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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 4:00 pm 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:

I would say the idea of such an Ambassador, at all, from the little I read online. But I also wonder how he was Truman's choice. If only someone would write a book.


If only someone could tell me where the primary sources are!

At any rate, why Mark Clark? Several reasons. Clark had served in Italy and Rome specifically during World War II and was already personally known by the Pope and had familiarity with Italian culture, language and with the Vatican bureaucracy. Also, Truman had previously appointed Clark to replace MacArthur as Supreme Commander in Korea. He was familiar and comfortable with Clark's leadership style.

To me, the most interesting thing about the selection of Mark Clark is that if he had been confirmed, it would have established a precedent that the ambassador to the Holy See would be a diplomat of the highest caliber, and the post would not be a sinecure given to reward someone who had worked on the campaign which is what most ambassador positions are. If Mark Clark had been confirmed then the Ambassador to the Holy See might be a more significant and visible job than it is now, comparable in stature to the Ambassador the UN, and might be someone might be qualified to be Secretary of State, indeed, it might actually be a stepping stone to one of those positions.



The relationship with Pius XII I found online.

Note my comment above. Ridgway replaced MacArthur in 1951. Clark replaced Ridgway. Who was sent to be the NATO El Supremo in Europe. Which post was vacant because Eisenhower was out seeking a new job in 1952.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 4:02 pm 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:


Clark replaced Ridgway as UN EL Supremo in Korea, in May 1952.


So being appointed to that job might have been Truman's consolation prize to Clark after his confirmation as ambassador was rejected.



We're playing post ping-pong.

As to why Clark, that could be, I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 5:34 pm 
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GKC wrote:

Note my comment above. Ridgway replaced MacArthur in 1951. Clark replaced Ridgway. Who was sent to be the NATO El Supremo in Europe. Which post was vacant because Eisenhower was out seeking a new job in 1952.


Yes, I vaguely remember once reading something about Eisenhower seeking a new job around that time. One of these days, I'm going to have to have to look it up and see how that worked out.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 9:27 pm 
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GKC wrote:

Write the book, after the one on the reformation, and I'll buy it.

.


That particular project seems to be more a manifestation of a kind of mental illness on my part. What I have envisioned would be a multivolume work, covering approximately the 11th century to...I don't know when the cutoff point will be maybe the First Great Awakening in the late 18th century? I have an outline of the topics I would like to cover, the outline alone is at least 5 pages long and I keep adding to it. There is no way I could possibly finish such a project without having the help of graduate students to do the research and at least one co-writer.


Among the topics I would like to cover are:

The rise and decline of scholasticism as it descended into nominalism due to the influence of William of Ockham and other nominalists. My goal would be to show that Luther never really studied REAL scholastic theology because by him time scholasticism was in decline, Luther studied only a corrupted version of scholasticism.

Then I would like to talk about the rise of the Franciscan order and the spiritual Franciscans who were extremists who called the Pope antichrist and that even though in many ways, the Spiritual Franciscans pre-figured many of the themes later discussed by the reformers but however, it would NOT be correct to call them 'proto-Protestants'.

Then I would like to discuss the various heretical sects that arose after 1100 in Europe including the Cathars, the Waldensians, the Lollards and the Hussites. There would be at least one chapter about each movement, its history, its main teachings, and its deviations both from medieval Catholicism and from early Protestantism. My point would be that while it is correct that these groups proved that it was possible to successfully break away from the mainstream Church, scholars who see them as 'Proto-Protestants' are misguided because for each of these groups their teaching is much closer to medieval Catholicism than to Lutheranism or Calvinism.

Then I would discuss the Avignon Papacy and the Great Western Schism and how these events helped to undermine confidence in the institution of the papacy on the eve of the Reformation.

Then I would talk about the history of reform movements within the Church from the Carolingian reforms under Charlemagne and his successors in the 9th century to the Cluniac reforms and the Gregorian reforms of the 11th and 12th centuries to the reformist movements that existed within the Church in the late 15th century on the eve of Reformation.

Followed by an actual history of the major events of the Reformation, Luther, Calvin, Henry VIII etc.

And the list of topics I would like to talk about goes on and on and on to a truly preposterous length.

My thesis would be that while all these events and many others that I haven't described it is nevertheless not accurate to make the blanket statement that we often see in texts on Reformation, namely that the late medieval Church on the eve of the Reformation was 'corrupt', that there were serious, widespread 'abuses' that needed to be corrected and that medieval Europe was unhappy with the Church on a massive scale and everyone was hoping for a revolution against Church authority and so they all rallied behind Luther as a kind of spiritual 'liberator' the moment he first appeared on the scene preaching reform.

On the contrary, I would argue, late Medieval Catholicism satisfied the religious needs of the vast majority of Europeans who were on the large content with the state of things and that the corruption and abuses that Protestants complained were greatly exaggerated and in some cases completely fabricated.

