Friday, April 27, 2012

It was (and still is?) the heretics who will not allow "dialogue of diversity"

Fr Bosco Peters put a lecture on his blog given by Fr John Behr on 23rd March at St Paul University (USA) as part of the annual Augustine College Weston Lecture series. Fr Behr is Dean of St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and a patristics scholar. Here's how Fr Bosco summarizes the lecture: 

"Fr John challenges the pulp and popular positions that early catholicity was monolithic, autocratic, homogeneous; despoiling the liberty, diversity, and fulness of life that Jesus brought. Early catholicity, he expertly explains, was what the word means – catholic: diverse. It was the heretics who could not remain in the dialogue of this diversity, who went and took themselves away to form monochromatic communities where everyone would agree with their particular narrow perspective. 

"Fr John stresses that we cannot access the historical Jesus 'neat' as it were. We always receive him interpreted. And the interpretation focuses around the Scriptures and the Eucharist. 

"Fr John provides refreshing perspectives on much in this lecture, including on what it means for the scriptures to be inspired; that all knowledge, whatever the sphere, ultimately rests on an act of faith; and ultimately provides a moving interpretation of the salvation we have just been celebrating . . ." 

Now this really IS worth watching!


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