1) Creation vs. Evolution : Hans Küng is Lousy in Ecclesiology. · 2) What Utter Stupidity in Exegesis, This Modernism! · 3) Stacy Trasancos Gets Condemation of 219 Theses Wrong · 4) Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : With James Hannam on Whether Bible and Fathers Agree or Not on Shape of Earth · 5) Creation vs. Evolution : Dominic Statham and Reijer Hooykaas Wrong on Christian - Pagan Divide · 6) Correcting CMI on Aristotle
Well, maybe Dom Stanley Jaki did so before her. I don't know. However, here are a few quotes from her book:
“The second magisterial statement was at local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen [II] Tempier of Paris who, on 7 March 1277 [a k a letare iherusalem Sunday 1276, 1277 beginning then a few days later, like 25 March] condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.“
They very much did outlaw a deterministic and necessitarian view, not just of creation as a whole, but also of each part of it. They clearly outlaw the kind of view in which God is a watchmaker who sees the universe he wound up unfold exactly deterministically after the conditions he freely constructed and meant then to work out themselves deterministically, without interfering.
Also, whether or not he thought they were Aristotelian, they very little concern Aristotelic views held by St Thomas Aquinas, despite rumours to the contrary back then.
In fact, when Stephen III 48 years later helped to prepare canonisation of St Thomas, he did so by revoking condemnations “insofar as they may concern theses held by Thomas Aquinas”. And I would not be surprised if the collection we have of 219 syllabus errors is a compromise from then, by deleting a thesis 220 from the list, since too close to St Thomas to stand for the revocation.
The theses belong rather to “Sorbonne Averroism”, which seems to have had ties back to a sect in Orléans, where 13 men were burned for heresy, and forward into both Protestant and Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution etc. ideologies.
“The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature [and its workings in detail!] and so God was free to create this particular for of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary for of existence and so has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational, and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Thus the contingency and rationality are like two [of three!] pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.”
Third pillar is of course its total and totally passive dependence on God, except insofar as God gave certain creatures a certain real activity, namely free will, though of course other things also have a real nature and causality.
Under God, men and beasts and plants and minerals and elements depend on angels. Under God and angels, human body depends on freewill and lower things on man usually via his use of his body.
“The philosophical vision of the Christian Middle Ages perceived the cosmos as demythologized, free from the capricious whims of pantheistic voluntarism reified in Pagan Deities.”
And St Thomas would, along with Stephen Tempier be asking “quiiiiiid dicis?” amounting roughly to a Mexican “quééééé?”
Here is where you get it all backward.
Whether voluntarism is capricious or not, and in this case rather not, actually, a contingent cosmos which is also contingent in its details (i e these are not necessitated in all respects by the cosmos they are put in) is very clearly dependent on voluntarism or at least will of its Maker, not just once back long, long, long ago, when it began, but every single moment.
Also, “demythologised” would very much NOT have made sense to the medievals.
To them, Hesiod’s mythology of the gods was just one of the partly erroneous, mostly non-mythological Pagan philosophies – which are also partly correct.
Also, it is wrong on every level to consider Shamanism, Shintoism or Greek Mythology as Pantheistic. Pagan Deities were, if not on all, at least on many levels perceived by Pagans like these as real persons.
And if “sun” was a real person to Greeks, so he was to author of Book ascribed to Henoch, or at least the author of the astronomical chapters. St Augustine would not call all of the book a forgery, he admitted it could go back to Henoch – but warned it could have been altered. And “sun” remained so, remained a real person to St Francis of Assisi. I e, not that the sun-DISC is a person, but that a real person, invisible to human observers on earth, is involved in moving it.
Nothing in Stephen Tempier’s condemnation of 219 theses contradicts this and in St Thomas we find clear support of it. The famous “secondary causes” which modern Pseudo-Thomists invoke so often to defend a modern pseudo-science which is deterministic as to detail in relation to cosmos (against the condemnations of Tempier!) are, principally, creatures endowed with freewill, first angels and under them men.
If I were to speak as a Missionary to Shintoists, my best words would not be: “science has shown your kamis don’t exist” and then to top that with “science comes from Catholicism”. My best words would be: “you are right, there are kamis, there are good kamis and evil kamis. The good ones do not really want your worship, and the evil ones do not deserve it. The good kamis were created and not born of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and remain loyal to God, one God in Three Persons. The evil kamis were also created, but rebelled against their maker and Lord.”
Apart from the mistake of making kamis independent, Shintoists are fairly close to exactness on relation between these and visible inanimate objects, plus between them and populations of irrational life.
Of course, the “sungoddess had” no “children”, but I think I have traced both their Tennos and Aeneas too back to Puduhepa – a priestess both of a love goddess and of a sun goddess. With some lacunae, but I would say the ones who took Puduhepa for an avatar of the love goddess or of the sun goddess she was priestess to considered the birth of “Aeneas from Venus, with Anchises as father” [Roman mythology would be skipping perhaps a few generations, the husband of Puduhepa was a Hittite Emperor] as a verified fact did so because confusing the priestess with the goddess, just like Odin was both “priest of Odin” and (in his, but possibly not Puduhepa’s case) claming to be Odin.
Pantheism is a totally different thing, far more sophisticated, though a Pantheist Pagan will usually admit phenomena resembling Shinto type kamis or their manifestations. Pantheism as a philosophical theory is part of Hinduism and in part also of Sorbonne Averroism and was equally condemned by both St Thomas with arguments and Stephen Tempier putting such tehses on syllabus. It has nothing to do specifically with cosmos of Greek gods.
And modern determinism in scientific method, though often camouflaged to Christians by the word "rational" cosmos, has very much more to do with Pantheism condemned by Stephen Tempier than with Stephen Tempier condemning it.
What do they teach them in these schools, these days?
Hans Georg Lundahl
St John Evangelist
surviving Martyrdom in Boiling Oil
Amazon : Science Was Born of Christianity, Paperback – June 16, 2014
by Stacy Trasancos (Author), Paul Haffner (Foreword)
Upcoming, not this series, but this blog, a rfutation of some points she made in a recent article called "“First Human” Discovered in Ethiopia: What It Means For Catholics".