I envision this would require at least 4 or 5 volumes. The outline may well prove to be the only thing I ever finish if indeed I ever actually finish the outline.

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Last edited by Doom on Wed May 02, 2018 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker got there already, at least through the pre-Reformation movements, and definitely including Nominalism and the Spiritual Franciscans:

https://smile.amazon.com/Politicizing-B ... +the+bible

It reads a lot more like Wiker than Hahn, and it's not nearly as focused on Scripture as you might think from the title and from Hahn's name.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:06 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker got there already, at least through the pre-Reformation movements, and definitely including Nominalism and the Spiritual Franciscans:

https://smile.amazon.com/Politicizing-B ... +the+bible

It reads a lot more like Wiker than Hahn, and it's not nearly as focused on Scripture as you might think from the title and from Hahn's name.



If the thing is still available in hard copy, when I get around to ordering it, I'll get it. I particularly look forward to getting beyond the pretense of neutrality and objectivity often found in secular studies. Which should mean I'll get real, not feigned, neutrality and objectivity, I'm thinking.


Doom, keep writing your outline. Eventually, post it here. I'll print it off and use it as a reading guide.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:27 am 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:

Note my comment above. Ridgway replaced MacArthur in 1951. Clark replaced Ridgway. Who was sent to be the NATO El Supremo in Europe. Which post was vacant because Eisenhower was out seeking a new job in 1952.


Yes, I vaguely remember once reading something about Eisenhower seeking a new job around that time. One of these days, I'm going to have to have to look it up and see how that worked out.


He got to play a lot of golf.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:57 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker got there already, at least through the pre-Reformation movements, and definitely including Nominalism and the Spiritual Franciscans:

https://smile.amazon.com/Politicizing-B ... +the+bible

It reads a lot more like Wiker than Hahn, and it's not nearly as focused on Scripture as you might think from the title and from Hahn's name.


Pretty much everything in that outline has been done before, what hasn't been done before, as far as I know, is putting it all into one big multi-volume treatment designed to be comprehensive. The closest thing that I have ever seen is a three volume set 'The History of Rome from the Great Schism to the Sack of Rome' but that is a couple century old and out of date.


I'm familiar with Wiker's works and on the whole, I'm not impressed. I do believe that thanks to the work of Eamon Duffy and others, it is now generally agreed that the Protestant complaints about the 'corruption' and 'abuses' of the institutional Church are exaggerated, that there is no evidence that 'corruption' or 'abuses' were any worse in the 16th century than they were a century earlier or a century later, and that on the whole, most European Catholics of the late Medieval era were happy with the state of Medieval Catholicism, even if they did think that reform was needed.

In addition, most modern Reformation scholars now agree that despite the blistering attacks on scholasticism by Luther and Calvin, neither of them had any real familiarity with scholasticism, in particular, neither of them ever read a word of St. Thomas. And the importance of nominalism to early Protestant thought, which was once extremely controversial and denied by Protestants, is now generally acknowledged.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 10:37 am 
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I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying it, but it might be worth a library checkout.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:29 am 
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All of this is way above my head, but I do recall studying somewhere that one cannot separate the theological aspect of the Reformation from German politics. And that German politics trumped ideology decisively.

Generally true?

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:47 am 
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Highlander wrote:
All of this is way above my head, but I do recall studying somewhere that one cannot separate the theological aspect of the Reformation from German politics. And that German politics trumped ideology decisively.

Generally true?


I would say it is true, however, many popular accounts of the Reformation like to talk about the influence of 'German nationalism' in the Reformation, but there was no such thing as the 'nation-state' in the 16th century, and hence no such thing as 'nationalism' until the 19th century. Talk of 'German nationalism' is anachronistic.


Sometimes, contrarians like to say that 'the Reformation wasn't about religion it was about politics'. But in practice, it is rarely easy to clearly separate religion and politics. Human beings are complex creatures, and it is entirely possible that rulers like Charles V or Henry VIII could be motivated both by purely political concerns and sincere religious conviction. And it is even possible for rulers like Francis I of France to lead personal lives of debauchery and still see themselves as devout sons of the Church. People tend to be contradictory, logic be damned.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying it, but it might be worth a library checkout.


My problem with what I've read by Wiker so far is that they aren't scholarly enough, he tends to speak in broad, sweeping terms, similar to Hillaire Belloc. Granted, I have only read his 'popular' works, I guess it is possible that his scholarly works are better.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Highlander wrote:
All of this is way above my head, but I do recall studying somewhere that one cannot separate the theological aspect of the Reformation from German politics. And that German politics trumped ideology decisively.

Generally true?


I would say it is true, however, many popular accounts of the Reformation like to talk about the influence of 'German nationalism' in the Reformation, but there was no such thing as the 'nation-state' in the 16th century, and hence no such thing as 'nationalism' until the 19th century. Talk of 'German nationalism' is anachronistic.


