We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,825 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

non-negotiables

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 12, 2008

Back in 1990, Harvard Professor of Judaic Studies Jon Levenson wrote an article in The Christian Century entitled "Theological Liberalism Aborting Itself." Himself Jewish, the author had no personal interest in the triumph of any particular strand of Christian thought. Levenson was concerned to show that the progressive divinity schools, in jettisoning the Christian creeds on which they were founded, had failed to emancipate themselves (as they imagined) from dogma, but had instead replaced a coherent doctrinal orthodoxy with a capricious political one. An excerpt:

At a conference several years ago, I found myself seated at a dinner table with several other Jews but only one Christian -- a professor, it turned out, at a prominent liberal seminary. In response to genial questioning from some of his dinner companions, the lone Christian explained that his institution had long ago shed its once vivid ecclesiastical affiliation. The break had occurred over the application of the historical-critical method to the Bible, a prospect that the denomination had found incompatible with its deepest beliefs. "Are there, then, any beliefs or practices required of the faculty or students now?" asked one of the company. "No," replied the seminary professor firmly. But then, as an afterthought and in an undertone, he added, "except the requirement to use inclusive language."

An overstatement? Fast-forward to 2008, and take a look at the Student Handbook of the Episcopal Divinity School of Cambridge, MA. This is from the section headed "Corporate Worship" (p. 29, emphasis added):

Faculty, staff and students work together in teams according to the scheduled rotation to plan and lead worship. As a practice, worship is on a four-week cycle that includes traditional language and inclusive language liturgies. A week of alternative liturgies is part of this cycle. The cycle of worship is always being revised. The primary goal of our liturgical practice is to use inclusive human language. Unless otherwise designated liturgies are inclusive.

Next time someone tries to make the claim that progressive theological seminaries have abandoned all standards, tell him he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Incidentally, your Uncle Di was routed to the Episcopal Divinity School website by Chris Johnson, whose own attention was snagged by an EDS course offering named "Queer Incarnation."

You don't want to ask.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,825 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,575.00
94% 6%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21