≡ Menu

Amy reviews Augustine

Well, Augustine Thompson, O.P., anyway. Her splendid review of Cities Of God: The Religion Of The Italian Communes 1125-1325 is here. For my amateur-history-buff-wannabe mind, the great part of her review was:

Most of all what strikes me, as it does any time I read good history, is the richness and diversity of our past. There are no easy answers in the present, no golden age in the past to which we can appeal, no set of procedures, rituals and rites that are purer than any others, that are the magic bullet for our own problems. Nor can we rest easy in the diversity, which is the other temptation. Liturgical innovations in the present are often positioned up against the past, and justified in that context – there’s a reason that histories of the liturgy are multi-volume. A lot has happened, a lot has changed – it is that old conversation, filled with tension, about what is “organic” in liturgical development and what isn’t. We need to keep reading our history so we divest ourselves of nostalgia, and at the same time anchor ourselves more strongly in what is legitimate and work hard to discern what is not.

It goes to what I was trying to say before, albeit more poetically than I did. As Catholics we must learn about our faith in this day and age, not just take it for granted. There is too much history, too many saints, too much piety for there not to be something that captures each and every imagination out there – it’s just a matter of piously looking. Nicely done, Amy. Not that you need my praise…

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment