7
"By this I mean the theological, which encompasses the mysteries of faith and the revealed truths that most of Catholicism’s subjects for most of its history have believed and understood in such a way that made them understand other realities in a different light." 7/7

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More from @GrantAKaplan

15 Apr 19
1/ Finished a book I've been pecking away at for months, Michael Gross's The War Against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in 19th c. Germany (see 22 Nov. post for cover art). Follow thread for thoughts meant to offend all.
2/ The case is made persuasively that the liberal project rightly sees the Catholic Church as its most obvious enemy. Gross is a good historian. So good, I wish he were writing more. But here's where the offense comes in...
3/ Catholics just can't be naive about the danger that liberalism poses, but they don't just hate us to hate us. They hated the RCC because they saw Catholicism as nearly irreconcilable with the project of nation building and specifically with the kind of productivity needed.
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