Item description for After Writing: On the Liturgical Cosummation of Philosophy (Challenges in Contemporary Theology) by Catherine Pickstock...
Overview Provides a significant contribution to the growing genre of works offering a challenge to the modern and post-modern accounts of Christianity. Author Catherine Pickstock references Platonic philosophy and provides an important rethinking of Christian understandings of language, temporal and bodily life, and notions of the presence of God.
Publishers Description This study provides a contribution to the growing genre of works which offer a challenge to the modern and post-modern accounts of Christianity. The book shows how Platonic philosophy did not assume a primacy of metaphysical presence, as had been previously thought, but a primacy of liturgical theory and practice.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.03" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.89" Weight: 1.09 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 1997
ISBN 0631206728 ISBN13 9780631206729
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More About Catherine Pickstock
Catherine Pickstock is a Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Catherine Pickstock has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Cambridge Reader in Philosophy and Theology, University.
Catherine Pickstock has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about After Writing: On the Liturgical Cosummation of Philosophy (Challenges in Contemporary Theology)?
From The Modernist School Oct 21, 2006
"After Writing:..." is a brilliant work of philosophy, however, to the extent that it is uncritical of the Modernist school of pre-conciliar liturgical theory, runs counter to traditionalism. She is of the school of such modernists like Annibale Bugnini, Henri de Lubac, Hans Kung, Avery Dulles, the periti of Vatican II, and those who have had a hand in deconstructing the Traditional Mass.
When she's good she's very, very good.... May 5, 2006
An innovative and important theological study of liturgical language and ritual with strong and important points to make about the way language is used in liturgy. Yet surprisingly for a book so focused on liturgy as ritual (and with a critique of the reform of the liturgy following Vatican II as being too focussed on texts) there is little or nothing on how liturgy is or was actually 'performed' or experienced. This gives much of the book an air of unreality or fantasy. Pickstock's own argument is, ironically, far too focused on liturgy as text. The book's strength and real interest is an innovative analysis of the language of liturgy that is by itself worth the price of the book. And yet...the innovative study of liturgical language is wrapped in a romantic and idealist reappropriation of a Middle Ages that-never-was, that is by parts frustrating, baffling, boring and risible. Extraordinarily for an Anglican theologian who lauds the medieval latin rite there is no discussion of its critique and dismantling by Cranmer. In short, an innovative and very thought provoking argument about liturgical language that will have enduring value, wrapped in an sophisticated, literally fantastic but very silly argument for the medieval latin mass.
Brilliant, but sometimes shockingly deficient. Nov 21, 2002
There are some really fantastic elements in this book. But let me tell you first that I am a Catholic associated with the movement to restore the Tridentine Rite, and I can legitimately call myself a Thomist as far as my metaphysics and theology go. And so my criticisms of the work do not flow from a rejection of either of these.
Pickstock's reading of Plato's Phaedrus and her refutation of Derrida are a cut above. Because Derrida is so obscure in style and terminology, Pickstock's refutation necessarily comes off a bit obscure itself. But she also seems very comfortable with that sort of discourse and makes little effort to speak to those who are untouched by post-modernist drivel. Still, it is a very rich and incisive critique of Derrida, the best I have read.
Many of Pickstock's criticisms of modern philosophy and the evolution of modern languages seem to me to be very original, very accurate, and very important. Unfortunately, she has some gross misunderstandings of medieval philosophy, in particular Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas.
For Aquinas, body and soul are *really* distinct. The fact that the two are inseparable in material beings has no bearing on the issue. Wherever there is composition, potency and act must be really distinct. This applies both to the essence/act-of-being distinction and the matter/form distinction. The distinction of matter and form is therefore not a logical one as she claims. This error is astounding in one who claims to follow Thomas.
Her portrayal of Scotus is so flawed that it would take a short book to refute it. But let me get at least to the root of her difficulties, namely the "univocity of being". There is a great danger in learning your Scotism from thomists, because they are so intent on proselytizing Thomas that they rarely make an honest effort to understand alternative formulations. There is a common myth, no doubt reassuring to these thomists, that the golden age of medieval philosophy ended with the death of Aquinas in 1274. (Rather than actually argue the philosophical facts, everyone today seems content with telling these rhetorically charged "histories" of philosophy. They are in fact quite useless.) Everyone before Aquinas is his precursor or opponent. Everyone after him represents a deviation and a failure to understand him. There is a rise, a peak in Aquinas, then a progressive decline. It is a lot more complicated than this. Contrary to Pickstock's claim, Scotus was not primarily addressing Aquinas at all, but Henry of Ghent, who maintained not an analogy of being, but an equivocity of being. Scotus answered that there *had* to be some sense in which being is univocal, notwithstanding the denial of Saint Thomas. (He does not thereby deny that being is also predicated analogously!) But Scotus also meant something different by univocity. Univocity is simply that which suffices for a middle term in a syllogism. It does not have the baggage that Thomists try to foist upon it. And Scotus points out that even those who reject univocal being in fact make constant use of it.
Now Aquinas describes several sorts of "analogy". The "analogy of proportion" is the proportion between essence and act-of-being. It is only within created beings, because there is properly speaking no proportion between essence and act-of-being in God, only identity. The second holds *between* one being and another. This class will later be called the "analogy of attribution." In this latter sort of analogy, there is one "ratio" (aspect) in which two beings are the same and one in which they differ. So this kind of analogy reduces to a combination of univocity and equivocity. Scotus simply isolated this univocal aspect, and showed that it is the foundation of quantitative comparisons of beings. Hence his distinction between the infinite mode of being (God) and the finite mode of being (creatures). Rather than produce these unending mock contests between Scotus and Aquinas, Thomists should spend more time actually reading both philosophers. All of Pickstock's misrepresentations of Scotus flow from this fundamental misunderstanding.
Although I appreciate Pickstock's promotion of the Tridentine Rite, her motivations seem to be misplaced. She seems far too concerned with the social role of religion, as though Christianity were first and foremost about Christians and only then about Christ. A Catholic certainly cannot accept this distortion. The Real Presence for a Catholic must always be the "Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity" of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine. The Reality follows infallibly from the sacramental action of the ministerial priesthood, not from the priesthood of all believers. This Angelic Bread nourishes and builds up the Mystical Body through the practice of Holy Communion. So the Real Presence has priority over the Mystical Body. And it is precisely this that was forgotten after Vatican II.
This book is flavored with Pickstock's High Church Anglicanism and post-modern agenda. It is worth a read, but Catholics need to be wary when she claims to accurately characterize medieval (i.e. Catholic) thought.
confusing Feb 4, 2002
A great shame that this is written in such an obfuscatory manner. Some of it makes absolutely no sense at all.
Hard, but worth it Apr 1, 2000
Ms. Pickstock's book is a hard read for the uneducated mind. But, then again, it is not meant to be for the uneducated mind. It is a philological answer to modernism and its culture of death. Through the use of language and the traditional Roman Latin rite of the Mass, Ms. Pickstock shows how those who have brought death to the intellectual world have done so through the misuse of language and philosophy, and how the best and perhaps only answer to that is the life giving structure, language and ritual of the Tridentine Roman Rite of the Mass.