Sunday, June 15, 2014

Affirming Aquinas & Catholic Tradition only to dismiss them?

Jason Steidl, in a paper on Chesterton's interpretation of St. Thomas Aquinas, writes:
Ironically, just as Chesterton's biography of Thomas Aquinas was published in 1933, many theologians within the Roman Catholic Church were beginning to criticize the role of the Thomistic tradition in Christianity. The way of understanding Christian faith and the world, so strongly advocated by Chesterton, had become stale with centuries of use and abuse, its thinking, as Chesterton characterized the Neo-Platonism that preceded it, an outmoded model that no longer addressed modern concerns. Hence, scholars such as Marie Dominique Chenu challenged the church authorities in much the same way that Aquinas had challenged the hierarchy centuries before. These scholars of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s proposed new paradigms for Thomistic thought and the role of theology in the church, while Chesterton remained silent in thecontroversy, content to dwell in, and even defend, the forms of faith as he received them.
Our Atlantic correspondent, who sent us this linked article, suggested that it's worth checking out how someone like Aquinas or Chesterton is handled by modern Catholics, such as this writer, and remarks:
[These writers, like Aquinas or Chesterton] are affirmed even as they are essentially dismissed! Sometimes I feel like this is just how the Nouvelles handled Tradition: "We are all for it! There, now lets dismantle it!"
[Hat tip to G.N.]


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