FW: Newsletter www.chiesa
Relevant to discussion of gnosticism. Here the emphasis is clearly laid on gnosticism as self-salvation.
Subject: Newsletter www.chiesa
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 09:51:32 +0100
Newsletter di www.chiesa
8 febbraio 2008
Un teologo rifà da capo la fede cattolica. Ma la Chiesa dice no
È Vito Mancuso, in un libro di grande successo raccomandato dal cardinale Martini. Nel quale non c'è più peccato né redenzione, ma l'uomo si salva da sé. Dopo mesi di silenzio, il doppio altolà delle autorità vaticane. Ecco i testi integrali
A Theologian Remakes the Catholic Faith from Scratch. But the Church Says "No"
He is Vito Mancuso, in a highly successful book that has been recommended by cardinal Martini. In it, there is no longer any sin or redemption, but instead man saves himself. After months of silence, a double "stop right there"' from the Vatican authorities. Here are the complete texts
Un théologien revoit la foi catholique de A à Z. Mais l'Eglise dit non
Il s'agit de Vito Mancuso, auteur d'un livre à grand succès recommandé par le cardinal Martini. On n'y trouve plus ni péché, ni rédemption et l'homme se sauve lui-même. Après des mois de silence, le double holà des autorités du Vatican. Voici les textes intégraux
Un teólogo pone de cabeza la fe católica. Pero la Iglesia dice no
Es Vito Mancuso, en un libro de gran éxito, recomendado por el cardenal Martíni. Para el autor, no hay pecado ni redención, sino que el hombre se salva por sí mismo. Después de meses de silencio, el doble alerta de las autoridades vaticanas. Aquí presentamos los textos íntegros
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- The URL for Mr. Sill's article in English is found at:
I note the reference to Bishop Forte, one of then-Cardinal
". . . .
Well then, in "L'Osservatore Romano" of February 2nd, it is the
archbishop-theologian Forte himself who deeply criticizes Mancuso's
"His conclusion is straightforward: 'This is not Christian theology,
but 'gnosis', the presumption of saving oneself on one's own.'
. . . ."
It appears that Voegelin's popularization of the concept of
gnosticism can still be applied usefully today. Here is another.
Mr Obama's presidential campaign has apparently taken on certain
gnostic characteristics and people are beginning to notice. This
from James Taranto's column yesterday in the WSJ:
". . . .The other day one Kathleen Geier, who says she voted for
Obama and considers him 'a good progressive,' took to the liberal
TPMCafe site to declare that she is 'increasingly weirded out by some
of Obama's supporters':
"She quotes from a Sacramento Bee article that she (and we) found
"He looked at me, and the look in his eyes was worth 1,000 words,"
said [Kim] Mack, now a regional field organizer. Obama hugged her and
whispered something in her ear--she was so thrilled she doesn't
remember what it was. . . .
"She urged volunteers to hone their own stories of how they came to
Obama--something they could compress into 30 seconds on the phone.
"As Geier notes, 'this sounds more like a cult than a political
"The language used here is the language of evangelical Christianity-
-the Obama volunteers speak of 'coming to Obama' in the same way
born-again Christians talk about "coming to Jesus."
"But he's not Jesus! He's not going to magically enable us to
transcend the bitter partisanship that is tearing this country apart.
ABC's Jake Tapper notes other enthusiasts and detractors from the
enthusiasm, all on the Democratic left. 'I've been following politics
since I was about 5,' Chris Matthews tells the New York Observer.
'I've never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy.
[Obama] comes along, and he seems to have the answers. This is the
"On the other side, Time's Joe Klein writes that there is 'something
just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism' of the Obama
campaign, which "all too often is about how wonderful the Obama
campaign is." Adds the dyspeptic leftist James Wolcott:
"'Perhaps it's my atheism at work but I found myself increasingly
wary of and resistant to the salvational fervor of the Obama
campaign, the idealistic zeal divorced from any particular policy or
cause and chariot-driven by pure euphoria. . . . I don't look to
politics for transcendence and self-certification.'
