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Rebecca MinkoffMabel

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representing the 7th District of New York


Museo del Mañana Porto Maravilha Copacabana

El Museo de la Imagen y el Sonido de Río de Janeiro ofrecerá un viaje a través de la historia cultural de Río, una ciudad muy conocida en todo el mundo por el carnaval , Skechers HiLites Block Rockers High Top Womens 98RB23
. El MIS se presenta como un museo contemporáneo que quiere mostrar la cultura carioca del pasado y del presente, y cubrir así un espacio que hasta ahora no existía en la ciudad. El museo será a la vez un centro para la producción y difusión de la cultura y un Stuart Weitzman Moody Dress Pump Multiple Widths Available b95tEl
. Sus 9.800 metros cuadrados mostrarán al público una exhibición de diseño innovador en la que se podrá visualizar de forma digital la ingente colección de la institución que incluye fotografías, carteles, discos, grabaciones, vídeos, recortes de periódicos y demás documentos. El MIS también albergará y mostrará la colección del Museo Carmen Miranda , que ha estado ubicado has ahora en el bario deFlamengo.

carnaval el samba y la bossa nova cultura carioca la ciudad. centro cultural Museo Carmen Miranda

Perspectiva aérea del MIS Museo de la Imagen y el Sonido de Rio

El nuevo Museo de la Imagen y el Sonido incluirá áreas de exposiciones temporales y permanentes, oficinas de investigación, actividades de educación, un cine-teatro de 280 asientos, una tienda, una cafetería, un restaurante panorámico, un bar con azotea, discoteca y una terraza de observación, así como un quiosco en el paseo marítimo.

El edificio ha sido diseñado por el estudio de arquitectura Diller Scofidio + Renfro, con sede en Nueva York. Su concepción arquitectónica trata de representar una reproducción del famoso dibujo en forma de ola de la acera del paseo de Copacabana, el cual se ha doblado y se ha transformado en un boulevard vertical que dialoga con el paisaje y desde el que se consigue democratizar la exclusiva vista sobre la célebre playa, al mismo tiempo que se convierte en un nuevo icono para el barrio.

El MIS se convertirá en el nuevo icono y uno de los mejores miradores de Copacabana

La idea es que el MIS se transforme en nuevo punto de encuentro para los propios cariocas y los turistas, brasileños y extranjeros, en torno a las canciones, imágenes e historias del estilo de vida local y que complementa perfectamente la tradicional oferta de mar, arena y sol de Copacabana.

Cómo llegar al Museo de la Imagen y el Sonido

Metro Cantagalo – Línea 1

Dirección: Avenida Atlántica, 3432 – Copacabana Teléfono: (+55 21) 2332-9509 / 2332-9507 Sitio web:

Darwin must be seen as a great intellectual revolutionary who inaugurated a new era in the cultural history of humankind, an era that was the second and final stage of the Copernican revolution that had begun in the 16th and 17th centuries under the leadership of men such as RAYE Sully Embroidered Slide Sandal SSxIsmBuPs
, Galileo , and Isaac Newton . The Copernican revolution marked the beginnings of modern science . Discoveries in astronomy and physics overturned traditional conceptions of the universe. Earth no longer was seen as the centre of the universe but was seen as a small planet revolving around one of myriad stars; the seasons and the rains that make crops grow, as well as destructive storms and other vagaries of weather, became understood as aspects of natural processes; the revolutions of the planets were now explained by simple laws that also accounted for the motion of projectiles on Earth.

The significance of these and other discoveries was that they led to a conception of the universe as a system of matter in motion governed by laws of nature. The workings of the universe no longer needed to be attributed to the ineffable will of a divine Creator; rather, they were brought into the realm of science—an explanation of phenomena through natural laws. Physical phenomena such as tides, eclipses, and positions of the planets could now be predicted whenever the causes were adequately known. Darwin accumulated evidence showing that evolution had occurred, that diverse organisms share common ancestors, and that living beings have changed drastically over the course of Earth’s history. More important, however, he extended to the living world the idea of nature as a system of matter in motion governed by natural laws.

