The final lecture for the Newman-Scotus Symposium is given by Rev. Dr. Edward Ondrako, OFMConv. titled: Intuition and Certitude: Newman and Scotus Anticipate Liberal Christianity and Modern Voluntarism
Fr Edward Ondrako explores how Scotus anticipated the theology and thinking of Newman and both of them anticipated [and gave an orthodox rebuttal to] much of modern theology. He ties this to the balance that Pope Benedict is advocating between a continuity with the doctrinal tradition on the one hand and the relating it to the modern culture on the other.
He shows that Scotus is not the stepping stone to Kant and Hegel but that he anticipated many of their main points and answered them in an orthodox way long before their arrival.
Newman too was very critical of Hegel and Kant even very early in his career. Fr. Ed also contrasts Scotus and Newman to Suarez, that he is an eclectic that is closer to Thomas than Scotus.
Properly understood both Newman and Scotus are, in fact, the great antidote to modern skepticism and the exaggerated separation of faith and reason. This is in line with Pope Benedict when in England during the same trip when he beatified Newman where he asked all scholars to reunite scholarship with sanctification.
Fr Ed traces three different schools of theological thought which represent the major influences today.
Caveats – Modernism is both seductive and subtle. So the subtle doctor is likely to have the answer but so too they will likely be misunderstood because of this very subtlety, especially when he mentions the same problems that the modernists do.
Scotus fought against the major precursors to Kant and Hegel of his day, Joachim of Fiores and others.
Pope to Abp. Rowan
Contribution of Scotus in formal distinction of will and intellect, recognizing the difference between the two but also the close relation between them.
Newman – to alter the type is to corrupt the type and this is not development. He cites his mistakes but also his unflagging effort to resist liberalism in religion and it subjectivism and relativism that guts the truths of the religions and sacred revelation. Thus he is the antidote to post Vatican II relativism and personal interpretation. Newman clearly outlines all these problems long before they became the great problem they are today.
Be Catholic. Be intellectual. Be holy. Explore the causes of the radical separation of will from intellect.
Development of doctrine must preserve the type. Must preserve the distinction between Creator and creature but still be related.
Three competing schools:
Ockham, Hume, Kant
St. Bonaventure, Scotus
and his point is that Newman fits into the third more than the first two.
Fr Ed recommends Benedetto Ippolito (video on AirMaria) . Fr Tedesco has something to say but needs to be interpreted in the interiorizing idea not in the sense of mere personal interpretation.
Bl. Scotus anticipated the modern sense that the world is rigged against Christianity. This is not to be pessimistic but a realist. In the modern situation this is due to Locke’s ethics that reduce objective truth to little or no value. Pope says this, as well, and asks the Dominican and Franciscans to do the hard work of establishing the basis for avoiding over rigidity on the one hand and hopelessly arbitrary relativism on the other.
To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com?p=15409
The keynote address for Newman-Scotus Symposium the is given by Sr. Mary Beth Ingham who advocates for a shift of our concept of rational activity from an intellectual centrality to that of the will along the lines of Scotus who is the most famous of the Franciscan masters.
Anselm comodi and justistia two desires of our rational self. Comodi for personal health, happiness. Justisia is a desire for justice, good for goodness itself. both of these things need to be pursued. Anselm and Scotus believe that these two must work together in order for us to be different from the animals.
Scotus takes this a step further. Justisia must be developed like any other discipline. To act, not to act, and choosing not to decide. This choice not to decide is key to Scotus’ moral teaching. This option to not decide is built into our very metaphysical being and gives us the ability to love good for goodness sake itself (justistia) and this is key to being able to transcend oneself.
To love God above all things is first principle of praxis, moral action. Love for God (the greatest good ) is the thing that will bring us the greatest good, happiness. Moral living is thus harmonized with happiness. And even though this harmony is damaged by original sin it is still largely intact, but requires great balance.
Ethical beauty and artistry
Primacy of moral beauty. In a morally good act can see proportion of beauty. Known in pagan worlds. Stoics. Morality has a harmony with the will like harmony of beautiful music. And moral evil is a discord. Relating to spiritual discernment. A well trained spiritual director can pick up a spiritual discord very easily like a piano tuner. Moral training should involve this aesthetical. Moral pedagogy should be a taste for beauty, not just good taste but rational beauty, moral living. Instead of legalism we need Scotus the Franciscan.