"What are we to make of Obama himself in the midst of all this
adulation? A cynic would say that he is a manipulator if not a
demagogue, exploiting the gullible to further his own ambitions. A
more charitable view is that his intentions are all to the good, that
he has simply figured out how to tap into a genuine desire for
inspiration in politics, and that if elected he will use his
political powers to do good for the country. . . ."
From WSJ online 07Feb 08:
I particularly liked Wolcott the atheist! There are also reminders here
of Ronald Knox's _Enthusiasm_, the massive compendium of
heresy through the millennia, which EV evidently admired.
On Fri, 8 Feb 2008 10:34:30 +0000, chip sills wrote:
> Relevant to discussion of gnosticism. Here the emphasis is clearly
> laid on gnosticism as self-salvation.
> Regards, CFS
> From: s.magister@...
- On a conceptual level, are all religions/movements emphasizing
self-salvation Gnostic, or is self-salvation one feature of Gnosticism
that it shares with other religions/movements?
- That is a question requiring a nuanced and lengthy answer!
Some answers can be found in EV's CW 5,
either NSP or SP&G. A search found 60 references, and one
that caught my eye is found at:
One must keep in mind the non-gnostic elements in these
On Fri, 8 Feb 2008 10:23:26 -0500, James Rovira wrote:
> On a conceptual level, are all religions/movements emphasizing self-
> salvation Gnostic, or is self-salvation one feature of Gnosticism
> that it shares with other religions/movements?
> Jim R
- I would be interested in an analysis founded upon the recreation of the
experiences engendering the symbols in question. It seems like the
endorsements of, the speeches of, and interviews with the candidate, are
key sources for supporting the analysis of the self-interpretation of
One doesn't have to go far in the speeches before one sees hope for a
bipartisan coalition sufficiently large to do something significant
described in terms of Heb. 11's "unseen." However, I'm not sure that
fills out Voegelin's quintessential "gnostic" profile. Maybe an
illegitimate twist of the text by way of "immanentization," but not
quite the expectation of an "immanentized eschaton." One sees a steady
emphasis on a putative artificiality in partisan categories, a professed
lack of faith in "dogma" regarding the means to achieve the recent goals
of the political left--a sort of post-ideological theme. And definitely
one sees a sweeping hyperbole focused on hope, high expectation phrased
in the traditional terms of American political rhetoric: biblical
tropes, American exceptionalism, and the pantheon of national heroes.
It seems to me the endorsements might also useful for understanding the
self-interpretation of the people comprising the campaign in what appear
to be socially effective numbers. There are plenty available, running
from the hoary, progressive weekly The Nation to the hoary, conservative
"intellectual" Jeffrey Hart. (I had quite a few chuckles over the last
one because the first time I saw Voegelin's name was Hart's
characterization of Mel Bradford as a "Confederate Voegelin"--somehow
the juxtaposition of names here is very funny to me.) Lots of attention
to a peculiar timing of opportunity, as in a "brief window", in the
endorsements I've seen.
I don't have the kind of fluency in American political discourse and its
antecedents required to do the analysis. However, there are some
symbols any analysis would have to pay attention to, I believe: "unity",
already mentioned by several in this forum as a perennial and
multi-valent symbol in American political discourse; "new/future/fresh
start" as opposed to "old" or "past"--Hart's choice for a characterizing
term, "redemption", fits in here, as does the
"post-partisan/post-racial/post-whatever" theme; the seemingly potent
symbol of a mixed race candidate with simultaneous appeal to whites and
This last one is very intriguing to me. It is not surprising that a
black candidate would lock up the black vote after having demonstrated
the appeal to white voters seen in Iowa and South Carolina. However, I
wonder to what extent the support of a black candidate factors into the
significance of that support in the self-interpretation of the typical
white supporter. Given the sorts of numbers I've seen on the rates of
inter-racial marriages among 18-29 year old Americans, I wonder if some
of this youth vote is sort of a "melting pot" identity thing. There are
old reservations about the radical impact of technology on society--the
auto as mechanical Jacobin. To what extent is the explosive expanse of
mobility and communication over the last century an influence on the
sorts of "unities" people interpret themselves as participating in?