Sometimes, contrarians like to say that 'the Reformation wasn't about religion it was about politics'. But in practice, it is rarely easy to clearly separate religion and politics. Human beings are complex creatures, and it is entirely possible that rulers like Charles V or Henry VIII could be motivated both by purely political concerns and sincere religious conviction. And it is even possible for rulers like Francis I of France to lead personal lives of debauchery and still see themselves as devout sons of the Church. People tend to be contradictory, logic be damned.


True, too true. And all the above is why I say (often, with respect to Henry, though it covers the reformation generally, IMO), that the issue was intertwined, nascent nationalism and theology, considered here as the impact of the Church on national secular power structures, as were developing. It was a dance that was visible in England 300 years before Henry VIII, and further back into the mists.

Plus, of course, Hank's hormones.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:05 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying it, but it might be worth a library checkout.



Because even folks like me (i.e., like me as to book buying) would be disappointed at the return for their money? Given my interest in the general subject, and certain portions more so?

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:07 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying it, but it might be worth a library checkout.


My problem with what I've read by Wiker so far is that they aren't scholarly enough, he tends to speak in broad, sweeping terms, similar to Hillaire Belloc. Granted, I have only read his 'popular' works, I guess it is possible that his scholarly works are better.



You have said the word that was coursing through my mind since I read the description. Might this be a Belloc, with footnotes?

I already have Belloc, without footnotes.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:12 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Doom wrote:
Highlander wrote:
All of this is way above my head, but I do recall studying somewhere that one cannot separate the theological aspect of the Reformation from German politics. And that German politics trumped ideology decisively.

Generally true?


I would say it is true, however, many popular accounts of the Reformation like to talk about the influence of 'German nationalism' in the Reformation, but there was no such thing as the 'nation-state' in the 16th century, and hence no such thing as 'nationalism' until the 19th century. Talk of 'German nationalism' is anachronistic.


Sometimes, contrarians like to say that 'the Reformation wasn't about religion it was about politics'. But in practice, it is rarely easy to clearly separate religion and politics. Human beings are complex creatures, and it is entirely possible that rulers like Charles V or Henry VIII could be motivated both by purely political concerns and sincere religious conviction. And it is even possible for rulers like Francis I of France to lead personal lives of debauchery and still see themselves as devout sons of the Church. People tend to be contradictory, logic be damned.


True, too true. And all the above is why I say (often, with respect to Henry, though it covers the reformation generally, IMO), that the issue was intertwined, nascent nationalism and theology, considered here as the impact of the Church on national secular power structures, as were developing. It was a dance that was visible in England 300 years before Henry VIII, and further back into the mists.

Plus, of course, Hank's hormones.


My recall has grown to the concept that there was a constant, significant, and essential cultural difference between the Latins (Mediterraneans) and the Germans. Which found a focus in the Church and its practices and the worldviews of its faithful. This irreconcilable tension contributed greatly to the schism.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:35 pm 
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GKC wrote:

You have said the word that was coursing through my mind since I read the description. Might this be a Belloc, with footnotes?

I already have Belloc, without footnotes.



The book I read by Wiker was this one

https://www.amazon.com/Reformation-500- ... amin+wiker

The very title screams 'popular work', his 12 points are interesting, but his analysis of them is shallow. But again, this isn't a book about the Reformation for people who are already familiar with it, it is a book for people who have never read anything about the Reformation and it talks about questions and topics to consider before you read a book about the Reformation. So, it might be unfair for me to think that he is 'not a scholar', he might have other books that are more scholarly.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:42 pm 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:

You have said the word that was coursing through my mind since I read the description. Might this be a Belloc, with footnotes?

I already have Belloc, without footnotes.



The book I read by Wiker was this one

https://www.amazon.com/Reformation-500- ... amin+wiker

The very title screams 'popular work', his 12 points are interesting, but his analysis of them is shallow. But again, this isn't a book about the Reformation for people who are already familiar with it, it is a book for people who have never read anything about the Reformation and it talks about questions and topics to consider before you read a book about the Reformation. So, it might be unfair for me to think that he is 'not a scholar', he might have other books that are more scholarly.



It is something I would have to consider. The cost is equal to about 2 David Weber books.

I'll ask Fr. Obi-Wan.

Fr. Obi-Wan?

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Yeah, the price is the other big issue. That's insanely expensive, but that might be due to its being a rigorous, academic text. Such things tend to be expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: Amazon Book Reviews
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 3:20 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Yeah, the price is the other big issue. That's insanely expensive, but that might be due to its being a rigorous, academic text. Such things tend to be expensive.


I'll pay for what I want/need. I'm prepping for a needed +/- $100 book, before the end of the year.

Herder & Herder has a good rep.

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