14 November 2009

Football Photos, Thomist Thoughts

You could probably do worse for an update on what I've been doing at seminary the last couple weeks than to check out two digital snapshots.

The first is actually a collection of snapshots. The VTS Fighting Friars went 1-2 at the Luther Bowl in Gettysburg a few weeks back, ending our season 2-2. But we went 2-0 "in conference," after adding a win against our fellow Anglicans at Trinity School for Ministry (aka the Pittsburg Kneelers), who were by far the best sporstmen (and sportswomen) and the cleanest team we played on a day of startlingly hard hits for a flag football tournament. Anyway, you can check out the pictures here, including this highly embarrassing one of me running with the ball after our goal-line zone won us an interception:

The other tidbit is a response to one of the several comments I got on my Twitter post about enjoying Thomas Aquinas. A friend wanted to know what I'd liked about him, and this is what I wrote:

I guess what I appreciated about the excerpt of Aquinas that we read was the motivation and methodology. I like this notion of saying, in effect:

"There's some unity to this huge mass of literature the Christian tradition has accumulated. Of course, there is some genuine disagreement, but more often than not the much of the conflict either evaporates completely or at least diminishes if you look at it closely. If we borrow a little Aristotle and go through the careful (if at times a bit tedious) exercise of very clearly defining and categorizing this vast repository of theology, we realize that the story is a lot more harmonious than we might have guessed."

I just really admire the care and precision that goes into the whole thing. Plus, the implicit and rather bold claim that logic and analysis can be deployed meaningfully to help us navigate among this collection of hundreds of isolated claims, plucked (almost at random, it sometimes seems) out of the Scriptures and patristic literature, is just endlessly fascinating when you watch it being deployed. The effort feels very rigorous and worthwhile even if the underlying epistemology seems a little naive by modern standards. [Response from my church history professor to my follow-up question about this final issue: "It's what scholastics do."]
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend and that the weather wherever you are is better than on this dreary day in Northern Virginia.

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