Posts Tagged ‘Pope Pius X’
Fr. Miguel A. Bernad, S.J.: “Colegio de San Jose (1601-2001): A Quick Survey of the Turbulent 400-year History of an Educational Institution”
COLEGIO DE SAN JOSE [1601 – 2001]
A Quick Survey of the Turbulent 400-year History of an Educational Institution
taken from the lecture delivered by
Fr. Miguel A. Bernard, S.J.
September. The newly arrived Jesuits opened the Colegio de Manila, the first institution of higher learning in the Philippines and the predecessor of Colegio de San Jose. The support to build the College came from a donation by Captain Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa. Latin grammar and “cases of conscience” were taught to priest and candidates for the priesthood.
1601. August. A Residential College. Because of the “morally unhealthy” climate in Manila, the Jesuits decided to build a separate residential college for the students of the Colegio de Manila. Fr. Pedro Chirino, rector of the Colegio de Manila, was tasked to organize the proposed Colegio de San Jose. After obtaining civil and ecclesiastical approbation for the new college, Fr. Pedro Chirino gathered an initial batch of thirteen young men to become the pioneering student-boarders. The Colegio de San Jose was opened on August 1st and formally inaugurated on the 25th of August 1601. Fr. Luis Gomes was the first rector.
1604. An Endowment. Doña Juana, daughter of Captain Esteban Rodriguez, was lost at sea. The proviso in Figueroa’s will stated that should his heirs-his wife and daughter die-portions of his wealth should go to the Jesuit for a college. This legacy came to the Jesuits few years later, just in time to bolster the faltering finances of the Colegio de San Jose.
1623. Academic Degrees. There was a great desire on the part of the students, and of others was well, that their studies might be rewarded with academic degrees. Endorsed by the governor, a petition to this effect had been made to the King. On the other hand, it had been opposed by a very influential person, a Dominican bishop, Miguel de Benavides (founder of the University of Santo Tomas). However the Brief issued by Pope Gregory XV (dated July 9, 1622) officially gave Colegio de San Jose the permission to confer academic degrees.
1626. The Colegio de Manila conferred the doctorate for the first time on a scholar of the Colegio de San Jose Jose. San Pedro Tunasan estate was eventually acquired and used to support the Colegio de San Jose. Fr. Juan de Aguirre, SJ, rector at that time, directed the purchase.
1648. A Serious Threat. The Rector of Colegio de San Tomas petitioned the Audiencia to forbid the Jesuit College form granting academic degrees. After a series of compromises, King Philip IV reiterated the right of the Jesuits to grant degrees in Manila on March 12, 1653.
1722. A Royal Institution. King Philip V, the King of Spain, conferred upon the Colegio de San Jose the title “royal” (real in Spanish); hence prided itself with the title “El Real Colegio de San Jose”.
1768. The Expulsion. In 1768, the royal orders arrived in Manila, issued the previous year by King Carlos III of Spain, ordering the expulsion of the Jesuits from all Spanish territories and confiscation of their possessions. The Colegio de San Jose continued to function under the secular clergy- many of whom were alumni of the Colegio.
1875. The Medical Faculty. The Dominican procurator in Madrid presented a memorial to the King’s Council asking that the building and endowment of the Colegio de San Jose be applied to the University of Santo Tomas to be used by and to support the faculty of medicine and pharmacy. According to the terms of the contract, a certain number of boys were to be supported in their studies for the priesthood out of the Colegio de San Jose Estate.
1898. The San Jose Case. During the American Occupation, the United States inherited from the Spanish Crown all government assets in the islands, including the administration of the Colegio de San Jose estate. The Philippine Commission took up the question of the legal status of the Colegio de San Jose and ended its investigation by enacting a law granting original jurisdiction of the case to the Philippine Supreme Court.
1907. Taft-Harty Agreement. In 1907, through the Taft-Harty Agreement, all the parties questioning the legal status of the Colegio de San Jose estate signed an agreement that the estate should fall entirely under church jurisdiction with no claims from the government. Since it was under the jurisdiction of that Holy See, the Supreme Court did not decide on the San Jose Case.
