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Hi Philip,

Sorry I didn't get to annoy you last week, our phones were o.o.o all week due to the flooding. Excuse me also for quoting from the .'Introduction' last evening; I thought it was in wednesday's piece.

My quotes were from pg.125, no's 1&2. There are a few things on pg.125 I do not understand; Top. 'The Apophatic method'. 'The Calaphatic approach' 'The doctrine of the Divine Attributes'. The Greek words.; The Latin 'Lux tuae claritatis'....

On page 126 he talks about 'a road which the human Spirit takes as it seeks for the christian truth'... 'This road itself already stands in the rays of the divine light, a light ,which in an objective sense, makes the form visible and which. in a subjective sense, clarifies & illuminates the searching Spirit thus training it in an act and a habitus which will become perfect faith once the vision has itself been perfected". In "Dogmatics" this developing and now adult faith continues to grow' I find this wonderful & exciting, and wonder how much we will all have grown by the end of the book., Or am I reading it wrong? This is just to clarify where I'm at and to say thanks for your time Philip.

I will read the next 'section ' at the week-end, Rita.

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2002


Rita, Sorry for the delay in getting round to replying. I was away in Sligo for the weekend.

On the items on p. 125 that you didn't understand: Apophatic and Cataphatic both have to do with the way the human mind approaches God and speaks about God: the apophatic approach emphasises our distance from God: we cannot say anything; God is always greater, always beyond, always wrapped in mystery. One of the "high points" of this is the famous diagram of John of the Cross (who is mentioned on that page) on the ascent of Mount Carmel: at the heart of it is: "the path of Mount Carmel, the perfect spirit: nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing and even on the Mount nothing". I will show you the diagram.

The cataphatic, on the contrary, has something to say: it emphasises that, however deficient our knowing and our speaking, both our concepts and our words do indicate the right direction in which God is to be found: thus God is good, but in a way that far surpasses any human or inner-worldly good. The aphophatic approach would be to say that God is not good, we are good. That is: what we know and name must be so far removed from God, that it is better to say that we know an inner-worldly reality and that that is not God.

The Doctrine of the Divine Attributes: an attribute is a quality that belongs to something. Thus a person may have good looks or have a good heart... The Divine Attributes are the qualities that we may fittingly attribute to God, for example, simplicity, goodness, unity, infinity, truth... And a doctrine of the Divine Attributes would also include ideas about things that are not fittingly attributable to God, e.g. limitation, materiality, having a long beard...

The Greek words on p. 125 are "theologia" (theology) and "oikonomia" (economy). Here the sense is that the "theology" is the doctrine of God "in himself", while the "economy" is what we know about God as it comes to us bit by bit and in various events and particularly in the whole life and words and actions of Jesus of Nazareth. The danger is that we develop a doctrine of God that becomes detached from the details of how we human beings come to know God.

The Latin phrase, "lux tuae claritatis" means "the light of your clarity"--"clarity" here meaning something about shining out.

Yes, Rita, I think you are right in the way you understand the passage from p 126.

God bless. See you Wednesday.

-- Anonymous, November 25, 2002

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