- Jared Hickman has a fascinating new article out in The New England Quarterly (LXXXI.2, pp.177-217). "The Theology of Democracy" traces American democratic theory back to its Puritan roots, particularly in John Milton and Roger Williams, and then forward to its Pragmatist refashioning, particularly in John Dewey and William James. Here is a quote from the article:
"This difference between the Puritan origin myth of democracy as a postlapsarian contract among fallen human beings in the absence of God and the pragmatist origin myth of democracy as a premortal council between divine human beings and God nicely encapsulates the paradoxical essence of our story of the theology of democracy: namely, that the theologically-based conception of democracy that emerged out of the seventeenth-century Puritanism was actually more secular in its conclusions than the sacred conceptions of democracy that subsequently emerged out of the supposedly secular philosophies of the American Enlightenment and American pragmatism. However, while the American Enlightenment sacralized its Christian republic in the patently antidemocratic terms of supernatural idealism and so made of the United States an imperial theocracy, American pragmatism managed to sacralize secular democracy uponthe premises of democratized theology. In so doing, pragmatism could finally lend ultimate credence and philosophical support to democracy as a 'way of life.'" (p.213)
- Another impressive article by Christopher Malloy is out in the latest issue of The Thomist (72.1, pp. 1-44). "Subsistit in: Nonexclusive Identity or Full Identity?" takes on what is perhaps the most significant issue in Roman Catholic ecclesiology since Vatican II, the question of interpretiting the affirmation of Lumen Gentium 8 that "The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church." Malloy critiques Francis Sullivan's position on subsistit in and offers one of exclusive and full identity with the Catholic Church. For those who haven't read it, Sullivan's most recent in a long line of contributions to the subsistit in debate is found in Theological Studies 69.1, pp. 116-124, "The Meaning of Subsistit in as Explained by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith", where he engages with the 2007 CDF Responsa ad quaestiones.