Friday, 6 December 2013


Reading Milbank on gift, the ethical, and so on, I feel quite excited, but also choked: there is so much to get into here, such complexity, so many things I have never quite entered into, not mastered at all. The ethical and what it might truly be. The ethical and the religious. The ethical and the Christian. And then so much to master also in Lonergan. The ethical certainly; but also the realm of cognitive interiority, especially the early notions of operation, perhaps in Gratia Operans. The whole area of the Latin theology. the Trinity. Essential and notional love. Causality. Meaning. 

This is one of the roots of my dis-ease with Milbank: that he has chosen to take issue with Lonergan in his book on Aquinas. So either he has misunderstood Lonergan, or he is right. Either way, the dis-ease. Or perhaps, the dis-ease is because of not having got to the bottom of this question. 

Milbank excites me like the complex of ideas brewing in the Gregorian and in Rome in the early 1990s did. A complex that excited my imagination, but which I never did get to the bottom of. A complex involving somehow Henrici, and perhaps von Balthasar, and certainly Blondel; and John Paul II; and somehow suspecting Lonergan as cognate. Action - being - the primacy of the existential - love - Trinity - unity - marriage - eschatology - feast - resurrection. There was a book there, and there is a book here. And what if all this is set into motion against the background of Sankara, for example. 

What excited me about Plascencia was the way he was able to turn upside down received notions, one of them being that of disinterested love: God's love is a love that looks for and longs for return. Don Bosco intuited that. And so our model cannot be disinterested love. Even if love does not stop being love for lack of (immediate) response. Milbank intuits these complexities well on his p. 123. 

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