Before Darwin, the origin of Earth’s living things, with their marvelous contrivances for adaptation , had been attributed to the design of an omniscient God. He had created the fish in the waters, the birds in the air, and all sorts of animals and plants on the land. God had endowed these creatures with gills for breathing, wings for flying, and eyes for seeing, and he had coloured birds and flowers so that human beings could enjoy them and recognize God’s wisdom. Christian theologians, from Aquinas on, had argued that the presence of design, so evident in living beings, demonstrates the existence of a supreme Creator; the argument from design was Aquinas’s “fifth way” for proving the existence of God. In 19th-century England the eight Bridgewater Treatises were commissioned so that eminent scientists and philosophers would expand on the marvels of the natural world and thereby set forth “the Power, wisdom, and goodness of God as manifested in the Creation.”

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The principle that the best, most intense and most productive disagreements are those between people who agree about almost everything applies particularly well to Catholic theological disagreement.

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, in its broadest and most fundamental sense, denotes a particular human practice: that of engaging in reasoned thought and discourse about god. The practice is, in Latin, , and in Greek about . This is the meaning suggested by the word's etymology; it is also the meaning standardly given the word in the Latin-using West.

In this meaning, the most general one, theology is a particular kind of discursive performance, distinguished from other such performances by what it is about. This is an ordinary and perspicuous way of distinguishing one discourse from another: palaeontology is about old things; anthropology about the human; geology about the planet earth; and theology about god or the gods. These discourses are distinguished one from another by their objects, by what it is they are about - by their distinct kinds of , we might say, to speak as philosophers sometimes do.

There are difficulties, to put it mildly, in specifying how anything we might say can be about that god who is the LORD, the creator of all that is, and the nature of those difficulties is itself a properly theological topic.

Let me here content myself with the formal claim that the sense of - in sentences like "palaeontology is about ..." or "theology is about " - is given by the nature of what is being talked about and the locally-formed habits of those doing the talking, and therefore varies significantly from science to science.

In this broadest sense of theology, almost anyone can do it. You don't have to be a believer, certainly not a Christian, and still less a Catholic; you can be a Jew; you can be a Muslim; you can be a pagan. All you need is sufficient skill in the discourse to be able to contribute to it, and it is not such a difficult skill to obtain - no more difficult, I should think, than getting the skill to be able to contribute to discourse about monster-truck rallies or about the bouquet of wine made from Sicilian grapes.

What count as constraints upon discourse about god - what can be said in it and what can't; which utterances are well-formed and which are not - will vary to some extent from one community of discourse to another, and the question of how deep those differences go is a properly empirical one. Augustine thought that the Platonists understood the LORD's simplicity; I think that some Hindu thinkers understood that the Lord's relation to what is other than himself must be characterized as one of ; but some Christian thinkers have thought, it seems, that matters such as these cannot be arrived at without explicit knowledge of the LORD's self-revelation in Christ.

I won't say more about these differences and difficulties here, other than to emphasize that if anyone's theological discourse is about the only god there is, then it is about the LORD, for he is exactly that god, the great king above all gods; there is no other.

So far, theology. What about theology? What makes theology Catholic? Catholic theology is constituted as such by the fact that its discourse about the LORD is self-consciously and intentionally responsive to what the LORD has given of himself to his bride, the Church. That gift is given and evident paradigmatically and essentially in the LORD's gift of himself as Jesus Christ , and in the events preparatory to and flowing from that gift - which is to say the election of Israel and the founding and sustaining of the Church.

More particularly, and since theology is distinct from worship, which is responsive to that same gift, Catholic theology is responsive to the LORD's self-gift, which is to say the gift of a lexicon and a syntax for thinking and speaking about the LORD, and of a substantive set of teachings about the LORD's nature and activity. That doctrinal self-gift is evident first and fundamentally in the canon of Scripture; and second and derivatively in the magisterially given and authoritatively binding teachings of the Church about matters that have to do with the LORD.

These are what theologians, those who practice theology, attend to first and last; this is the material with which they - we, as Catholic theologians - work; this is the corpus of doctrine, as some Catholic theologians have liked to call it, to which we conform our thought and about which we endlessly think.

The gift of doctrine is a beautiful thing; it is also an important thing. The privilege given us of having sufficient learning and sufficient intellectual gifts to be able to think about the doctrinal , and of having enough time and space to think about it, is therefore a great and humbling one.

None of us is individually very good at theology; none of us can see its scope and detail with clarity; and even all together, all the thousands of theologians the Church has now and has ever had, we are nothing more than amateurs and stammerers. Even the teaching Church, in the paradigmatic persons of its bishops, can only be incipiently theological.

What I've said is perhaps enough to distinguish Catholic theology from Protestant, which shares some of the characteristics I've outlined but by no means all; and certainly from Jewish or Islamic or Buddhist or Hindu theology, which share fewer.

Since my principal task here is to talk about theological disagreement among Catholics, to make some suggestions about what that activity is and how it might best be done, let me now emphasize three tasks that belong to the work of Catholic theology, tasks derived from the definitional sketch just given and intended to make it easier to see what Catholic theologians are doing when they disagree one with another, and to yield some prescriptions about how disagreement should be undertaken and about what its purposes and limits are.

Discovery, interpretation, speculation: The tasks of Catholic theology

The first task of a Catholic theologian in considering a particular topic or question is . She needs to discover what counts as doctrine on her topic - what, that is, constitutes the Church's lexicon and substantive teaching with respect to it. That lexicon and that teaching bind her: they are the material upon which her thought works. To be a theologian is to be under authority: the authority, most fundamentally, of the LORD's self-revelation, which means, textually speaking, the authority of Scripture and of magisterially-given teaching, which is itself formulated under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit.

This task of discovery is often no easy one. The tradition is long, its archive large and in many languages, and the relative authoritative weight of its various elements itself a matter of doctrine, and, therefore, of interpretive dispute. Once discovered, the content of what has been discovered needs to be ordered and systematized, to the extent possible and appropriate to whatever question is under consideration.

Then, the theologian knows, always imperfectly and often erroneously, what she has to deal with. She knows the liberating constraints under which her thought may now work - rather as a trial lawyer, once the process of legal discovery is complete, knows what he has to work with, what is possible in the way of argument and what is not, and how the case may now be constructed.

Discovery is followed by . Knowing, for example, that the Fifth Lateran has some interesting and very particular things to say about the immortality of the soul, or that the Synod of Constantinople rejects , or that the Constitution contains a strong affirmation of the intermediate state between death and general resurrection, does not provide anything approaching clarity about what these pronouncements may or must be taken to mean. No doctrine, whether scriptural, conciliar, or more broadly magisterial, interprets itself; there are always many suggestions that can be made about how a doctrine may be read; and it is a proper part of the theologian's task to make just such suggestions.

Very often, a particular theologian's suggestions as to how this or that doctrine ought be interpreted will be pursued by juxtaposition - that is, deciding which doctrines to juxtapose to which influences how they are read, pushes interpretive thought about them in a certain direction. But this is not the only way to perform the task of interpretation. The theologian may also look for points of doctrinal tension within the broadly magisterial tradition, and suggest speculative resolutions of them - about, for example, the weight and significance of the thought of Thomas Aquinas for determining the theological import of particular philosophical positions; or about whether there is any need for a theologian to think that there is a meaningful distinction between theology and philosophy; or about whether the fairly consistent magisterial denial of bodies to the angels entails that they have no spacetime location.

It's also possible, and perhaps this is the most common case, to look at some widely-distributed element of the magisterial lexicon whose semantic content and syntax are under-interpreted, or whose interpretation is controversial - such as "own body" () said of both the flesh of a particular person before death and after the general resurrection, or , said of the relation between the Church of Jesus Christ and the visible Catholic Church, or used as term of art for Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and then to suggest some ways of thinking about what these terms or phrases mean, and how they might be combined with others.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the ways in which the theologian's interpretive task may be undertaken. It is an essential and many-faceted aspect of what the theologian is called upon to do, and it is ingenuity and energy in performing the interpretive task that principally distinguishes great theologians from merely good ones.

Discovery and interpretation are followed by . For me, and I suspect for many theologians, theology's speculative aspect is its most interesting and intellectually exciting. That is not because I expect to arrive at the truth by theological speculation, though of course I hope for that; neither is it because I think that the understandings of particular topics I entertain when I speculate theologically have any authority, or indeed any weight at all other than that to be found in the responses they might prompt in others who read them, and the effect they might have, utterly imponderable, on the deliberations of the teaching Church over time.

Speculation is, rather, a delight because it is something close to a pure activity of the intellect, an unadulterated thought-performance about matters of great importance - matters, in fact, of greater importance than all others. When theologians speculate, they begin to move beyond doctrine. That is because, if the tasks of discovery and interpretation have been done well, the theologian knows what doctrine requires on this matter, and has at least begun the task of interpreting and ordering the . Performance of those tasks, if done well, has among its yields the identification of questions to which there is no direct doctrinal answer - questions, that is, to which neither Scripture nor its magisterial interpretation provides an answer, and to thought about which they may not even provide much guidance.

Of course, there are many non-theological questions of this sort: theology has nothing to say about the validity of proofs of Fermat's Last Theorem, or about the macro-economic policies of the International Monetary Fund. But these are not the province of the theologian and, fortunately for theologians who care about having something to do, there are also very many properly theological questions of this sort, and it is these about which the theologian delightedly speculates after having done her work of discovery and interpretation.

Two examples may suffice, both of considerable interest to me. The first is the question of Islam: What is it? What does the LORD have to do with it? How is it to be accounted for, thought about, and responded to by Catholic theologians? The Church has no doctrinal position on this, and it is in part a theological question, which means that it falls within the scope of properly theological speculation. There has been plenty of that, but even at that level there is no dominant line of thought.

The second is the question of the flesh of nonhuman animals: Might it, or some instances of it, be present in the resurrection - be resurrected, that is to say, for eternal life? Again, no doctrine speaks to this, though there are certainly elements of the grammar and syntax of properly Christian thought that suggest lines of thought about it, and a fair amount of theological speculation about it.

This picture of the theologian's tasks implies that it is not among them to establish Church doctrine. That is essentially an episcopal function. Theologians may and should teach Church doctrine by ordering it, systematizing it, writing books and essays in which it is set forth, giving lectures on it, speculating about it, and so on. But that is not the same as establishing what the Church's doctrine is. Doing that requires an authority theologians lack: the authority to pronounce, performatively, on the question of what it is that the Church teaches about this or that, and in the act of pronouncing to make it so.

Historians and analysts of the baseball book of rules may certainly depict, analyze, and offer speculative suggestions about the definitions of "ball" and "strike," but they have no power to rule on the field of play that some pitch is one or the other. That power is reserved to umpires, and it is a performative power: when the umpire calls a strike, that act suffices to make it one; when the Church's bishops assembled define doctrine, that act suffices to make it such, and it does so because of the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

There are, of course, complications here on questions of detail: it is not always clear just when the Church's bishops have defined doctrine; and the category "doctrine" itself is internally complex - there are kinds and degrees. But the schema given remains valid and important even if it is not always easy to see just how to apply it. Clarifying its application is among the tasks of theologians.

