Saturday, March 28, 2009

Modern minimalism

I don't usually just point to an entry on another blog, but this one by Matt of the Holy Whapping is so good and so corresponds to my own thoughts on the subject that I can't resist.  I especially agree with the reviewer's point about an almost Gnostic fixation "with disembodied ideas and concepts."  Precisely. The dualism of Descartes takes it revenge in the Bauhaus.  

I also find this about nudity to be insightful: "I see nothing wrong with being 'modern' if that means adapting old designs to new realities and bringing forth new beauty, but I don't see why that means knocking off all the interesting bits off a building and leaving it a inhuman cube. Humans cannot stand that much "reality." Like nudity, [modern cubist, bare bones architecutre] is more often a sin against charity than chastity, more disappointing than attractive, once the initial novelty wears off."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Man, woman and history

As a result of our modern dualism--relegating sexual difference to the merely biological, leads us to think of the significance of sexual differentiation as only relevant to marriage, sexuality and family issues.  I was struck by this quote in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, quoting from John Paul II's Letter to Women: "To the 'unity of the two, God has entrusted not only the work of procreation and family life, but the creation of history itself." (147) That means, it seems to me, that every human reality is some way marked by sexual complementarity. So, if both men and women are active in the public arena, it is as complementary participants.  What that means exactly, I don't know.  We know Church life is marked by this--that is why priests are only men and why, as John Paul II says somewhere, celibacy is of the logic of priesthood (men can't remarry after being ordained). 

Monday, March 23, 2009


"Dragons and all other creatures that serve the Devil only seem big as long as we harbour fear within ourselves." Br. Edvin in Kristin Lavransdatter