1910. The Holy See’s Decision. By virtue of a Brief of Pope Pius X dated May 3, 1910, to the Most Reverend Ambrose Agius, then Apostolic Delegate to the Philippines, the Colegio de San Jose is detached from the University of Santo Tomas and returned to the Jesuits to be used according to the terms of the original endowment.
1910-1915. Five – Year Turmoil. The announcement in May 1910 that the Pope had ordered the restoration of San Jose estate to the Jesuit caused an immediate violent reaction at Santo Tomas. It was not until five years later, in 1915, that the Colegio de San Jose was able to reopen under Jesuit administration. It had to be housed in borrowed quarters, in a large building owned by the Jesuit in Ermita-that building along Padre Faura Street.
1915. At Padre Faura. On June 15, the Colegio de San Jose once more opened as a seminary, an Escuela Apostolica, for the training of the secular clergy in the Philippines under the rectorship of Fr. Jose Alfonso, SJ. In 1928, of those23 boys who entered San Jose in 1915, five became priests: Rev. Frs. Felix David, Pedro Endoso, Jose Pe Benito, Antonio Radovan and Eulogio San Juan. San Jose remained in Padre Faura until 1932.
1932 – Present. Four Locations. In August 1932, the Ateneo in Intramuros burned down. San Jose Seminary was temporarily housed in the Mission House at Intramuros, adjacent to San Ignacio Church. There, it remained for four years until its new building was erected. It was at this time that the name Colegio de San Jose was dropped, and the institution became known as San Jose Seminary.
At Balintawak. In 1936, the Seminary moved to its new building- a fine large and well-equipped structure, built on a parcel of land bought in a newly opened housing subdivision at Balintawak. The seminary remained there for five years, until the outbreak of war in 1941 when the entire seminary community moved into the Ateneo compound on Padre Faura Street, where classes in theology were resumed.
In 1943, the Japanese authorities insisted on the evacuation of the Padre Faura site. The Paules fathers accommodated both Josefinos and Jesuit Scholastics San Marcelino.
At Santa Ana. During the Liberation period from 1945 to about 1950, the seminary reopened at Santa Ana in several rented houses beside the grounds of La Ignaciana.
At Highway 54. In 1951, the seminary moved to its new location on what then officially called MacArthur Boulevard but popularly known as Highway 54, now renamed EDSA. It was a much large building but poorly constructed. It was there that in 1957 the first Filipino rector was appointed, Fr. Antonio Leetai, SJ succeeding the last American rector, Fr. Gaston Duchesneau, SJ.
At Loyola Heights. In 1964, Father Leetai was succeeded by Father Jesus Diaz, SJ who, the following year, presided over the transfer to Loyola Heights. With the creation of Loyola House of Studies and School of Theology and Philosophy in 1965, San Jose Seminary was divided into two separate colleges, each with its own rector. The minor seminary remained at Highway 54 and later moved to Novaliches and was finally dissolved. The Major seminary moved of the Loyola House of Studies building, until the present seminary building was completed. With this relocation to Loyola Heights, San Jose Seminary has reverted to the Original status of the Colegio de San Jose in Intramuros under the Jesuits. It has once again become a residential college where the seminarians live a community life and undergo spiritual and pastoral formation, but they attend classes at the Ateneo de Manila or at the Loyola School of Theology.
As for the Colegio de San Jose as an institution, established in 1601 four hundred years ago, it exists today as San Jose Seminary, celebrating the four hundred anniversary since its foundation.
That in brief is the history of the Colegio de San Jose.
