Wednesday, December 26, 2007

At a time when excesses of reformed theology has succeeded in shifting the popular sense of Christian vocation to being a mere matter of fire insurance (salvation from hell), Walter Hilton's mystical vision and his writings continued to insist that the ancient way--the way of theosis, of union with God--was the Christian's ultimate calling.


Love's Body

Lean in! I was a child, and spoke like one;
My thought? very like a child's.
I gripped my reason with both
my little fists. It smelled suspiciously of milk.
Now as a man, I've learned to let it go.
Just now we squint to see the Image through
this latent, bleak obscurity. One day, we'll see the Image--
as Himself--gleaming from each face.
Just now, I puzzle through a range
of incoherencies; but on that day,
the scattered fragments will cohere.
In all of this, both now and ever,
faith and hope and love abide, these
sacred three, but the greatest of these (yous surely
must have guessed) is love.


Monday, December 24, 2007

I think, then, that the chief task of philosophy is to justify this way of reason and to defend practical and political reason against the domination of technology based science. That is the point of philosophical hermeneutic. It corrects the peculiar falsehood of modern consciousness: the idolatry of scientific method and the anonymous authority of the sciences and it vindicates again the noblest task of the citizen - decision-making according to one's own responsibility - instead of conceding that task to the expert. In this respect, hermeneutic philosophy is the heir of the older tradition of practical philosophy.

Hans-Georg Gadamer
Truth as the accumulation of scientific facts and propositions, the dream of the Enlightenment philosophes, with the Encyclopaedia as the totality of human wisdom between the covers of a book, is an impossibility since it ignores the contribution to truth made by the enquirer. Truth is an experience. But what is it that is experienced? Doesn’t experience make the possessor wiser? No. Experience, if it teaches anything, teaches its own limitations. The Enlightenment version of experience as the accumulation of knowledge is wildly optimistic and arrogant about the almost endless possibilities of human knowledge….For Gadamer, the best that can be hoped for with experience is not knowledge but insight, insight into the fallibility of human possibilities and their essential limitations. Experience is no more than ‘experience of human finitude.’

…Experience and insight are part of genuine wisdom and it is this that we have lost sight of in the modern world where we are more inclined to speak of the accumulation of knowledge in a so-called ‘knowledge’ society.

…The experienced person proves to be…someone who is radically undogmatic; who, because of the many experiences he has had and the knowledge he has drawn from them, is particularly well equipped to have new experiences and learn from them. The dialectic of experience has its proper fulfillment not in definitive knowledge but in the openness to experience that is made possible by experience itself.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

As it turns out, running is a lot like parenting: The days are long, but the years are short.
John Bingham. "No Need for Speed" in Runner's World. December 2006.