Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rosmini

Bosco Peters has alerted me to the fact that Antonio Rosmini will be beatified tomorrow. This is very welcome news. It will help open up several important doors:

(1) There should develop, at least over time, a greater interest in nineteenth century of a broadly Malebranchean sort, of which Rosmini is certainly an instance (he tells us that he and Malebranche differ only in details). Needless to say, as someone who studies Malebranche, I will be happy if this comes about very soon.

(2) Attention will be directed to some of the good work done by the Rosminians.

(3) More people will read Rosmini's classic, The Five Wounds of the Church, which has for too long lain under a shadow of suspicion. The book is an excellent example of how to criticize abuses in the Church without being anti-ecclesiastical. The Wounds that Rosmini saw in the Italian Church of his day are still, in slightly different forms, to be seen today. But even that aside, it's filled with excellent meditations on (e.g.) the fact that Christ, in saving mankind, saves not only individuals but human associations (the family, the nation, humankind in general), transfiguring them with grace; or the role of moral dignity in human life; or the role of language in the teaching of the faith; or the relation between Church and state; or on the general patterns that characterize the history of the Church. There is much worth reading in this book.

UPDATES

Other weblogs discussing the beatification:

Lacrimarum Valle
Roman Miscellany

Benedict XVI emphasized Rosmini's intellectual charity.

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