Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,328 to go. Please donate!
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 Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,706 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,293.70
84% 16%
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.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 18 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 22 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6