(My thanks to Jon Sweeney).
Daily Archives: October 14, 2019
Cardinal John Henry Newman has been declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church at a ceremony in Rome.
The open-air service at the Vatican, celebrated by the Pope, was attended by tens of thousand of pilgrims.
Theologian and poet Newman, who died in Birmingham in 1890, is the first English person to be made a saint in almost 50 years.
The Prince of Wales joined the Mass in St Peter’s Square, at which four women were also canonised.
Cardinal Newman declared a saint by the Pope https://t.co/nV59sXwMJx
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 13, 2019
York Minster has appointed a former cancer research scientist as its new Canon Precentor.
The Reverend Canon Dr Vicky Johnson will be charged with helping to deliver worship and music and will take up the post in January.
Currently serving as Residentiary Canon at Ely Cathedral, she will succeed York Minster’s Rev Canon Peter Moger, who is moving to a new role in the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Upon her arrival, Dr Johnson will lead the cathedral’s liturgy and music team, supporting the work of the director of music and the 48 choristers and 12 adult singers of the York Minster Choir.
She will also seek to develop music outreach in the community over the coming years.
The Reverend Canon Dr Vicky Johnson will be charged with helping to deliver worship and musichttps://t.co/ninabVljBh
— The Yorkshire Post (@yorkshirepost) October 13, 2019
(ABC Aus.) Ilana Pardes–“Draw me after you, let us run”: The poetry, sensuality and relentless artistry of the Song of Songs
This collection of love poems revolves around a dialogue between two young lovers: the Shulamite, as the beloved is called, and her nameless lover. There is something utterly refreshing in the frank celebration of love that is found in the passionate exchanges of the two. Nowhere else in the Bible are bodily parts — hair, nose, eyes, lips, tongue, breasts, thighs — set on a pedestal; nowhere else are the sensual pleasures of love — tastes, colours, sounds and perfumes — relished with such joy; nowhere else is sexual desire spelled out with so much verve.
And yet sexuality is never blatant in the Song. Instead we find a nuanced combination of audacity, innocence and decorum, made possible by a spectacular metaphoric web that allows the two lovers to be direct and indirect at once.
Both lovers are masters of metaphor. If much of the love poetry of antiquity (and beyond) sets male lovers on stage as the agents of courting, here we find a strikingly egalitarian amorous dialogue between two virtuoso speakers who woo each other while juggling a plethora of metaphors and similes from different realms. They liken each other to roses, trees, gazelles, doves, goats, the moon, the sun, a crimson thread, perfumes, gold, precious stones, locks, walls and towers. No figure of speech seems to suffice in depicting love.
‘+yet sexuality is never blatant in the Song. Instead we find a nuanced combination of audacity, innocence and decorum, made possible by a spectacular metaphoric web that allows the two lovers to be direct and indirect at once’ 2/2 https://t.co/cPGBpZph2x #oldtestament #scripture
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) October 14, 2019
(Church Times) ‘The 20th century was Augustinian’–James K. A. Smith tells Madeleine Davies why the Early Church theologian still matters
“My hunch is that if people know anything about St Augustine, their picture is probably overwhelmingly negative,” Professor James K. A. Smith says, occupying a booth in the foyer of a South Kensington hotel. He suspects that they think of the fourth-century Bishop of Hippo as “the inventor of the doctrine of Original Sin . . . the champion of celibacy, and the generator of a particularly narrow doctrine of sexual ethics”.
If there is one misconception that he hopes that his new book will correct, it is the idea of an angry dogmatist: “When you really spend time with Augustine he is remarkably vulnerable, humble, and very much imagines himself as a co-pilgrim with people, rather than sitting up on this dais, sort of announcing and denouncing.”
Augustine is, he writes, less a judge than an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.
With a titular nod to Kerouac, On the Road with Saint Augustine offers the reader “an invitation to journey with an ancient African who will surprise you by the extent to which he knows you”.
At @ChurchTimes, @james_ka_smith and Madeleine Davies had a lovely conversation about Augustine and why the theologian might have something vital to say to our present age.https://t.co/5nMrBxgN6f pic.twitter.com/ZRbGFR29Zw
— Brazos Press (@BrazosPress) October 14, 2019
Family, friends, honor, and integrity: These are natural loves. Throughout history, men and women have been willing to die for these loves. As Christians, though, we claim to be animated—first and foremost—by a supernatural love: love for God as our Creator and Jesus Christ as his Son. St. Polycarp, for all his caution and prudence, eventually did choose martyrdom rather than repudiate his Christian faith.
The issue at hand is this: Are we really willing to do the same; and if so, how must we live in a way that proves it? These aren’t theoretical questions. They’re brutally real. Right now Christians in many countries around the world are facing the choice of Jesus Christ or death. Last year the German novelist Martin Mosebach published an account of the 21 migrant workers in Libya who were kidnapped by Muslim extremists and executed for their faith. Twenty were Coptic Christians from Egypt. One was another African who refused to separate himself from his brothers in the faith.
The murder of those 21 Christians is captured on video. It’s hard to watch—not just because the act is barbaric, but also because, in our hearts, we fear that, faced with the same choice, we might betray our faith in order to save our lives. Put frankly, the martyrs, both ancient and modern, frighten us as much as they inspire us. And maybe this reaction makes perfect sense. Maybe it’s a version of the biblical principle that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear of martyrdom is the beginning of an honest appraisal of our spiritual mediocrity.
