Sunday, March 18, 2007

“Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics and the Body of Christ” -- SMU Winona Mar 19

The Holy Eucharist is everywhere. I have just finished reading Scott Hahn's "The Lamb's Supper" and am working my way through it again. Hahn asserts that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the key to understanding the Book of Revelation in the Bible; and vice versa.

Last week, the Holy Father released his Apostolic Exhortation, "Sacramentum Caritatis", the Sacrament of Charity, on the Holy Eucharist, as the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God's infinite love for everyone.

And now, down in Winona, in hopes of deepening understanding and sparking discussion, St Mary's University will host University of St Thomas theology professor and author William Cavanaugh, who will speak Monday night on torture, terror and resistance.

In his lecture, Cavanaugh will draw on his experiences and the research he amassed for his book “Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics and the Body of Christ.”

He hopes his speech will renew awareness. Torture techniques, such electric shock and “water boarding,” which simulates drowning by repeatedly dunking a person’s head under water, and other physical and psychological methods of torture “are not used only by other so-called ‘backwards’ countries,” Cavanaugh said, but also by the U.S. in the War on Terror.

Susan Windley-Daoust, an assistant professor of theology at Saint Mary’s, said torture is a relevant topic for all Americans — especially Catholics.

“It’s important, particularly for a Catholic school, to raise moral questions and respond appropriately to these topics,” she said. Read More Here in the Winona Daily News


Maria Neva said...

I don't know the guy personally, but from what I've heard of the guy's reputation on campus... You might want to check up on this a bit more before endorsing it.

I just did a cursory look-see online, and did find that his talk is based on his book by the same title - at Amazon of course. In reading through the commentary there, the book doesn't immediately smack me as being purposefully unorthodox - but I am still wary of his emphasis on making the Eucharist a means towards rather than the source of social doctrine and practice. He seems to be trying to politicize the Eucharist (hmm, wonder what our Archbishop thinks about that?) - and I would caution against any assumption on our part as to what he specfically means when he writes "Eucharist". Judging solely from the comments on Amazon, I can't tell at what points he might be using it to refer to "liturgy" in general, or THE Eucharist itself (the Blessed Sacrament), or to a conglomeration of "wherever we are, there the Eucharist is" and any ritual that is deemed to have "meaning" or "symbolism" about that (ala the recent NewWays conference's notion that having bread and wine on tables is an appropriate way to symbolize how Christ is made present by each of us as "Church").


Unknown said...

Thanks for your observations, Mary.

I confess to be largely theologically uneducated beyond my pre-Vatican II 12 years of elementary and secondary education in catechism and religion.

A friend who is a Theology Professor at St Mary's in Winona tipped me off to the presentation. None of the Minnesota Catholic colleges have the "Mandatum." I'm aware of that. And none of them are likely to seek it in the forseeable future.

One of the nice things about blogs is that people like yourself, graduating maybe ten years after my friend in Winona and 40+ years after me and a good friend who teaches Theology at St Kate's and who definitely would not be interested in having a Mandatum, have a forum to present a different opinion.