Source: San Jose Seminary website
“Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?”: 2009 Theological Discussion Series by Fr. Manuel Francisco, S.J. of the Loyola House of Studies
Event: Doctrine: Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? (2009 Theological Discussion Series)
With Fr. Manuel Francisco, SJ
Time: 8-10 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Venue: LST, Loyola Heights Campus
Remarks: Fees: Php 2,000.00/module; Php 7,200.00 for 4 modules
Contact Information: Grace Oconer at (63-2) 426-6430 to 35 local 3606, (0916) 535-0862 or email@example.com
Source: Ateneo de Manila University website (sidebar announcement dated 23 Sep 2009)
My guess is that this talk will be about the book of the same name: “Will the Real Jesus please stand up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan,” edited by Paul Copan. Here’s an editorial review from Library Journal:
This book, which presents a recent debate between a former co-chair of the Jesus Seminar and an Evangelical scholar, as well as follow-up responses by four other New Testament scholars, brings the reader effectively and movingly into the heart of the contemporary fideist-evidentialist debate about the reality and meaning of Jesus’ life and teachings. Editor Copan (Who Was Jesus?, Word Pub., 1996) gives Craig’s conservatism the last word, but readers of many different convictions will find ample food for thought here.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fideism and Evidentialism are defined as follows:
Fideism is a philosophical term meaning a system of philosophy or an attitude of mind, which, denying the power of unaided human reason to reach certitude, affirms that the fundamental act of human knowledge consists in an act of faith, and the supreme criterion of certitude is authority. (Sauvage, G. (1909). Fideism. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 22, 2009 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06068b.htm)
Evidentialism is a theory of justification according to which whether a belief is justified depends solely on what a person’s evidence is. Technically, though belief is typically the primary object of concern, evidentialism can be applied to doxastic attitudes generally. Formulating evidentialism in terms of the doxastic attitude of belief its most-defended form comes from Conee and Feldman: Belief B toward proposition p is epistemically justified for S at t if and only if B fits the evidence S has at t. (Wikipedia)
The Catholic Church allows debate on theological ideas as long as the Church has not yet made a definite doctrinal statement. Let me quote what G. K Chesterton said in his essay, “Why I am Catholic“:
Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes. The Catholic Church has for one of her chief duties that of preventing people from making those old mistakes; from making them over and over again forever, as people always do if they are left to themselves. The truth about the Catholic attitude towards heresy, or as some would say, towards liberty, can best be expressed perhaps by the metaphor of a map. The Catholic Church carries a sort of map of the mind which looks like the map of a maze, but which is in fact a guide to the maze. It has been compiled from knowledge which, even considered as human knowledge, is quite without any human parallel. There is no other case of one continuous intelligent institution that has been thinking about thinking for two thousand years. Its experience naturally covers nearly all experiences; and especially nearly all errors. The result is a map in which all the blind alleys and bad roads are clearly marked, all the ways that have been shown to be worthless by the best of all evidence: the evidence of those who have gone down them.
On this map of the mind the errors are marked as exceptions. The greater part of it consists of playgrounds and happy hunting-fields, where the mind may have as much liberty as it likes; not to mention any number of intellectual battle-fields in which the battle is indefinitely open and undecided. But it does definitely take the responsibility of marking certain roads as leading nowhere or leading to destruction, to a blank wall, or a sheer precipice. By this means, it does prevent men from wasting their time or losing their lives upon paths that have been found futile or disastrous again and again in the past, but which might otherwise entrap travelers again and again in the future. The Church does make herself responsible for warning her people against these; and upon these the real issue of the case depends. She does dogmatically defend humanity from its worst foes, those hoary and horrible and devouring monsters of the old mistakes. Now all these false issues have a way of looking quite fresh, especially to a fresh generation.
In his encyclical, Lamentabili Sane, Pope Pius X clearly marked out ideas which, to use Chesterton’s language, are “roads leading nowhere or leading to destruction, to a blank wall, or sheer precipice.” These ideas are the Modernist heresies which we must be on guard whenever we ask the question, “Will the Real Jesus please stand up?”:
27. The divinity of Jesus Christ is not proved from the Gospels. It is a dogma which the Christian conscience has derived from the notion of the Messias.
28. While He was exercising His ministry, Jesus did not speak with the object of teaching He was the Messias, nor did His miracles tend to prove it.
29. It is permissible to grant that the Christ of history is far inferior to the Christ Who is the object of faith.
30 In all the evangelical texts the name “Son of God” is equivalent only to that of “Messias.” It does not in the least way signify that Christ is the true and natural Son of God.
31. The doctrine concerning Christ taught by Paul, John, and the Councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon is not that which Jesus taught but that which the Christian conscience conceived concerning Jesus.
