This forum was closed on October 1st, 2010. However, the archives are open to the public and filled with vast amounts of good reading and information for you to enjoy. If you wish to meet some Wardrobians, please visit the Into the Wardrobe Facebook group.

question

Postby Lioba » 17 Oct 2007, 08:01

Hello, I hope, I found the right thread for my question. If not, please help me to find the right place for my question.
I´ve got for my last birthday a book about the 4 classic main -virtues Prudence etc from a rather good catholic writer-Josef Pieper.
For me, this book is very precious.
The apostle Paul reminds us in the letter to the phillippians to think about virtue, but I couldn´t make much of it, because I really never heard a teaching or a sermon about it. Their was teaching about faith, love and hope, but nothing about the more pragmatic things.
Is there any comparable teaching on the protestant side or is it just not so much in the focus? :read:
User avatar
Lioba
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Oct 2007

Postby Ben2747 » 17 Oct 2007, 15:11

Lioba wrote:Hello, I hope, I found the right thread for my question. If not, please help me to find the right place for my question.
I´ve got for my last birthday a book about the 4 classic main -virtues Prudence etc from a rather good catholic writer-Josef Pieper.
For me, this book is very precious.
The apostle Paul reminds us in the letter to the phillippians to think about virtue, but I couldn´t make much of it, because I really never heard a teaching or a sermon about it. Their was teaching about faith, love and hope, but nothing about the more pragmatic things.
Is there any comparable teaching on the protestant side or is it just not so much in the focus? :read:


Lioba - I want to make sure my recommendation on further reading is proportional to your background. I'm not sure how old you are, or how much experience you have with Philosophy. You've enjoyed Pieper, so I'll go out on a limb and guess that you can tackle just about whatever you want. The classic work on all Ethics is Aristotle's Ethics. If you don't want to start with that, maybe Mortimer Adler's Aristotle for Everybody would be helpful. In addition, I would recommend St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica. I've included links to the parts you might want to review. I would start with his section on Habits (Q49).

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2.htm

Then, you might want to look specifically at the section on the theological virtues:

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3.htm

For the Summa Theologica (the links above - these arguments use Scripture as an authoritative reference, whereas the Summa Contra Gentes, or Gentiles, uses natural arguments), you'll find that the work is divided into Parts. The Parts are divided into Questions, and the Questions into Articles. In each article, there will be some false objections (usually 3), a contradiction to these arguments, the main body explaining the proper understanding of the issue, and then specific replies to each of the initial objections. These questions will make frequent reference to Scripture and to Aristotle.

I'm not sure about Protestant works on ethics and virtue. I would certainly encourage you to read The Abolition of Man and God In the Dock, both by CS Lewis. They have some content on natural law and ethics that is quite useful.

Best Regards,

Ben
Ben2747
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Jul 2007

Postby Karen » 17 Oct 2007, 15:48

I'd recommend Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, and for something more modern, Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy.
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges
User avatar
Karen
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 3727
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Postby Lioba » 17 Oct 2007, 16:51

Karen and Ben, thank you! I think, I´ll start with Thomas, because I can read it in the Internet. We haven´t got Aristotle in our local library, but our librarian can order books from other libraries.
About Bonhoeffer: a friend of mine reads Bonhoeffer, she said, I should start best with reading his letters to his bride, so that I can learn about him and his style.
I haven´t read the two books of C. S. Lewis , but I think I buy them.
Wow, good books enough for the rest of the year! :smile:
User avatar
Lioba
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Oct 2007

Postby Ben2747 » 17 Oct 2007, 17:09

Lioba wrote:Karen and Ben, thank you! I think, I´ll start with Thomas, because I can read it in the Internet. We haven´t got Aristotle in our local library, but our librarian can order books from other libraries.
About Bonhoeffer: a friend of mine reads Bonhoeffer, she said, I should start best with reading his letters to his bride, so that I can learn about him and his style.
I haven´t read the two books of C. S. Lewis , but I think I buy them.
Wow, good books enough for the rest of the year! :smile:


Not sure if your librarian will be able to find it, but if you can find Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, translated by Hippocrates Apostle, that would be a good translation to use. I'm not even sure if it's still in publication, but it is very useful (including the notes). It was originally published by Peripatetic Press, out of Iowa (believe it or not).
Ben2747
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Jul 2007

Postby rusmeister » 18 Oct 2007, 04:15

Lioba wrote:Hello, I hope, I found the right thread for my question. If not, please help me to find the right place for my question.
I´ve got for my last birthday a book about the 4 classic main -virtues Prudence etc from a rather good catholic writer-Josef Pieper.
For me, this book is very precious.
The apostle Paul reminds us in the letter to the phillippians to think about virtue, but I couldn´t make much of it, because I really never heard a teaching or a sermon about it. Their was teaching about faith, love and hope, but nothing about the more pragmatic things.
Is there any comparable teaching on the protestant side or is it just not so much in the focus? :read:


You're speaking of what are also called the pagan virtues, as they are not peculiar to Christianity.