So I think we should consider this fear for a moment, rather than repressing it, as we so often do.
The Christian men beheaded on the Libyan beach are not really so remote from us. The worry we naturally feel, that we might fail a similar test, is a concrete and urgent version of the anxiety we rightly feel when we think about coming before the judgment of God. If we’re honest about ourselves, we know that we’re likely to fail that test too. After all, we’re barely able to live up to the basic demands of the Ten Commandments. Many of us have trouble following even the minimal norms of a Catholic life: regular confession and Mass attendance, kindness to others, and a few minutes of daily prayer. If those very simple things are struggles, how can we possibly have the spiritual strength to face martyrdom? Or the judgment of a just God?
Chaput: “It’s a good thing, a vital thing, to consider what we’re willing to die for. What do we love more than life? To even ask that question is an act of rebellion against a loveless age. And to answer it with conviction is to become a revolutionary…” https://t.co/E0bibJYVC5
— Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanTAnd) October 14, 2019
One reason debate over Israel gets heated is that both sides question each other’s motives. Supporters of Israel note that anti-Semites often cloak their prejudice in criticism of the Jewish state. They say some views—like saying that Israel should not exist—are by definition anti-Semitic. Pro-Palestinian advocates retort that charges of Jew-hatred are intended to silence them.
Such mistrust has grown in Britain and America, as anti-Semitism has resurfaced at both political extremes. On the left, legislators in America have accused pro-Israel colleagues of dual loyalty, and implied that Jewish money bought Republican support for Israel. In 2012 Jeremy Corbyn, now the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, defended a mural depicting hook-nosed bankers.
The right has used similar innuendo, often by linking liberals to George Soros, a Jewish investor. Muddying matters more, Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, has also denounced Mr Soros. In America right-wing anti-Semitism also takes a more explicit, occasionally violent form. In 2017 marchers in Virginia chanted “Jews will not replace us.” And in 2018 a shooter at a synagogue in Pittsburgh killed 11 people.
In Britain and America anti-Semitism has resurfaced on both the political left and right https://t.co/GuwLrR5TTv
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) October 13, 2019
On October 15, 1906, Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, the Jewish-born, rabbinical school-trained, former Anglican bishop of Shanghai, died in Tokyo, after a lengthy illness, at age 75. Apart from the novelty interest of a converted Jew becoming a church official and serving in the exotic East, Schereschewsky is remembered for having produced a much-respected translation into Mandarin Chinese of the Hebrew Bible, among other sacred texts, which became the standard 20th-century translation.
Samuel Schereschewsky was born on May 6, 1831, in Tauroggen, a Jewish shtetl in the Russian empire, in what is today southwest Lithuania. Both of his parents ”“ the former Rosa Salvatha, of Sephardi-Jewish heritage, and Samuel Joseph Schereschewsky ”“ died when he was very young. Samuel was apparently raised by a much older half-brother, a timber merchant who was the product of his father’s first marriage.
At age 15, he left his brother’s home, and held jobs as a glazier and as a Hebrew tutor before entering the rabbinical seminary in Zhytomir, in Ukraine.
Monday we remember Samuel Isaac Joseph Scherechewsky, Bishop of Shanghai, 1906. Schereschewsky completed his translation of the Bible, typing some 2,000 pages with the middle finger of his partially crippled hand. pic.twitter.com/89I8eVkFSm
— Louisville Cathedral (@ChristChurchLou) October 13, 2019
O God, who in thy providence didst call Joseph Schereschewsky from his home in Eastern Europe to the ministry of this Church, and didst send him as a missionary to China, upholding him in his infirmity, that he might translate the holy Scriptures into languages of that land: Lead us, we pray thee, to commit our lives and talents to thee, in the confidence that when thou givest thy servants any work to do, thou dost also supply the strength to do it; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
The Episcopal Church today commemorates Joseph Schereschewsky, Bishop, Scholar 1906 pic.twitter.com/DAqLUedpyw
— Anglican Church SPB (@anglicanspb) October 14, 2014
O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst pray for thy disciples that they might be one, even as thou art one with the Father: Draw us to thyself, that in common love and obedience to thee we may be united to one another, in the fellowship of the one Spirit, that the world may believe that thou art Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When Micai′ah the son of Gemari′ah, son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll, he went down to the king’s house, into the secretary’s chamber; and all the princes were sitting there: Elish′ama the secretary, Delai′ah the son of Shemai′ah, Elna′than the son of Achbor, Gemari′ah the son of Shaphan, Zedeki′ah the son of Hanani′ah, and all the princes. And Micai′ah told them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the scroll in the hearing of the people. Then all the princes sent Jehu′di the son of Nethani′ah, son of Shelemi′ah, son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, “Take in your hand the scroll that you read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch the son of Neri′ah took the scroll in his hand and came to them. And they said to him, “Sit down and read it.” So Baruch read it to them. When they heard all the words, they turned one to another in fear; and they said to Baruch, “We must report all these words to the king.” Then they asked Baruch, “Tell us, how did you write all these words? Was it at his dictation?” Baruch answered them, “He dictated all these words to me, while I wrote them with ink on the scroll.” Then the princes said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah, and let no one know where you are.”