Any day now . . .
Not much posting lately, I know. I had hoped to put up another installment on ‘authority’ by last weekend, but was unable to do so thanks to both the pressure of work (I have an extra load this semester, with unexpected classes at awkward times) and the nature of the problem on which I’m working. The latter involves a greater amount of philological research than I had anticipated when I began, chasing down New Testament terms (particularly εξουσια) and their usage in various works of reference, et cetera. I know what I want to say and pretty much how I want to say it—I’m just having a hard time getting my theological and philological ducks in a row. New aspects of the problem keep popping up unexpectedly, and while I am learning an awful lot of fascinating stuff, the waters keep getting deeper. Still, I’ll get there before too long—I hope.
Wait ’til next year . . .
One thing that had been a happy distraction, even if it added to the pressure at work and on the blog, was watching the long march of my beloved Yankees towards their inevitable 27th World Series championship—NOT! Well, guess I don’t have to worry about that for another year. I’m still puzzling over their collapse in the first round. I mean, the Tigers, for all their dazzle in the early going, did not exactly look like world-beaters towards the end of the season, losing their last regular season series (to the hapless Royals no less), actually falling behind the Twins and ending up the Wild Card. Still, the Yanks getting beat by Bonderman I can understand. But to lose to Kenny Rogers? That Kenny Rogers? The Kenny Rogers who in his entire career had never won a single post-season game? The Kenny Rogers who famously lost for the Mets in the ’99 NLCS by walking in the winning run for the Braves in the eleventh inning? That Kenny Rogers? What’s up with that? Oh well, at least I can catch up on desk work . . .
In the meantime, readers starved for intelligent discourse on matters theological and political on the internet might want to check out the debate that has just taken place on The New Republic website. Damon Linker is a writer and critic who had worked for Fr. Richard John Neuhaus and First Things before leaving to write stuff highly critical of that entire crowd—Neuhaus, Michael Novak, George Weigel et alii, dubbed the “theocons” by Linker and others—e.g. a highly critical review of Neuhaus’s latest work in TNR a few months back (worth reading, but may require subscription or at least registration). Now< Linker has come out with a book (which I haven’t read) entitled The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. Ross Douthat is an editor at the Atlantic Monthly and someone who identifies himself (more or less) with the line of thinking represented by First Things.
The two have been conducting a debate, in the form of an exchange of letters, about the place of religion in general, and Roman Catholicism in particular, in American public life, a debate that is well worth reading both for its intrinsic interest and for the civility with which it has been conducted. (There is also an interesting comments thread accompanying the letters). You can read it here. You do not have to subscribe to the magazine (although—surprise, surprise—the site will encourage you to do so), but you do have to register with the site. Do yourself a favor.
On matters more specifically Anglican: the September issue of New Directions is now available as an archived HTML document, while the October issue has come out as a PDF. Reading them both is instructive in many ways; among other things, ND has shown the good grace to allow Christina Rees, the leading proponent of women ‘bishops’ in the C of E, to publish her argument in their pages. Both issues have a lot that relates pretty directly to what’s on the minds of Anglicans today. Check them out.
Revealed at last!
I continue to see discussions of anonymity, its virtues and vices, on various blogs. Once again, for the record, if anyone wants to know my name, he or she has but to send me an e-mail request (click on the appropriate link on the right) and I will tell.
However, to satisfy the insatiable curiosity of my vast and ever-growing reading public (I mean, there must be a least a couple of dozen of you by now, yes?), I have decided to reveal my physical self. So here I am below. I leave it to you to guess which one is me, but I will offer two prizes (I have no idea what yet—I’ll think of something appropriate if anyone wins), first to whoever guesses exactly where this shot was taken, and then to whoever gives the best caption.
More in a few days . . . I hope.
Fr. Neuhaus himself has the following comment on the Linker/Douthat debate on The New Republic website:
You will not be surprised to learn that I am solidly on Ross Douthat’s side in his exchanges with Damon Linker at the New Republic Online (registration required) and the American Experience. My personal interest aside—or as much as I am capable of putting it aside—this is one of the more intelligent exchanges on religion and the republic that I have seen for some time.
As Kendall would say, read the whole thing.