Can you keep a secret?
During St Andrew’s Cathedral School’s term-time, their choir and congregation joins for Morning Prayer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8:00 AM, and Evening Prayer each Thursday at 5:30 PM, the latter of which I’ve somehow managed to attend fairly regularly over the past few years (alas, I rarely awaken in time for Morning Prayer, though.) While we’re fairly cosy at EP (myself and three chums from there take turns each week to shout each-other a cuppa in the QVB afterwards), all the same I reckon it’d be fairly nice if you too would come along.
Hence this screed. Combining (amongst other things) rather fine liturgy, pretty sound exposition and utterly sublime music all in the one place for free, I dare say St Andrew’s Cathedral Evening Prayer could be just the ticket to a nice Thursday Evening (or perhaps even longer.)
A couple of days ago, I bought from the Broadway Co-Op near UTS a discounted paperback edition of Samuel Huntington’s expanded monograph The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, a seminal book which I’ve long delayed acquiring since initially I wasn’t too impressed by its triggering article. Once one takes various caveats (often introduced by Huntington himself) into account, though, in hindsight I’ve belatedly come to accord it some serviceability in rendering various inherent cultural limitations of effective statecraft palatable to practitioners.
For aught I know, I might give said work some more thought later.
I’ve found various arguments in this thread concerning, inter alia, the Spanish Inquisition, rather fascinating, especially since my position stands somewhat in between the correspondents therein (incidentally, the poster in that thread called “Jane” was substantially influential in the actualisation of my reversion from atheism a few years back through my observing over the years in various fora her utter decency under intense ad-hominem pressure.)
Broadly speaking, while I suspect much English and French (from which a fair proportion of the former is derived) calumny concerning the Spanish Inquisition was exaggerated and paid inadequate attention to the general coarsening of European manners prevalent for most of its operation, talk of its “mercy” seems question-begging at best, and blithe of grave procedural concerns at worst.
Admittedly on a gut level at present, it also seems implausible and potentially disingenuous for certain ultramontane controversialists to assign the preponderance of blame for postulated abuses under the Spanish Inquisition’s ægis to agents of the Castilian, Aragonese and (from 1713-1834) Spanish Crowns. I see nothing inherent to the Cloth per se which renders those in said estates/orders more immune from cruelty than would pertain to diligent persons in lay offices.
While perusing this thread, I recently came across the work of 19’th-Century Presbyterian Thomas Chalmers, as expounded on this blog. While I suspect I’m incompetent to offer a detailed critique at this point, nonetheless substantial portions thereof seem potentially worth pondering.
In a post which pleasantly surprised me, Michael Jensen (a son of Archbishop Peter Jensen) herein questions various missiologically-argued practices prevalent (amongst other places) in certain Sydney circles. In particular, he questions whether an a priori committment to apparent ad-hoc informality of services is fully warranted by missiological research.
“Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” 
While reminiscing on some occasions when my views concerning certain matters changed, it seemed apparent that the process at times involved me adopting other ancillary views prior to (or even in lieu of) their formal demonstration. In my case, that phenomenon seems particularly pervasive concerning religious questions.
For instance, both my apostasy from Rome and my repentance in Sydney were partly occasioned by viewing my previous convictions as to some extent historically contingent (in the first case discrediting my then-understanding of natural theology and in the second case discrediting some confidence I held concerning my remaining rationality.) Moreover, while some apparent implications of each shift in my views did seem distasteful at the time, acquiring a stiff upper-lip seemed desirable. Over time, a number of those respective challenges appeared easier to bear as new “bonds of affection” gradually entwined me.
While my views on religious matters have undergone considerable flux, my political views hitherto have seemingly remained fairly stable. I wonder whether those whose political views seem frequently in flux, by way of compensation, might tend to hold fast their views on religious subjects.
 John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (London: Longmans, Green, 1936), Chapter 12, p. 134.
John Reilly herein discusses briefly a perceived relation between aspects of some types of religious environmentalism and past forms of popular piety. Somewhat worth a look, as is the rest of his eclectic site.
Filed under Ethics, Religion