This picture of the theologian's work is, or ought to be, productive of speculative work of a daring and radical kind. If it is incumbent upon theologians to get as clear as they can about the difference between Church doctrine, on the one hand, and speculative proposals about and elaborations of doctrine, on the other hand, then theologians are freed from anxiety about whether their speculative proposals are right. It is not up to them - to us - to decide this; whether any element of a particular theologian's speculative proposal is incorporated into Church doctrine is a decision made by the teaching Church over time, with the college of bishops playing an essential role in arriving at that decision. And usually the time taken is so much that the theologian is safely dead and (perhaps) enjoying a preliminary version of the beatific vision before it is clear how his work has been appropriated and used by the Church.

In this way, the theologian is relieved of anxiety about her own rightness and her own influence, at least if she is Catholic; the picture is very different for Protestant theologians, on whose shoulders a heavy weight is placed, one that cannot be borne and that hampers and constrains the properly speculative aspect of theological work. The same weight bears down upon Catholic theologians when they forget, or avert their gaze from, the nature of their task. What we have as Catholic theologians is the deep freedom that comes from the recognition of the authority under which we work; I wish that more of us saw this clearly, and worked in the light of such clarity.

Given this understanding of the theologian's task, a conclusion about the point and purpose of theological work follows effortlessly. Theologians do their work in order to bring the Church to greater cognitive intimacy with the LORD. This is not the deepest intimacy there is: that is to be had in worship, and most especially in the sacramental life. But it is still intimacy of a kind. The LORD wants us to know him as best we can, and the theologian contributes to that knowledge, or may do so if her work goes well. Keeping our eyes on the prize - a deeper knowledge of the LORD - ought help us avoid distractions, and especially the confusion of taking Catholic theology to be about something other than the LORD as he has given himself to his Church.

It is easy, and common, for theologians to find themselves serving and seeking other goods - social justice, perhaps, or world peace, or the preservation of the created order - as if pursuing these things were theology's primary task. But it is not. These topics, and many others like them, are theological only to the extent that treatment of them flows from and is integrated with theology's response to what the LORD has given us of himself. The LORD is theology's first and last topic, thought is theology's first and last device, and the Church theology's first and last audience.

The conditions of disagreement

If theology is principally a work of the intellect, then it is also intrinsically and properly agonistic. It proceeds, that is, very largely by way of struggle with and differentiation from incompatible positions on whatever matter is at hand. This is true of all works of the intellect, and it is true because we human creatures can neither learn how to think nor perform the act of thinking other than . The same is true of speech and speaking.

The broadly Cartesian model of thought that depicts it as capable of proceeding, even of proceeding most effectively, , in solitude and silence, is mistaken in every respect. Solitude and silence cannot bring thought into being or make it flourish because thought is dependent - causally, logically, practically - upon prior responsive engagement. That is simply how thought works: in response to gifts given.

We can respond to and learn from those with whom we agree, of course, as well as those with whom we disagree, and we always do some of both. But the principal engine of thought - theological thought as much as every other variety - is the making of perspicuous and provocative distinctions, and doing that is always a matter of the . Spending too much time with the like-minded damages speculative thought, and eventually kills it; what the theologian needs, if she wants to do good speculative work, is a situation in which her thought is placed under pressure by intense and deep-going disagreements.

Think of Augustine arguing with Jerome about the proper interpretation of Galatians 2, Augustine arguing with Julian about the proper understanding of human sexuality, Pascal arguing with the Jesuits about moral theology and the right understanding of human action, Newman against Pusey on whether anglo-catholicism is possible, or even, in a different rhetorical register, the structure of the scholastic , which is essentially argumentative.

But here we need a little care. I've said that the best disagreements, those the presence of which is most stimulating for thought, are intense and deep-going, and this is true. Something needs to be at stake, or at least needs to be perceived to be at stake, in order for the to reach a properly productive pitch. But disagreement, if it's broad as well as deep - if, that is, there's just too much of it because it extends too far on every side - can prevent argument as easily as enabling it.

