Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Newman in support of Spretnak?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been reading Charlene Spretnak’s “Missing Mary”. Unfortunately, I have had to return the book to the Joint Theological Library before I finished reading it (it was an interlibrary loan and is due back), but I will pick it up again as soon as our copy arrives in the Daniel Mannix library.

You will know that I have been critical of Charlene’s identification of Mary with the “Mother Goddess” who appears in many religions and cultures throughout human history.

However, I have just read a passage from Newman (quoted in Chapter 14 of an online book by English Dominican Aidan Nichols “Epiphany: a theological introduction to Catholicism”) which full supports approach, as long as it is taken in line with her comments she made to me personally about how to understand what she was trying to say:

"We are not distressed to be told that the doctrine of the angelic host came from Babylon, while we know that they did sing at the Nativity; nor that the vision of a mediator is in Philo, for in very deed he died for us on Calvary."
("Milman's View of Christianity" in Essays Critical and Historical (London 1890) 2:233)

Nichols goes on to say:

"The Church, en route between Pentecost and the parousia, can continue to find analogues of her own truth in the cultures of the unbaptised; not merely, indeed, echoes of the truth she knows consciously, but instruments for the fuller appropriation of its inexhaustible richness."

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