Friday, January 15, 2010

Random Ramblings

Today we watched the majority of "The Madness of King George" and I thought it was an excellent film. Some interesting things I noted from it, were George III's love for clergymen, and his comment at one point he referenced "the Liturgy of our Lord and served at the Lord's table" and used the title "parson" which all seems to indicate to me the Reformed/Calvinistic nature of the CofE in those times.

As well, the Enlightenment influence could be seen in their comment 'you shouldn't speak about the nature of the deity sir', etc. The tiniest theological point, I seem to always notice.

Ian Holm plays one of the doctors in the film, and he has been one of my favourite actors for some time now. I feel like renting every movie he is in, as I've yet to find his work disappointing.

In Latin the other day we were reading the Cena Trimalchionis from the Satyricon and one of the characters kissed the table after speaking about witches and evil spirits. Balme the translator noted in the gloss that this was a Roman superstition which they believed to ward off evil spirits. I immediately thought of the priest/celebrant in the mass kissing the altar before the liturgy of the Eucharist. Our reasoning is that this is done because of the holy relic of the saint in the altar, but much like the invocation of patron gods/saints it seems to have a double meaning. I'm surprisingly untroubled, but it gives more ammunition to the Anglican apologetic that the Reformation was about removing superstition rather than upturning doctrine. hmmm, I wonder what else I shall discover whilst doing classics.

I feel weird about it and other Catholic practices like the signum crucis, as I was raised to utterly revile superstition, and it is difficult for me to see the need for a signing both before and after prayers, but as superstition does, I'm sure it will eventually become a habit. And it is a holy superstition if you will, a sacramental practice attested to by the fathers.

Yesterday evening I had a very difficult time discussing things with a guest I had over. Our philosophies were so divergent that it seemed difficult to even talk about meaningful things. She an agnostic who claimed 'evil is a point of view' and I a believing but sinful Romanist who argued for the absolute nature of values and the meaninglessness of statehood rather than the meaninglessness of justice (we were talking about war). In the style of Thomas I thought of starting from reason and building my argument, but I realized that our individualist subjectivism has ruined everything, reason has been destroyed. And I don't like it. Watching the Enlightenment attitudes of the characters in "The Madness of King George" I (think) I realized that I prefer Modernism to Existentialism/Pietism/Individualism, at least among the Rationalists there ranks Spinoza, Liepniz, Descartes, and Kant, all theists and most Christians.

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