Arguments between advocates of cricket and advocates of baseball about which is the best game are typically anaemic, frustrating and short-lived, and that's just because there's not enough agreement to permit them to become deep and interesting; the two games differ profoundly in structure, purpose and performance. By contrast, arguments about the appropriateness to baseball of the designated hitter rule occur within a context of agreement about nearly everything, and can, therefore, come to have all the properties of a good argument.

The principle that the best, most intense and most productive arguments are those between people who agree about almost everything is generalizable, and applies very well to Catholic theological disagreement. Catholic theologians have, or should have, agreement about almost everything, and therefore are not lacking in what makes the intellectual possible.

What counts as "Catholic theology"?

Catholic theological disagreements typically belong to one of three broad kinds. There are, first, disagreements about what Catholic theology is and how to do it. Second, there are disagreements of a broadly interpretive kind about the purchase or meaning of particular items of doctrine. And third, there are disagreements about particular speculative proposals in theology. These kinds of disagreement overlap in various ways, as will become evident; but it remains heuristically useful to distinguish them, and to treat them separately and seriatim.

Disagreements of the first kind, about what Catholic theology is and how to do it, are mostly unproductive and uninteresting. They amount, typically, to disagreement about the rules of the game, and in that way are like disagreements between advocates of baseball and cricket.

It might be argued, for instance, that Catholic theology is not, as I've depicted it, an intellectual enterprise self-conscious about its dependence upon doctrine, and to that extent a discourse responsive to authority. In an extreme case, an advocate of such a position might argue that it does not belong to Catholic theology to begin with discovery as I've depicted this - that the question of what binding doctrine there is on a topic is not to the point at all when theology is being undertaken.

Perhaps, it might be said, Catholic theology is purely speculative and needs no authorities of any kind; or perhaps its authorities are exclusively the voices or experiences of some group favoured by or of special interest to the theologian; and there are many other possibilities. Often - and this has commonly been the case in the public pronouncements of the Catholic Theological Society of America (hereafter "the Society") during the last three decades or so - this rejection of the need for discovery as proper to Catholic theology is coupled with affirmations of the autonomy of theologians.

If you think that Catholic theology is not a discourse based upon authority, it will come easily to you to reject the constraint of your own theological practices by such authorities, whether they be living bishops or formulations of doctrine from the archive. And such rejections are commonplace among North American Catholic theologians; the Society has been the principal public voice supporting them.

I've called these kinds of theological disagreement uninteresting, and that is because in most cases they are disputes about a label, like, in form, the legal disputes about which wines can properly be called "champagne." Such disputes are not, typically, about what a thing is: sparkling wines produced in California or Oregon remain just what they are whether or not it is permitted to affix the label "champagne" to them; so do sparkling wines produced in the Champagne area of France. What's at issue isn't the nature of the thing, but rather what's permitted by way of labelling.

So also, usually, with disputes between theologians who deny the need for doctrinal discovery, and those who affirm it. A theologian might take as authoritative for her theological enterprise only the voices and experiences of Latinas, and thus not see or actively deny the need for doctrinal discovery of the kind I've sketched. A Thomist of the strict observance might, think all that's necessary for doing theology is analysis and interpretation of what Thomas wrote. Each can recognize, with enough attention and care, what the other is doing; and each may think of what they are doing as properly and fully Catholic theology. (I doubt that either is.) But disagreements about whether and why what each does, theologically speaking, is to be called "Catholic" are likely to remain sterile and to be resolved, if ever they are, by some approximate equivalent to the European court rulings that limited the application of the term "champagne" to sparkling wines produced in the appropriate region of France. That is, by stipulation backed, where possible, by sanction.