Certainly there is a rapid growth of in popularity here--perhaps
partially a function of a sense of viability brought by the Iowa and
South Carolina primaries. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of
cross-over appeal to Republicans. I haven't seen any good numbers on
that. I haven't seen anything on how things like crowds of 20,000 in
Minneapolis and Seattle correlate with the record breaking--on the order
of two to one--Democratic turnouts. But it seems likely. How
extraordinary are these crowd sizes? There is a strong correlation
between this popularity and youth turnout. I am no political scientist,
but it does look to me as though something noteworthy may be afoot. A
thorough analysis would be interesting.
- From what I've read, the Clintons are deeply embedded in the
Democrat party machine and Obama doesn't have much of a chance unless
the unions jump ship. Mrs Clinton has the endorsement of such powerful
Democrats as the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. Also,
Obama does well in caucauses and not so well in primaries. Because
of the Democrat proportional allocation of delegates, as opposed to
the Republican winner-take-all formula, when Obama wins by a small
margin, he only gets a few more than half the delegates. It appears
that the contest will go on neck and neck for some time. The outcome
may depend on the Democrat "super delegates," who number around 800
and are mostly elected Democrats holding public office. They are not
bound to anyone until they vote at the convention. The super
delegates were added in '80 to prevent an insurgent candidate from
winning the nomination and then losing the general election (a George
McGovern repeat). Since the super delegates constitute a fifth of all
delegates, they would likely decide a close contest.
Some bookies have the odds on Obama at 8/11 and on Clinton at 6/5. More
can be found at: http://www.oddschecker.com/specials/politics-and-
One problem with the notion of a "unity" candidate is that there are
several intractable issues which separate Democrats from
Republicans, Liberals from Conservatives, and Christians from
the unchurched. The lion shall lie down with the lamb, but when!
Duncan Currie in the Weekly Standard covers some of the issues that
"According to a Pew Research Center public opinion survey conducted
in mid-January, partisan differences on several hot-button issues
'increased substantially over the past year.' Some 47 percent of
Democrats said 'dealing with global warming' should be a top priority
for U.S. policymakers, compared to only 12 percent of Republicans. On
health care, 65 percent of Democrats said that providing insurance to
the uninsured should be a top priority, compared to just 27 percent
of Republicans; 81 percent of Democrats said the same about reducing
health care costs, compared to 53 percent of Republicans. On
improving the job situation, addressing poverty, and protecting the
environment, the relevant partisan gaps were 33 points, 28 points,
and 28 points, respectively, with Democrats voicing more concern.
Republicans placed greater emphasis on strengthening the military and
dealing with illegal immigration--the relevant partisan gaps on those
issues were 25 points and 21 points, respectively.
"Polarization is also affecting Americans' views of the economy (a
phenomenon Michael Barone has explored elsewhere). 'There continues
to be a sizable partisan gap in ratings of the national economy," Pew
reports. "Currently, 46 percent of Republicans, but just 24 percent
of independents and 15 percent of Democrats, give the economy at
least a good rating. During the 1990s, partisan differences on this
question were relatively small and inconsistent in direction.
Beginning in 2002, a substantial party divide opened up on the
question and Democrats and Republicans have remained far apart in
their assessments ever since.'"
[Most Republicans admire President Bush. Only 5% of Democrats do.]
For the whole laundry list, see: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/703gcalo.asp
On Sat, 09 Feb 2008 15:21:37 -0500, Rhydon Jackson wrote:
> I would be interested in an analysis founded upon the recreation of
> the experiences engendering the symbols in question. It seems like
> the endorsements of, the speeches of, and interviews with the
> candidate, are key sources for supporting the analysis of the self-
> interpretation of those involved.