But asking if there is Protestant teaching seems like a loaded question. There are dozens of major denominations and thousands of independent churches and church-groups which can qualify as denominations and millions of Protestants, and thousands of Protestant writers. So no doubt some, somewhere, have spoken of these virtues or written of them. If you are Catholic, you ought to understand that Protestant theology is not coherent and unified, like Catholic or Orthodox theology - that interpretation of Scripture leads them to a variety of (often contradictory) conclusions.
"Eh? Two views? There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one."
Bill "The Blizzard" Hingest - That Hideous Strength
User avatar
rusmeister
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Russia

Postby chad » 18 Oct 2007, 07:25

rusmeister wrote:Protestant theology is not coherent and unified, like Catholic or Orthodox theology - that interpretation of Scripture leads them to a variety of (often contradictory) conclusions.


Rusmeister I hope you will elaborate on this, particularly in the area of virtue? Thanks. I'm very interested. On many broad theological points I have explored inconsistencies of Protestant theology and have begun to see its effect on practical virtue. But I've only just begun. Could you share some of your thoughts?
User avatar
chad
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: California

Postby Lioba » 18 Oct 2007, 07:48

@ Ben: I´ll see my poor librarian today and he has found so many impossible books for me yet, maybe he also will be succsessfull today.
@rusmeister: I´m protestant myself, but really if you would ask me what is common in all protestant churches, i couldn´t give an answer.
I know, that in the catholic church the classical virtues are still teached, especially in the groups, that keep up the traditions of thomisme.
I think that some smaller protestant groups do not teach it, because their mostly lay-groups with no academically refined theology at all.
Those I know, really love Jesus, but it is for my taste a bit to much on the emotional side. I think, words like living a holy life , being spiritual must be filled with concret things, else they become empty and meaningless after a while.
Some more modern groups avoid the idea of virtues, as far as i can see, because they avoid everything clear and straightforward.
So, I asked myself, if their is somewhere in the protestant room a place for things like virtues as a meisure for human life.
Thanks both of you!
Lioba :smile:
User avatar
Lioba
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Oct 2007

Postby Ben2747 » 18 Oct 2007, 09:41

Lioba wrote:I know, that in the catholic church the classical virtues are still teached, especially in the groups, that keep up the traditions of thomisme.
I think that some smaller protestant groups do not teach it, because their mostly lay-groups with no academically refined theology at all.


Sorry - I know this part is addressed to Rusmeister, but please don't think this is restricted to Thomists, just because I gave you a link to the Summa. I just selected the Summa because it's concise, brief, and effectively summarizes Aristotle's teaching on ethics. I don't see how anyone can examine the subject of virtue without first looking at Aristotle. When I said the Ethics were a classic on the subject, I didn't mean "a well regarded old book." It's more like the essential bedrock for this entire branch of moral philosophy, even if you're rabidly anti-Aristotle. The teaching regarding the cardinal (pagan) and theological virtues, their number, and object preceded St. Thomas, and have been commonly held by people with different philosophical perspectives. I just cringe whenever I hear an "ism," because it's a convenient way to dismiss an idea not on its merit, but on some sort of historical snobbery.

Once you're conversant in the terms of this branch of philosophy, I think you'll find that this isn't about Protestantism, or Catholicism, or any other denomination. It's simply an issue of whether someone has exposure to the discipline. Why this exposure seems to be more limited in some denominations - well, that I'll leave to Rusmeister. I'm not touching that one with a ten foot pole. It might be more effective to look to Aristotle's predecessor to discover our way. You probably have the answer, yourself, but have yet to "give birth" to it.
Ben2747
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Jul 2007

Postby rusmeister » 18 Oct 2007, 15:40

It seems that some people may be taking my post to mean that I claim some expertise in this question. I do not. I merely wish to point out that seeking for unified Protestant teaching is like seeking unified Islamic teaching. There really isn't a unified Protestant faith. Each denomination follows its own traditions and when someone disagrees they sometimes leave and find another existing church and sometimes break off and start a new church. (No attack on Protestants is intended - but the question seems to beg the answer.)
I'm sure you can find intelligent Protestant commentaries on these virtues out there - they may not be coherent with other Protestant thought and just can't be considered the teaching of (a unified) Protestantism because there is no such animal.
The virtues that should be of particular interest, though, are precisely the 3 Christian virtues that paganism did not have - faith, hope and love (agape). They are what distinguished Christianity in the pagan world.
"Eh? Two views? There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one."
Bill "The Blizzard" Hingest - That Hideous Strength
User avatar
rusmeister
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Russia

Postby Lioba » 19 Oct 2007, 08:34

@ Ben: I took your advise and I´m on Aristotle now. We really have all of Aristotle in our Library, although their isn´t much public interest for it.
@rusmeister:I still hope, their is acommon heritage of protestant belief-somewhere in the past. but you are right regarding the actuel situation.
And as to the virtues , I know, that the three christian virtues are the most imortant for me, but I´m interested in the classical virtues because they are clear demands for my daily life, they help me to understand tzhe background of the New Testament-to know about Jewish life and hellenisme is helpfull for me.
Oh, and I really didn´t want to arise struggle between the two of you!
Cheers, Lioba
User avatar
Lioba
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Oct 2007

Postby Ben2747 » 19 Oct 2007, 13:12

Lioba wrote:@ Ben: I took your advise and I´m on Aristotle now. We really have all of Aristotle in our Library, although their isn´t much public interest for it.

