Monday, January 27, 2014

Some Notable Links

* Trent Dougherty on Skeptical Theism at the SEP

* John C. Wright on the Green Hornet

* Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, ‘Beyond all holiness’: St Nicolas Cabasilas on the Mother of God

* Dorothy Cummings McLean on apostasy and liturgy in Benson's Lord of the World.

One thing that would be interesting would be more people reading Dawn of All, which can be seen as the next step. Lord of the World showed that if things went very bad for Catholics, the true Catholic must be willing to accept martyrdom, should faith ever demand it. Dawn of All showed that if things went very good for Catholics -- then the true Catholic must be willing to accept martyrdom, should love ever demand it. Good or bad, the measure of Christian life is the same, and the measure is a Man willing to suffer and to die on a Cross for us and for our salvation.

* A lecture from the early 1960s by James Weisheipl, O.P., on Communist philosophy (PDF) (ht)


* Peter Brooks on Balzac


  1. Yes. But poor Weisheipl speaks about ... 'Nicolai Lenin' (see p. 6); so much for the knowledge. Rather meagre stuff.

  2. These people were as clueless as
    they were adamant (‘staunch’, ‘prayerful’, etc.).

  3. branemrys1:23 PM

    It's actually one of the names Lenin went by, and was the name he was usually known by in the West for a significant portion of the twentieth century.

  4. I assume that by ‘the West’, you mean the U.S.A. Perhaps
    it all begin with how savvy L. Bryant was. Not to make too much out of it, but
    it’s a bit embarrassing that at the beginning of the ‘60s the Western scholars
    still hadn’t found out by what name Lenin went in his own country, under what
    name his books were printed, etc.; also, the spelling is Nikolai, too much to
    ask from the distinguished Thomist. It’s a bit like those who write about
    Leibnitz, etc.. Also, it’s a bit weird when a usage simply is to be taken as
    such, when Lenin’s countrymen certainly didn’t call him that in the ‘60s. For
    me, as I wrote, it’s simply an indicator of how clueless those like were,
    writing that in the ‘60s. It would be a bit weird if someone would ascribe,
    today, candidly, as a matter of fact, works to Clive Hamilton, Diedrich
    Knickerbocker, Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass—not
    in respect to a certain publisehd piece, but generally.

    Louise Bryant isn’t, perhaps,
    reason enough.

    But of
    course we can still state that Tales of my Landlord were edited by Jedediah Cleishbotham.

  5. I
    also very much doubt that it was more than one of the names he was known by,
    and that, for a few years. I am certain that people like the authors of the Critical
    Theory never referred to … ‘Nicolai Lenin’.

  6. branemrys2:33 PM

    It's not a subjective measure -- there are quite literally dozens of biographies and reference works in English from the first half of the twentieth century that refer to him as Nikolai or Nicolai Lenin, which was a pen name he occasionally used. Some of the major classic works on Communist thought in English from the period refer to him as such. The standard way of referring to him in English for a significant proportion of the twentieth century was by the pen name.

  7. branemrys2:43 PM

    By the West I mean English speaking countries, including Britain -- indeed, especially Britain, since Americans seems to have picked up the habit from the British. I have also seen French works from the period referring to him as such, although in fairness I don't know for sure how common that was. In English, no one makes a distinction between Nikolai and Nicolai, either. (And your Leibniz example is not particularly good, because people using Leibnitz are merely using an older dialectal convention and not doing anything wrong at all. It's the same with the fact that the modern spelling of Shakespeare only caught on relatively recently; for a significant period it was often spelled Shakspeare, for instance.)

    All this argument makes no sense. It's like complaining that people call Jehanne D'Arc "Joan of Arc" or Kung Fu-tze "Confucius", or arguing about whether it should be Ockham, Occam, or the like. That's just a matter of what the ordinary English happens to be. The English convention of referring to Lenin as Nicolai arose from the translation of actual works of Lenin that were published under the actual pen name Nikolai (which obviously was anglicized as Nicolai) Lenin; it then just stuck, and it only faded after a very long time, to be replaced. People using the name today would be doing something extraordinarily old-fashioned; not so at one time. It's just not a rational argument.

  8. branemrys6:02 PM

    I should add, incidentally, that it might well be that Weisheipl is wrong about a lot of things; my point is that the use of the name 'Nicolai Lenin' simply doesn't show it -- it was a common way of referring to Lenin in English, and Wiesheipl is lecturing in English to a general audience, not talking to Soviets.

    In itself it's no more a sign of ignorance than the fact that we English speakers call Jehanne D'Arc 'Joan of Arc'; if a lecturer in English were to call her 'Joan of Arc', this wouldn't be a sign of ignorance, despite the fact that the English technically gets her name wrong -- D'Arc or d'Arc is a last name, not a description of where she's from. But that's just the standard English way to refer to her.


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