Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Popes Say The Darndest Things

While researching regarding Duns Scotus we came across two documents of Benedict XVI that contain some remarkable opinions--opinions that cut to the heart of his papacy.

The first document is the text of a General Audience given on July 7, 2010. The General Audience was devoted to John Duns Scotus.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Anselm's Platonism and the Development of Doctrine

In Questions of Authority I posed the following question:
This leads us to the question: is it possible that the Church can mistakenly put forward as doctrine theologizing that is based on misunderstandings of Scripture?
The example I provided was one that Avery Dulles cited re Original Sin:
In recounting the challenges faced by the authors of the Catechism, Dulles points out one doctrinal matter in particular:
The doctrine of original sin caused particular difficulty, and was studied at length by a special commission. In the past fifty years numerous theologians have proposed ways of updating the traditional teaching, which relied heavily on contestable interpretations of the creation narratives in Genesis and of Paul's letter to the Romans.
Josef Pieper, writing in 1960 in his well known survey Scholasticism, touched on these issues from an historical standpoint in his treatment of Anselm of Canterbury—most famous for his so-called ontological “proof” for the existence of God. Pieper begins the extended passage ( pp. 60-65) by noting that, of the two ways in which human reason may be “overvalued,” the “overvaluation of logical deduction from general principles,” is
especially linked to the Platonic-Augustinian view of the world; it is a latent peril of that view. And it is this peril of “deductive rationalism” which Anselm of Canterbury conjured up, and which thereafter lingered in Western Christianity.