September 2nd, 2004


Personal/Theological Notebook--"Augustine: The Movie"

Had a fabulous talk yesterday afternoon with magdalene1 about adapting texts to film and my idea of how great an adaptation of Augustine's The Confessions could be if it preserved the writer's real content and his intent of the work being structured as a prayer, and yet could draw a modern audience into the natural drama of his story. It was such an involved discussion that we took some hours and I paid for it by having to read everything for today in a frantic rush, right up to the last minute. My mind is a strange whirl of esoteric Jewish texts of angels, the Angel of the Lord, the Watchers, and the divine spirit, whether that is the unrecognized or semi-recognized Holy Spirit or something/Someone else entirely. Mixing this Holy Spirit class and the Apocalyptic Literature class is going to get funky over the next few weeks. Jen's great intuitive casting choice for Augustine: Don Cheadle. Too old now to play the younger Augustine, I'm afraid, but a damned cool idea....

Theological Notebook--Merton on Detachment

My friend Fr. Patrick drew my attention to this today. I thought it was marvelously well-said.

Detachment from things does not mean setting up a contradiction between 'things' and 'God' as if God were another 'thing' and as if His creatures were His rivals. We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God.

–Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 21.

P.S.--Having told me to write a dissertation on someone who wrote in English, for the sake of speed, Fr. Fahey told me at our year-opener party today that Thomas Merton was totally off-limits for dissertations: too much written already, and too much pain getting copyright permissions. So much for that easy option....
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Loyola Faculty Portrait

Theological Notebook--CS Monitor article on adult religious education

An article I was referred to today by Prof. David Schultenover, SJ, both for the reason that I might be interested in a job after graduation, he said, and because it points to a shift in religious seeking. Fr. David is going to be the new editor of the prestigious journal Theological Studies after our own Prof. Michael Fahey, SJ steps down. I'm currently sitting in on Prof. Schultenover's "History of Christian Thought: The Modern Era" Tuesday and Thursday mornings by his gracious permission, as I finally have really been knuckling down to address my weakness in early Modernity: Kant, Hegel, Hume, and so forth. You may remember me doing my fun reading of Peter Gay's The Enlightenment: An Interpretation from my entry the other week. This is me continuing to try to fill that space in my reading.

from the September 02, 2004 edition -

Adults flock to Sunday school, but seldom at church

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

Back in 1992, the prospect of delving into the mysteries of God or Catholic tradition attracted precious few adult learners - just 500 all year - to a variety of short programs offered through a center at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J.

Fast-forward to today and the problem is finding space to accommodate the 5,000 to 7,000 who sign up annually. For one day-long program on spirituality in 2003, the Center for Theological and Spiritual Development had to erect a tent to shelter half of the 2,000 adults who descended on campus despite the $30 course fee. Dozens more were turned away.

Across the nation, adult learners are seeking out the teachers they believe will help them find God. From online forums Collapse )
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