Revelation can illuminate history, as a filament brightens the bulb, because it is formally, but not materially, distinct from history. As Xavier Zubiri put it:…[I]t is essential to underline that the concept of tradition we have used here is not an historical concept; it is a theologic concept. From the point of view of a historical science[,] tradition is understood as the continuity of a documentary proof. Is there a tradition that Pythagoras may have discovered the mathematical theorems attributed to his name? Not an extensive one, some have said no, and others have said yes. However, they are in the Elements of Geometry of Euclid, and clearly we do have an historical continuity of this. However, this is not the concept of tradition we are discussing here. The concept of tradition here is purely theologic; it is the reactualization of the revealed deposit. …
[W]ith hindsight anything can be fitted into a syllogism, including reading these pages. But this does not mean it was the way to discover it. The great masters of speculative theology did not admit the Immaculate Conception. On the other hand, a few poor Franciscans felt the devotion to the Blessed Virgin as the Immaculate Conception. And it is there where the truth of the deposit of revelation was. The revealed deposit, and therefore, the progress, is inscribed in a situation of the whole man, and also in a religious situation.
(Christianity Copyright 2001-2005 by Joaquín Redondo, used with permission granted on his website)
Friday, December 14, 2007
Revelation is inscribed in the whole man
I updated my post, "The seductive power of adjectives", about the theology of history, with the following words: