[Milton-L] apostasy and apology
jfleming at sfu.ca
jfleming at sfu.ca
Sun Dec 30 00:00:44 EST 2007
Father Mike admirably executes the apology for list tangentiality.
Nonetheless: here is, surely, a relevant and tractable matter of interest.
This is the question of what it means to be a Christian, or, by extension, a
member of any religious or similarly determinative cultural tradition.
M makes this question break open along a Protestant/Catholic,
dialectic/dogmatic, questioning/dictating divide. His allegiance, always (as
far as I can tell), is with the first term in those binaries. But his
opening of the question is the matter of interest (while also, somewhat
covertly, supporting his allegiance).
If being a member of a tradition means citing chapter and verse, as dictated
by those in charge of them, then Protestantism is heresy and M is
But if M is Christian, and Protestantism cannot be dismissed as heresy, then
being a member of a tradition means _taking responsibility_ for
understanding, and dictating, what counts as chapter and verse.
This entails an ongoing transformation of the relevant tradition -- but not
relativism, or incoherence.
Seeing that possibility is difficult work, but work worth doing. In my
opinion as a student of Milton. JD Fleming
On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 16:33:51 -0800 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
> > I think there are many definitions of "Christian"
> We think differently.
> > What is "each and every line item in the Christian creed"?
> Some time ago the Rt Rev Spong took each line item in the Nicene Creed
> and explained publicly why none of them were true. Pretty non-Christian
> of him.
> > Milton disagreed with some of the nominal tenets of the "Christian
> religion" (whatever that is, other than theology based on the
> teachings of Christ); does that make him a non-Christian?
> His subordinationism certainly makes his Christianity questionable.
> This list is no place for a religious dispute, so I apologise for having
> sparked one. I'm always somewhat amazed that the average Christian,
> regardless of allegiance, would find it hard to swallow that an orthodox
> Catholic wouldn't publicly stand for what his Church officially teaches
> as true.
> But, then again, this is a Milton list.
> Doh. There I go again. No more from me.
> Merry Christmas, all. Really.
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James Dougal Fleming
Department of English
Simon Fraser University
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