Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A New Book on the Gospels by Garry Wills

Fr. Edward T. Oakes has a review here of a new book by Garry Wills, What Jesus Meant, which sounds interesting. I refer to Wills's book, not the sour review, which uses "crypto-Anglican" as a swear-word. Sounds like a compliment to me!

I've always liked Wills, and I particularly commend his Under God: Religion and American Politics. It sounds to me like Fr. Oakes finds Wills's Christianity a little too "mere" and not Catholic (i.e., not papist) enough. But I'm glad to see that GW's theology has not moved leftwards at the same rate as his politics. If he (GW) wants to move over to Episcopalianism, we could use his help.

6 comments:

Cb said...

If he (GW) wants to move over to Episcopalianism, we could use his help.
Amen, Amen.

Anonymous said...

"If he (GW) wants to move over to Episcopalianism, we could use his help"

We'd be glad to let you have him. Judging from his writings, he apparently wants to turn Catholicism into Protestantism anyway. So why don't you save us all a lot of trouble and send him an invitation. :-)

John

Anonymous said...

"It sounds to me like Fr. Oakes finds Wills's Christianity a little too "mere" and not Catholic (i.e., not papist) enough."

Were you aware that the term "papist" is derogatory and usually has a negative connotation?
Or was it your intent to offend those Catholics, who actually believe in Catholicism?

pa·pist
n. Offensive: Used as a disparaging term for a Roman Catholic.

The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Main Entry: pa·pist
Function: noun
: ROMAN CATHOLIC
- papist: adjective usually disparaging

Merriam-Webster

EMC said...

If you've read any of my blog other than this post, you will know that my basic stance is far from hostile to (Roman) Catholicism. I am schooled in the usage that "Catholic" means the church universal, and that "Roman Catholic" or "papist" refers to those who believe that the pastoral center of the church is at Rome, embodied in the Pope. Is there something in these descriptions you disagree with?

Anonymous said...

"I am schooled in the usage that "Catholic" means the church universal, and that "Roman Catholic" or "papist" refers to those who believe that the pastoral center of the church is at Rome, embodied in the Pope. Is there something in these descriptions you disagree with?"

I am schooled in the usage that Catholic with a capitol C is usually used as an abbreviation for Roman Catholic. While catholic with a small c refers to the universal church.

Papist is a term that has been used sneeringly by Protestants to refer to Roman Catholics for years. So much so, that it derogatory and offensive nature is now reflected in the current dictionary citations posted above.

I just wondered if you knew.

Kevin said...

Anonymous, Ed is too conciliatory to point out that you are straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel. His jocular use of the mildly derogatory "papist" is nothing compared to Fr. Oakes' sneering, supercilious trashing of Wills' book and Wills personally, at whom Fr. Oakes indiscriminately throws his cliched contempt for iliberals, secularists, defenders of Darwin, defenders of Roe v. Wade, and, no doubt, pinkos and fellow travelers.

Fr. Oakes, a knowledgeable theologian, could have simply pointed out Wills' inconsistencies and errors as he saw them, doing a service to the thinking reader whether he ultimately agreed or not. Instead, Fr. Oakes chose to indulge his self-important ressentiment, leaving any reader who dissents from his views or his manner of expression with a bitter aftertaste from his brand of Christianity, whatever one chooses to call it.