Acedia: Demon of the Noon-Day Sun


Greetings All: Theology on Tap happens this Wednesday, June the 12th, at 8:00pm, at the Bent Mast in James Bay.
We’ll be discussing the long-lost, but long standing, sin of Acedia. Referred to as the “demon of the noon-day” acedia is a condition of non-caring that leads to a loss of will to work or pray, a problem for the early monastics, and a plague amongst hipsters.

To set the tone for the discussion, here’s a snipette from an article by R.R. Reno, titled: “Fighting the noon-day demon”

“Acedia, then, is a real threat, a deadly sin doing its deadly work in the present age. Its presence can be detected rather clearly in two features of our intellectual and moral culture. The first is the intellectual spirit of dispassion and coolness that grows out of the ideal of “critical distance.” This ideal often contributes to the torpor animi that afflicts any who have entered into the habituating practices of our universities. For many of our professors, the drama of education is to break the magic spell of immediacy. Just as the commonsense observation that the sun revolves around the earth is quite false and must be corrected, so, we are told, we must step back from the moral and social opinions we were taught as children. Nothing that is given should be accepted. We must step back from our initial assumptions and see them as being, at best, merely true-for-us rather than being simply true.”

The rest of the article can be found here, if you’re enclined to read the whole thing:

I also encourage you to check out the wikipedia article on Acedia, for further background read (it’s short!)

Hope to see you all there!


Theology of Tap for the Feburary 20th


Our next Theology on Tap we’ll mill over some of the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“The primary confession of the Christian before the world is the deed which interprets itself. If the deed is to have become a force, then the world itself will long to confess the Word. This is not the same as loudly shrieking out propaganda. This Word must be preserved as the most sacred possession of the community. This is a matter between God and the community, not between the community and the world. It is the Word of recognition between friends, not a word to use against enemies. This attitude was first learned at baptism. The deed alone is our confession of faith before the world.”

Remember to read this in the light of Bonhoeffer’s vision of the Church as retreating from the World. Bonhoeffer had this odd idea that the worship of the Church should be done in secret, returning to the days when Christians worship in the catacombs, out of the public eye. This could be a reflection of the environment that Bonhoeffer was working in; under Nazi surveillance on the one had while watching the German Christians endorse Hitler on the other. But we can discuss this on the Wednesday, the 20th, at 8:00pm, at the Bent Mast.

Welcome to the Theology on Tap Blog!!

Greetings All: Just as a way to kick of the new year, and to keep the flow of information steady, we’ve decided to start a blog for Theology on Tap. Here you’ll get the details for the when’s and where’s of TOT and a get the run down on whatever piece of theology we’ll be throwing under the  bus.

That all said: Our first meeting for 2013 will be January the 30th, at 8:00, at the Bent Mast in James Bay. and we will be discuss this little spinet take from an interview with WIlliam Cavanaugh, a theologian working DePaul University in Chicago.

One of the assumptions of modem secular politics is that the state must be secular and religion private, lest we return to the wars of religion that devastated Europe in the 16th century Is there anything wrong with that assumption?

I don’t think there is any reason to want to restore the churches to political power, if by that one means coercive power. There is, however, good reason to question the myth of the secular state as peacemaker. The so-called wars of religion did not pit one religion against another, as in Catholics versus Protestants. They are more accurately described as wars between different theopolitical orders. This explains why, for example, Catholics killed Catholics. The second half of the Thirty Years’ War involved Hapsburgs fighting Bourbons — two Catholic dynasties fighting each other.

Obviously, the church was not innocent of the bloodshed, entangled as it was with coercive power. But neither was the modern state an innocent bystander. The whole apparatus of the state arose to enable princes to wage war more effectively. As Charles Tilly has written, “War made the state, and the state made war.” The modern nation-state is founded on violence. If the church is going to resist violence, it has to emerge from its privatization and have a political voice, one that seeks not to regain state power but to speak truthfully about it. Christians can atone for their complicity with violence in the past by refusing to be complicit with state violence now.

To see the full interview check it out here.