Oh, and I really didn´t want to arise struggle between the two of you!
Cheers, Lioba


Not much public interest in Aristotle? That's a shocker. Don't know if anyone remembers that old series "Get Smart" - the '60's spy parody. I know there's a new movie coming out, but they actually made a movie around the same time the original series was running, with the original cast. There's the obligatory scene where the heroes are captured, and the villain has to reveal his plan in agonizing detail before they die (so it can be appropriately foiled when they escape). He's created a weather machine that will create inclement weather and disrupt television broadcasts, forcing American's to return to the classics - I believe he said Aristotle and Euclid, and Max is horrified by the inhumanity of such a diabolical plot. Highly recommended, but I think this is about what it would take to get Aristotle back in demand at your local library.

Friction between me and Rusmeister? That Baptist-Turned-Byzantine schismatic and I have a perfect understanding. I get to insist on the Primacy of Peter, and he mumbles some nonsense about first-among-equals. All roads lead where? Rome. Not Corinth, not Antioch, not Istanbul-Was-Constantinople. Rome. I mean, c'mon. QED, guys. This is self-evident. We've got the best sculpture (little joke, there, for the Orthodox among you), the best painting, the best music, the best architecture, the most saints, the most councils, the most bishops, the most gay priests - er, strike that last one. Gelato, pasta, and Vespa scooters. Tea? Dolmas? Borsch? The Yugo? All net. A-L-L N-E-T. Yeah, baby!
Ben2747
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Jul 2007

Postby rusmeister » 19 Oct 2007, 15:20

Ben2747 wrote:Friction between me and Rusmeister? That Baptist-Turned-Byzantine schismatic and I have a perfect understanding. I get to insist on the Primacy of Peter, and he mumbles some nonsense about first-among-equals. All roads lead where? Rome. Not Corinth, not Antioch, not Istanbul-Was-Constantinople. Rome. I mean, c'mon. QED, guys. This is self-evident. We've got the best sculpture (little joke, there, for the Orthodox among you), the best painting, the best music, the best architecture, the most saints, the most councils, the most bishops, the most gay priests - er, strike that last one. Gelato, pasta, and Vespa scooters. Tea? Dolmas? Borsch? The Yugo? All net. A-L-L N-E-T. Yeah, baby!


I think we understand each other well, even if we do disagree! :smile:

The first Church was where? Jerusalem. They were first called Christians where? Antioch. We've got the best icons, the best music, baklava and pirogi. Oh, and Borsch is ours, big boy! :grin:
"Eh? Two views? There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one."
Bill "The Blizzard" Hingest - That Hideous Strength
User avatar
rusmeister
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Russia

Postby Ben2747 » 19 Oct 2007, 17:01

rusmeister wrote:I think we understand each other well, even if we do disagree! :smile:

The first Church was where? Jerusalem. They were first called Christians where? Antioch. We've got the best icons, the best music, baklava and pirogi. Oh, and Borsch is ours, big boy! :grin:


Borsch is not something to brag about as one of the world's great culinary achievements - you can have it. It's OK, at best. I gave it as an example of one of yours (along with the Yugo, etc), not one of ours. We get the pasta and gelato. Of course, it could be worse - we could be Protestant. Seriously - have you ever contemplated Lutheran cuisine? They have to drink all that beer, just to forget the horror of the jello salads. You remember the green one with the cottage cheese? Son of a . . . I'm having to surpress a gag reflex as I write. I think THAT is Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Jiggle jiggle jiggle - "the horror . . . the horror."

Best music my butt. Rachmaninoff vs. Palestrina. BAM! Palestrina wins - TKO in the first round. Of course, to be fair, you guys actually still use your best work (inferior to our best works), while we are now only singing dirges about world peace and self-actualization, composed by frustrated nuns in the 70's with trans-gender aspirations. When we're in a chipper mood, we crack out the guitar and sing teen Protestant campfire songs, and you can't pick out a melody, because the cantor is giving an exposition of all of their vocal virtuosity. Rock on!
Ben2747
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Jul 2007

Postby Karen » 19 Oct 2007, 17:34

Heh. Just wanted to say that I'm really enjoying this exchange. And as a Jewish convert to Christianity, I'm in complete agreement on Protestant cuisine. I was brought up on Eastern European cooking, so borscht and pierogies were part of my childhood. My soul is Christian, but I still have Jewish tastebuds. :wink:
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges
User avatar
Karen
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 3727
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Next

Return to Religion, Science, and Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered members and 1 guest