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Katie van Schaijik

More on Christopher West

Aug. 24, 2009, at 10:27am

For those interested in the Christopher West/TOB/prudishness discussion, don’t miss this comment box, which has seen some substantive new contributions from Fr. Geiger, Josef Seifert and others in the last few days.


Katie van Schaijik

Great anti-Jansenist quote

Jul. 10, 2009, at 2:06pm

Touching our discussion about prudishness, I came across just now in a book by Greg Popcak, this remark by the great English convert to Catholicism, Fr. Ronald Knox:

Jansenism never learned to smile. Its adherents forget, after all, to believe in grace, so hag-ridden are they by their sense of the need for it.

I can recognize this clearly in the Irish Catholic milieu I come from. And it occurs to me as I type that this same dynamic is at work in the anti-NFP providentialists I have clashed with over the years. So full of mistrust of themselves are they—so concerned about the possibility of illegitimate motives in the practice of NFP—that they believe and teach that married couples

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Katie van Schaijik

New light on prudishness

Jul. 8, 2009, at 5:49pm

I am reading an extraordinarily touching and beautiful book, loaned to me by my friend Janene, called The Little Locksmith. It is the memoir of a woman born in Massachusetts to a happy, loving, bourgeois family at the end of the 19th century. In childhood she developed tuberculosis of the spine and was forced to spend ten years flat on her back in bed. When she finally arose, she found she had a hunchback. She also had all the spiritual sensitivity of the true artist, honed by suffering.
The whole thing is full of personalist resonance. And just now I came to a passage that seems to me to throw some light on the discussion of prudishness we had below. The quote is long, but so lovely

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Jules van Schaijik

Question 2: on prudishness

Jun. 22, 2009, at 5:29pm

The next question had to do with the definition of prudishness. Both Healy and West were asked to give concrete examples, and thereby clarify their meaning.

On prudisness (opens in a small popup window)

By the way, some discussions on prudishness have already taken place in the Linde. Clicking the appropriate tag above will lead to those.


Jules van Schaijik

Is there any precedent for West’s views in the tradition?

Jun. 21, 2009, at 1:21pm

Even though I agree with Katie’s point (in the previous post) about there being legitimate (even desirable) ways of being “out of step” with Catholic tradition, I would still like to see some evidence for claims such as that “liturgists and theologians from the early days of the Church have understood the Easter Candle just as West does.”

Does anyone know of any?


Katie van Schaijik

Fr. Geiger’s latest on the West debate (continued 3)

Jun. 20, 2009, at 8:41pm

See below for the 4th part of the comments elicited by Fr Geiger's latest on the West debate.

Katie van Schaijik

Fr. Geiger’s latest on the West debate (continued 2)

Jun. 20, 2009, at 8:40pm

See below for the 3rd part of the comments elicited by Fr Geiger's latest on the West debate.

Katie van Schaijik

Fr. Geiger’s latest on the West debate (continued 1)

Jun. 20, 2009, at 8:39pm

See below for the 2nd part of the comments elicited by Fr Geiger's latest on the West debate.

Katie van Schaijik

Fr. Geiger’s latest on the West debate

Jun. 20, 2009, at 8:38pm

Yesterday a friend sent me Fr. Angelo Geiger’s latest guest post at the Dawn Patrol on the controversy surrounding Christopher West. I have less sympathy with it than I did with his first piece. I think he is unfair to West and his defenders.
For instance, in his first paragraph he identifies part of the debate as being over whether CW’s approach is “out of step with Catholic tradition.” I find this an unhelpfully ambiguous phrase. It seems clearly meant to indicate unsoundness. But there are ways of being “out of step” with the tradition that are thoroughly legitimate. Wasn’t Joan of Arc’s taking on the role of a soldier rather out of keeping with tradition? Couldn’t Dietrich von

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Josef Seifert

Prudishness

Jun. 7, 2009, at 2:09am

I believe that “prudishness” can have quite different meanings and refer to different phenomena:

1. It may consist in a kind of exaggerated or overly great sense of shame and pudor, such as the “insuperable or insurmountable feelings of shame” of a virgin or nun not to undress for a gynecological exam or surgery even at grave risk of her health or life which “horror ingens” some traditional moralists regarded as valid reason for refusing life-saving operations or necessary medical exams. This does not have to imply per se any negative attitude towards sex but is an exaggerated and in this sense “prudish” sense of its intimacy or sacredness and disproportionate fear of the danger of

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Katie van Schaijik

Examples of prudishness

Jun. 6, 2009, at 5:23pm

A questioner at the talks the other night asked the speakers to give examples of things that are prudish and things that would not be prudish. I doubt he was completely satisfied with the response he got, which offered cases that were too obvious to be helpful for those trying to judge borderline cases in the here and now.

But there’s an reason for the speakers’ vagueness, which goes to the heart of things. Prudishness, like chastity and salaciousness, has an inescapable subjective dimension. Since it is often hard to know what is really motivating ourselves, never mind others, we cannot easily judge from the outside whether a given comment is coming from prudishness or

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Katie van Schaijik

What is prudishness?

Jun. 6, 2009, at 1:31pm

Here is a question I would like to see philosophers take up. “What is prudishness exactly?”

Without attempting to define it, I propose that it has to do with a fear or denial of the full incarnational reality of human sexuality. The prude wants to avoiding dealing with that reality (avoid the hard task of integrating it properly into his personality.) He also wants others to avoid dealing with it. He’d like the whole subject curtailed and contained within safe, “manageable” limits. He gets upset when others won’t toe his line.

It reminds me of that Newman sermon contrasting faith and bigotry:

True philosophy admits of being carried out to any extent; it is its very test, that no

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