I’d like to highlight a post by Br. Dan on the Elizabeth Johnson affair that others have already recommended in comments. In it, he connects the attitude of the bishops with Radical Orthodoxy, taking as an example a recent book by Chicago’s own Cardinal George in which he repeats the “Scotus ruined everything narrative,” citing nothing but standard Radox authorities like Milbank and Pickstock. The whole post is worth reading, and here I’ll snip the conclusion:
As I said above, one way to read the report on Johnson’s book is to see another iteration of the Radical Orthodoxy movement’s concerns articulated as: contemporary theological engagement with the social and natural sciences as suspect, distrusts modern (and postmodern) philosophical resourcing and seeks to re-appropriate medieval articulations and formulae for today’s usage.
The committee doesn’t like the place of evolution and science in Johnson’s theology, finds the Kantian qualities of Johnson’s modern theological project problematic and seeks to reiterate Thomas (notice the report’s only footnotes are from the Summa). This is not about the problems with Elizabeth Johnson’s theology, this is about problems with the entire purpose of theology and what a certain group of people in the last twenty or so years thinks theology should look like.
One thought on “The US Council of Radical Orthodox Bishops?”
It strikes me as ironic that the USCCB turns to Aquinas in its critique of Elizabeth Johnson, because Aquinas himself was treated in the same way when he dared to use Aristotelian philosophy as a way of talking about the Christian Faith. There will always be, it seems, tension between the “powers” and the “thinkers” in the Church. As the French say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
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