April 12th, 2007

Marquette University

Personal/Theological Notebook: Fukuyama and Foreign Policy vs. Elliott and Irish Protestantism

I just spent nearly a day with my internet access down. It's sobering (oof – I just walk into these bad puns sometimes) to see just how much of an addict I've become. Anyway, lots of notes from folks on my last entry, I see. I'm sure we've all seen far too much – any is far too much – of that sort of tragedy.

This note is otherwise intended merely as a venting exercise, about how cool Marquette University can be, and how maddening. Who schedules endowed lectures to occur at the same time?!! I so want to attend the latter, which is more in my professional interest, but Dan Lloyd really wants to attend the former, and I recognize Fukuyama being a big name in such political theory today and I know that it's a big opportunity for me, too, in attending that one. And so I vent: Who schedules endowed lectures to occur at the same time?!!

From today's Marquette email announcements:
1. Francis Fukuyama to speak today on foreign policy

Dr. Francis Fukuyama, political and economic development author and scholar, will deliver the Allis Chalmers Distinguished Professor of International Affairs Lecture, "American Foreign Policy after the Bush Doctrine," today, Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. Fukuyama, whose book The End of History and the Last Man made best-seller lists in the United States, France, Japan and Chile, will speak in the Weasler Auditorium.

2. University of Liverpool expert to discuss Irish Protestantism today

Dr. Marianne Elliott, director of the Institute of Irish Studies and professor of history at the University of Liverpool, will speak on "Irish Protestantism and the Specter of Popery," today, Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Todd Wehr Chemistry building, room 100. Elliott, author of the biography Wolfe Tone: Prophet of Irish Independence, is the guest speaker for the fifth annual The Rev. Henry W. Casper, S.J., Lecture.

Elliott, a world expert on modern Irish history, leads the institute's focus on teaching and researching Irish culture, history and politics, and promotes understanding between the people of Britain and Ireland.
Benedict XVI wind

Theological Notebook: Magister on Benedict XVI's Message, and His Message As Reported

An interesting essay and collection by Sandro Magister on the difference between what the Pope tries to say to the world and the (inevitable and understandable) editing that occurs in the reporting of his words by media outlets. I was particularly curious to see the reduction of his language to the merely political level, which becomes then a kind of distortion, I suppose....

Easter in Rome: The Secret Homilies of the Successor of Peter
They’re secret, except for those who were able to listen to them in person, while Benedict XVI was pronouncing them. In the "urbi et orbi" message, too, the pope presented much more than a list of countries at war. Here are the complete texts.

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, April 11, 2007 – The image above is taken from a painting by Caravaggio. The risen Jesus appears to the apostles, and to the doubting Thomas he says: “Put your finger here, and see my hands; put forth your hand and place it in my side, and be no longer unbelieving, but believe!"

The incredulity of Thomas and his following profession of faith – “My Lord and my God!” – are at the center of the message that Benedict XVI addressed to the world on Easter Sunday.

Pope Joseph Ratzinger said that “we may all be tempted by the disbelief of Thomas.” The countless evils that afflict men put faith to a hard test. But it is precisely in the wounds of the risen Christ that the true face of God appears: “the face of a God who, in Christ, has taken upon himself the wounds of injured humanity.” It is here that a nearly dead faith is reborn: because “only a God who loves us to the extent of taking upon himself our wounds and our pain, especially innocent suffering, is worthy of faith.”

At this point, Benedict XVI singled out by name the most wounded and suffering regions of the world: from Darfur to the Congo, from Afghanistan to Iraq, to the “blessed Land which is the cradle of our faith.” And he added: “Dear Brothers and sisters, through the wounds of the Risen Christ we can see the evils which afflict humanity with the eyes of hope.”

Earlier, he had said that “humanity today expects from Christians a renewed witness to the resurrection of Christ; it needs to encounter him and to know him as true God and true man.”

But little or nothing of this proclamation of the risen Christ was picked up by the major media outlets. These highlighted only the list of countries stricken by wars and calamities.

There is a limit beyond which the words of Benedict XVI do not go. They reach completely only those who listen to them in person, whether present physically or thanks to a live television broadcast. The number of these persons is substantial, more than for any earlier pontificate. The Easter “urbi et orbi” message and the Way of the Cross on Good Friday were followed by huge crowds and retransmitted in more than forty countries. But even more vast is the number of persons who receive the pope’s message in an incomplete form – or not at all.

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