Saturday, May 19, 2012

Links for Noting

*Dorothy Cummings McLean on Mulieris Dignitatem

* Mark C. Murphy has an interesting review of Sinnot-Armstrong's Morality Without God at NDPR.

* Currently reading:
Elliott Sober, Reichenbach's cubical universe and the problem of the external world (PDF)

* We normally say that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. Hasok Chang looks at some of the ways in which the matter is more complicated than that.

* Philip Kitcher has a vigorous defense of the humanities and attack on scientism at The New Republic. (hat-tip)

* Liturgical texts for St. Hildegard von Bingen

* Be insulted by Martin Luther.

* Norway is no longer to be officially Lutheran. A constitutional amendment has passed to replace language making Evangelical Lutheranism the public religion with language saying that the state's basis will be its Christian and Humanist heritage. The reporting on this seems highly confused, and I can't make much sense of it all. As far as I can tell, the Church of Norway will still be a national church and the King is still required to be Evangelical Lutheran, contrary to many reports. This is not, in other words, a full disestablishment. What will happen is that King Harald V will no longer appoint bishops (a church committee will do that) or have the title, Highest Bishop; but the bishops and priests will still be employed by the state.

In other words: the government agency going by the name 'Church of Norway' has been moved from being a government agency directly responsible to the Crown to being an independent government agency, and officials dealing with this government agency will no longer have to be registered with this government agency. The government agency will, however, continue to exist and to be funded as a government agency. This apparently pleases quite a few officials in the government agency, because it pleases both those who think the government agency should be less accountable to the Cabinet, and those who think the government agency should be privatized. It also pleases people who think the agency should be elimated. This particular government agency is the caretaker of a large number of historic properties, and runs most of them as working historic sites, a service in which about two percent of the population of Norway participate with regularity.

* I see that Mark Shea, never afraid to leap in where angels fear to tread, has stirred up some trouble by saying that Medjugorje is a fraud (which it is, at the very least beyond the very beginning, and very likely in whole). The best source of information on it in English is Marco Corvaglia's website. It really is a subject on which people can get hurt feelings very quickly, though.

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