It's interesting in this connection to consider the differences between the mission statement of the Catholic Theological Society of America and that of the Academy of Catholic Theology (hereafter "the Academy"), which is another, much smaller and much newer (founded in 2007) American professional association for Catholic theologians:

The mission statement of the Society uses the word "theology" and its derivatives four times, but specifies its meaning only by locating it "within the context of the Roman Catholic tradition"; nothing at all is said about what theology is or how it should be done. The implication is either that it's sufficiently obvious who is and who is not a Catholic theologian, and what Catholic theology is and how it should be done, that no comment on these matters is required; or, perhaps, that the Society wishes not to take a position on these matters, and thus to make the set of Catholic theologians co-extensive with the set of those who wish to call themselves such.

In contrast, the mission statement of the Academy is centrally concerned to say what Catholic theology is and how it should be done, and to gather to itself theologians who understand what they do in this way. It makes what I've called doctrinal discovery an essential part of the enterprise, and is sufficiently explicit about the place of the magisterium in that enterprise that it quotes , the 1990 Instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian, on exactly that question.

One might reasonably say that the Academy's statement exhibits some anxiety about what Catholic theology is; one might also say, with yet more justification, that the Academy's mission statement is to some degree framed with the existence of an entity like the Society in mind. But whatever the right causal story is, it is clear that the nature of the theological enterprise was of interest to the founders of the Academy, and that it was not to the founders of the Society - or to whoever was responsible for the latest version of its mission statement.

It might seem that the Academy's mission statement is restrictive in a way that the Society's is not. And in one way that is true. But in fact it seems to me that the Society's apparently open and non-restrictive understanding of what Catholic theology is has led to dogmatic closure about the issue both more profound and more protean than anything suggested by the Academy's statement. That is, the very openness of the Society's mission statement with respect to the question of theology is what contributes to its lack of hospitality to those who have a more precise and thought-through understanding of what it is they do as theologians.

It's as if the World Series were left sufficiently open, definitionally speaking, that Jamaica's cricket team could be invited to play, with the result that no game can be played. Those who'd like to play baseball, and therefore protest the presence of cricketers as detrimental to the game they know and love, are then excluded as knuckle-draggingly troglodytic dogmatists. And the upshot is the replacement of a highly rule-governed and beautiful series of baseball games with some more or less aimless exercises with balls and bats, exercises whose very formlessness makes impossible the discrimination of beauty from ugliness and truth from falsehood, and which, of course, makes the recognition of mistakes impossible. For that, you need broad and detailed agreement about rules, and about what it means to follow them.

This is a fanciful example, of course, and its applicability may reasonably be disputed. But it does seem to me a not entirely inadequate representation of the state of theological play in the Society, and one traceable exactly to the let-a-thousand-flowers-bloom approach on its part to the work of theology. The truth is that the best intellectual work in any field, theology as much as any other, occurs when the field is narrowly defined. Only with bracingly severe formal constraints in place can effective intellectual work be done.

What I've just said does not rule out significant and deep-going disagreements about what Catholic theology is and is for; but it does relocate such disagreements at the level of the interpretive or the speculative - the second and third kinds of disagreement distinguished earlier. That is, any theological enterprise that does not take the task of doctrinal discovery seriously (an extreme case would be one that rejected such a task altogether) doesn't count as Catholic theology. But this still permits, and indeed suggests, the possibility of interesting, polemical, and passionate disagreement about what Catholic theology is and is for. It's just that such disagreements, if they are to count as disagreements within Catholic theology rather than disagreements extrinsic to it, would typically have the form of interpretive arguments about what a particular doctrine or quasi-doctrine should be taken to mean.

To make this general principle particular: any Catholic-theological analysis of what the task of Catholic theology is that did not think it important to engage and interpret would, just because of that, place itself outside the ambit of Catholic theology properly understood. But , like any other magisterial document, does not interpret itself, and is thus open to a variety of readings (which is not the same as to say just any reading) of all its central claims, readings that might suggest distinct speculative tracks for thought. Catholic disagreements about the theologian's task should begin from, and be threaded through by, engagement with this text, among others. That's what makes them disagreements that belong to Catholic theology.