Three dimensions of Moral Judgment
Love for God above all
Principle of moral science (derived from above and contained in the Decalogue)
Learned Moral experienced
Expanded notion of rational and ordered right loving. Perfection of right loving, which means loving the right thing but also loving these things in the right way.
Global and economic morality can have impact of distributive justice and environmental stress will be resolved by self restraint. The restraint then will have benefits for the spiritual in that we have moral rectitude but all the physical and social problems will be resolved.
Moral discernment, right loving, self mastery and restrained use as we do with Franciscan poverty. This has ramifications for solving social and environment issues.
This has affinity to Newman. Challenge of this kind of moral artists is to widen the moral issue.
Cor ad cor loquitor, (Heart speaking to heart) listening for God’s voice. The way to really discern.
Moral instruction can be reformulated in the terms of beauty. Thus it avoids the two extremes of rigid legalisms and arbitrary personal caprice. And this will open the way to international and inter-religious dialogue.
Question 1 - What form does the apprehension of this beauty take?
Beauty is one of the Transcendentals closely akin to God and so the apprehension involves an imitation of Him, an ongoing conversion.
Question 2 – Is this idea of beauty and goodness in Scotus?
It is. And he gives an example of tonal discord at least in sense of the idea of the infinite being is not discordious with our intellect.
Queston 3 – Sr. Pat Hutchison, OSF, Ed.D reflects on how Sr. Mary Beth Ingham’s ideas have been well received by her community and university.
Sr Ingham responds that this is very well received in general by the post modern world and there will be more discussion of this coming up. This discussion must be given an objective basis so the the aesthetic does not become mere subjective preference.
Question 4 – Fr. McCurry asks if this notion of morality can be transferred to theology with the tota pulcra of the Immaculate Conception?
She says this is very possible. This is in line with Scotus’ potuit, decuit, ergo fecit, (God could do it, it was fitting that He did it, and so He did it) and being generous always by erring on the side of generosity with regard to attributing to God glorious works. (These are the general concepts upon which Scotus based his defense of the Immaculate Conception)
To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com?p=15404
Fr. James McCurry, OFMConv. summarizes the talks of the first day at the Newman-Scotus Symposium from Rev. Dr. Ford, Dr Noone and Rev. Dr. Fehlner.
To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com?p=15356
Newman-Scotus Symposium – Deacon John Sullivan asks what role illumination plays in the intellect.
Dr. Ford answers by calling this the eureka moment where many different peaces of information comes together into one sudden insight that brings it all together in one coherent picture. Newman speaks of taking a view, and that this leads to a need for action to follow through by conversion and to show others this new view.
Follow up question, how do know if this new view or eureka moment is true?
Dr. Ford answers by saying there is no formula to know. But only points to the need to include the need for the will being involved in the process of inference.
To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com?p=15354
In the tenth presentation at our International Centenary Symposium on the Mariology of Bl. John Duns Scotus held in Durham, England, Don Joaquin Ferrer-Arellano discusses the virginal marriage of Mary & St. Joseph according to the teaching of Bl. John Duns Scotus. The presentation is read by Fr. Johannes M.M. Smith, F.I.
To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com?p=4625
Newman-Scotus Symposium – Fr. Ed Ondrako asks how we might implement what the Pope asked for, to reconnect will and intellect?
Dr. Noone answers that the problem is rooted in Descartes by disassociating will from intellect. He was aware of Scotus and used his thoughts but ultimately subverted them. He covers the progress from Descartes and even sketches the reasons why Scotus is blamed due to misconceptions about him.
Fr. Ed adds that it is very heard to stay clear of misconceptions.
Dr. Noone reflects on the rarity of authors and philosophers to be free of preconceptions and pints to the exception of Etienne Gilson who saw right past the heavy bias against Scotus in the 1920′s and 30′s. And that it is sad that Scotus is not included in the great books program.
Fr. Ed further reflects on how this exposes a lack of knowledge of medieval history.
Sr. Mary Beth Ingham reflects on how challenging Scotus is to modern impoverished notions of thought and intellectual activity and even the notion of the person. Scotus does not hold to a real distinction between Intellect and will whereas Aquinas did have this distinction and led to a rather strict separation between the two.
To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com?p=15350