Archive Natural Law Philosophy Reformed Irenicism Steven Wedgeworth

What is Effeminacy?

So let’s talk about effeminacy. This came up as final point of criticism in my Mere Orthodoxy critique of the gay Christianity of Revoice and Spiritual Friendship. Now, I knew that “going there” would upset a lot of people. It’s basically touching the third rail to even say the word “effeminate” today. And yet, it’s […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Nature and Grace in Richard Sibbes

Introduction With respect to the relation between nature and grace, the mainstream Christian tradition does not hold that grace obliterates or destroys nature, but rather that it works with it in some sense as its necessary substratum. The most well known formulation of the idea is found in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa theologiae I, Q. 1, Art. […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Sacraments in usu, Not in se: The Medieval Roots of the Reformation

A core principle of Reformational sacramentology was that the “presence” of the Lord was in the rites themselves as performed rather than (statically) in the elements themselves, and was to be accessed by faith. Or, to put it another way: that Christ was exhibited and offered objectively in the rites, but was appropriated subjectively by […]

Jordan Ballor Nota Bene

Anti-Scholastic Sins Visited upon Later Generations

Catholic theologians, philosophers and historians of the twentieth century, having fought fiercely to eradicate prejudices against medieval philosophy, adopt the anti-Scholastic rhetoric of the old Protestant histories and project it upon the thinkers of the Baroque age. As a result, they reject the ‘schools’ of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries–much as Lutheran Aristotelians and later […]

Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene Philosophy

Responding to Sarah Conly on Pleasure and Goodness

One of the most provocatively titled books I have ever come across from a contemporary ethical philosopher is Sarah Conly’s Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism. The book’s gist is just as punchy: Since Mill’s seminal work On Liberty, philosophers and political theorists have accepted that we should respect the decisions of individual agents when those […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Philosophy

Beauty and Cognition, Again

Several months ago, I wrote a brief post on beauty’s relation to cognition, rather than desire, in Thomas Aquinas. Aesthetics, that is, must have its relation to the rational and the real,1 rather than to some unspecified or underdeveloped sense of longing. Perhaps some confirmation is found in the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, […]

Archive Civic Polity Lily Cherney Natural Law Reformed Irenicism The Natural Family

Are Women Real?: Towards a Comprehensive Complementarianism

I. Complementarianism For Real “If gender is just a term in grammar, how can I ever find my way/ When I’m a stranger here myself?” –Kurt Weill, One Touch of Venus What follows is a kind of prolegomena to any future complementarian squabbling, or possibly a groundwork for the metaphysics of tango. It’s very incomplete […]

Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

Obedience and Unjust Laws (4)

(Parts 1, 2, and 3) Aquinas, too, holds that unjust laws (that is, laws that do not accord with or derive from the law of nature) do not have the force of law; they are, rather, corruptiones legis–corruptions of the law. In response to objections concerning the seemingly adiaphorous nature of some human legislation, the diversity […]

Archive E.J. Hutchinson Philosophy Reformed Irenicism

A Different Sort of Dear John Letter

For many of us it is the beginning of a new school year, and so I thought that readers, and especially college freshmen (if any in fact visit TCI), might appreciate the advice Thomas Aquinas gave to Brother John regarding how best to study and pursue the life of the mind, sometimes called the Epistola exhortatoria […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Oratio ante Studium

Speaking of that John Webster essay: He includes at the end a prayer attributed to Thomas Aquinas and said to have been used before study. In the looking around I’ve done, I can’t find any citations for it except for Pius XI’s Studiorum ducem (1923), where it forms his conclusion. If one looks closely, Pius XI […]