But why, you may ask, think of Catholic theology like this, as having doctrinal discovery as among its non-negotiable characteristics? This takes us back to the labelling dispute. I have no answer to the question that does not already assume that Catholic theology should be thought of in this way. , if I'm asked why baseball should be understood as the game ordered by the baseball rule-book and not that of some other game, I have no noncircular answer.

But that is not a problem; it's a feature of human thought. If asked to justify the validity of , the principle of material implication (if , then ; , therefore ), it turns out that I cannot without deploying the very principle whose validity is in question. But it is hard to see this as a problem. In many cases, the question "why think of as ?" when pressed, can only be answered stipulatively: that's how it is.

In our case, this means that if you want - and it's clear that a goodly number of members of the Society do want - to understand Catholic theology as an enterprise to which doctrinal discovery is irrelevant or inimical, you may. The upshot will be that the intellectual practice you perform under that name is not recognizable to me as Catholic theology, as the one I perform probably is not to you. There that dispute must remain. What each of us can do in such a case is do what we do, hope to make beautiful the artefacts we produce, and show them, in humility and love, to those engaged in other enterprises. That's what I'm doing here. The beauty and the passion of Catholic theology is in large part given to it, as I see things, by its intrinsic responsiveness to authority. That not all Catholics see it this way is a matter for lament.

What I've just said is intended to show the limits of argument about what counts as Catholic theology, and to suggest the essentially stipulative nature of conclusions on that matter. Whenever it's the case that two groups of people disagree about the meaning and reference of an important word or phrase - "Catholic theology," "champagne," "marriage" and so on - there is and can be no easy resolution, and, short of the law court or a language police like the , no resolution at all. This is what I think, and I would very much like others to think it too. I have no expectation of that outcome, however.

Labouring under the sign of hope

Disagreements about what Catholic theology is and is for are, we can be thankful, not the only kinds of disagreement we should discuss. Much more interesting and productive are disagreements at the interpretive and speculative levels. These occur among those who agree, broadly at least, about what Catholic theology is and is for, including the importance of doctrinal discovery to that enterprise. They are disagreements about what formulated doctrine should properly be taken to mean, and they are disagreements about the direction in which speculative thought should move when there is no explicit doctrine on a particular matter.

Disagreements like this, in part speculative and in part interpretive, are the lifeblood of Catholic theology. That's because they involve the essential and defining tools of thought: precision and perspicuity in the making of distinctions; imagination in constructing thought-experiments that reveal the essential structure of a position; rhetorical passion in argumentative engagement with opposed positions; and so on. By means of them, theologians clarify, order and develop their thought: for those purposes, there is nothing half as effective as a good opponent - someone, that is, who agrees with you about almost everything and yet who disagrees with you deeply about the particular matter at hand, whatever that might be. This means that theologians should actively seek disagreements of this kind, and when they find them, should delight in them as a gift. It's rather like being caressed: the gift of a caress is what gives you your flesh as itself being capable of offering caresses, and the gift of an argument is what gives you thought as capable itself of offering arguments. For the intellectual life, there's nothing better.

The Catholic theologian, however, is not in the game solely for intellectual delight, even though that is present, as epiphenomenon, in great intensity. No, she is in the game for the Church: she offers her speculative and interpretive proposals to the Church as gifts whose reception and use she neither knows nor needs to know, but about which she is confident that, over time, it will be right. Her errors (and there are always many of them) will fall away, her truths will redound to the glory of the LORD, her perspicuous distinctions will enter into the Church's intellectual life, and her confusions and imprecisions will fall away.

All we have to do is work as theologians under the sign of hope and with all the energy and skill we can muster. The rest isn't up to us, .

Paul J. Griffiths is Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke Divinity School. He is the author of Vibram FiveFingersKSO EVO 0dchID8d
and Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar .
Based out of Miami, Florida with shipping capabilities to anywhere in the world.

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