Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Jesuit Atheist

Insert joke here.

He started by saying** ““modern science” have brought to light that the universe follow its own laws, is autonomous and is not directed from the outside.”

It then follows, he says, that all religion should be an “atheistic faith” and

“What then of this modern, but also Christian image of God? It must be atheistic and, thus, contain a rejection of everything that has to do with the God-on-high. And this is no small undertaking, for the Creed and the Bible and the liturgy and the whole morality and the church history are full of God-on-high, “he says...

Father concludes that he considers himself to be a “religious atheist.”

I'm sure I'll get emails (or maybe even comments for all to see? Maybe?) from the usual Jesuit support group who will insist that there is nothing wrong with the Society.

Yes, yes. All is well.


Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with negative theology, which does a service to our concepts of God (purifying them of finite and limited images, conditioned by our status as creatures) without denying or rejecting the grace of the divine condescension (that He who is infinite has made Himself accessible to our finite intellects).

Perhaps by rejecting "God-on-High," Father merely intends to remind us of the limitations of so-called "ontotheology" or the representation of God as a bearded man seated upon a throne (the article in fact explicitly warns of anthropomorphism). In these there is nothing necessarily heretical, provided they do not also entail a denial of Christ (whose incarnation an orthodox negative theology makes only more remarkable).

That said, Father should be cautioned that such an aggressive and robust rejection of divine names is not for amateurs and generally unfit for public consumption. His use of "atheism" is especially infelicitous, since the entire point of negative theology is to draw closer to God.

Philip said...

Not a member of the Jesuit support group, but I'll still leave a comment.

Throwback said...

That might be a plausible interpretation until he starts dragging in the Creed, the Bible, morality, etc.

How exactly does one make such criticisms of the most basic sources of dogma without touching upon the substance of the dogma itself?

I wholeheartedly agree with your final point that, even if there is an orthodox explanation here (doubtful though that is), the lingo itself is pretty scandalous and imprudent.