Adjectives on the Typewriter

she moves her words like a prizefighter

19 May 2005

Te Deum

Recently I've been revelling in the book Angels in the Architecture by Dougs Wilson and Jones. Last night as I was reading, just before falling asleep, I felt for the first time in months (literally) that I actually understood and delighted in those monotonous scribbles across the page. I have never stopped reading, but lately reading has been somewhat of self-inflicted disciplinary measure rather than a joy. These are some poignant quotes which awoke me from my intellectual slumber:

"Properly understood, the formal descriptions we give God are not boundaries for the divine essence; they are well-marked boundaries between creaturely knowledge and creaturely ignorance. When we heed them, it leads us to true knowledge which ends in worship." (Jones & Wilson 40)

"We do not know what it would be like to walk through a grove of ancient trees sacred to the holy and terrible gods, and then be converted to the worship of One holier, and stanger, and mightier than these. We reject the shining of the ancient and numinous gods [...] not because they are creatures, but because they remind us of the divine. This is not the holiness of Christianity, but rather the crass materialism of modernity..." (Jones & Wilson 44)

"We [moderns] have no room for the idea that ineffable wisdom governs us in the most inscrutable ways. We, trapped in our thicket of time and chance, imagine there is nothing above or outside it. Because we do not know, because we do not see, it must not be there to be known or seen." (Jones & Wilson)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit, I despise the writing style of those who rhapsodize using unnecessarily grandiose verbage.

May 23, 2005 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Words are so incredible. It's much easier to speak simply, but to make you think over the words, and try to figure out the's a wonderful thing. It's like eating steak instead of oatmeal. Oatmeal's good sometimes, but steak is much more satisfying.

May 23, 2005 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

Clint, to what words (in particular) are you referring? I know that with words, bigger is not always (or usually) better, but a grand concept often requires grand "verbage." And you of all people should appreciate the complexities of language-- you study Latin, after all.

May 25, 2005 at 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In particular, I find the last quote to be somewhat awkward. No one could read this book casually. Because of this, his excellent ideas are wasted on the common people (not that you and I are not common, mind you-- just motivated). I cannot see anyone other than a philosopher reading that.

May 27, 2005 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger em²ile² said...

Then perhaps more people ought to be philosophers.

May 27, 2005 at 10:08 AM  

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