32. It is impossible to reconcile the natural sense of the Gospel texts with the sense taught by our theologians concerning the conscience and the infallible knowledge of Jesus Christ.
33 Everyone who is not led by preconceived opinions can readily see that either Jesus professed an error concerning the immediate Messianic coming or the greater part of His doctrine as contained in the Gospels is destitute of authenticity.
34. The critics can ascribe to Christ a knowledge without limits only on a hypothesis which cannot be historically conceived and which is repugnant to the moral sense. That hypothesis is that Christ as man possessed the knowledge of God and yet was unwilling to communicate the knowledge of a great many things to His disciples and posterity.
35. Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.
36. The Resurrection of the Savior is not properly a fact of the historical order. It is a fact of merely the supernatural order (neither demonstrated nor demonstrable) which the Christian conscience gradually derived from other facts.
37. In the beginning, faith in the Resurrection of Christ was not so much in the fact itself of the Resurrection as in the immortal life of Christ with God.
38. The doctrine of the expiatory death of Christ is Pauline and not evangelical.
You pride yourself as a Modernist (or Catholic). But you may not be as Modernist (or Catholic) as you think you are. The only way to know is to answer this simple 65-item questionnaire, which is based on Pope St. Pius X‘s “Lamentabili Sane“.
Read each of the numbered statements below and on the space provided before each number, write Yes if you support the idea and No if you don’t. If you can’t make up your mind, write Abstain.
|1. The ecclesiastical law which prescribes that books concerning the Divine Scriptures are subject to previous examination does not apply to critical scholars and students of scientific exegesis of the Old and New Testament.|
|2. The Church’s interpretation of the Sacred Books is by no means to be rejected; nevertheless, it is subject to the more accurate judgment and correction of the exegetes.|
|3. From the ecclesiastical judgments and censures passed against free and more scientific exegesis, one can conclude that the Faith the Church proposes contradicts history and that Catholic teaching cannot really be reconciled with the true origins of the Christian religion.|
|4. Even by dogmatic definitions the Church’s magisterium cannot determine the genuine sense of the Sacred Scriptures.|
|5. Since the deposit of Faith contains only revealed truths, the Church has no right to pass judgment on the assertions of the human sciences.|
|6. The “Church learning” and the “Church teaching” collaborate in such a way in defining truths that it only remains for the “Church teaching” to sanction the opinions of the “Church learning.”|
|7. In proscribing errors, the Church cannot demand any internal assent from the faithful by which the judgments she issues are to be embraced.|
|8. They are free from all blame who treat lightly the condemnations passed by the Sacred Congregation of the Index or by the Roman Congregations.|
|9. They display excessive simplicity or ignorance who believe that God is really the author of the Sacred Scriptures.|
|10. The inspiration of the books of the Old Testament consists in this: The Israelite writers handed down religious doctrines under a peculiar aspect which was either little or not at all known to the Gentiles.|
|11. Divine inspiration does not extend to all of Sacred Scriptures so that it renders its parts, each and every one, free from every error.|
|12. If he wishes to apply himself usefully to Biblical studies, the exegete must first put aside all preconceived opinions about the supernatural origin of Sacred Scripture and interpret it the same as any other merely human document.|
|13. The Evangelists themselves, as well as the Christians of the second and third generation, artificially arranged the evangelical parables. In such a way they explained the scanty fruit of the preaching of Christ among the Jews.|
|14. In many narrations the Evangelists recorded, not so much things that are true, as things which, even though false, they judged to be more profitable for their readers.|
|15. Until the time the canon was defined and constituted, the Gospels were increased by additions and corrections. Therefore there remained in them only a faint and uncertain trace of the doctrine of Christ.|
|16. The narrations of John are not properly history, but a mystical contemplation of the Gospel. The discourses contained in his Gospel are theological meditations, lacking historical truth concerning the mystery of salvation.|
|17. The fourth Gospel exaggerated miracles not only in order that the extraordinary might stand out but also in order that it might become more suitable for showing forth the work and glory of the Word lncarnate.|
|18. John claims for himself the quality of witness concerning Christ. In reality, however, he is only a distinguished witness of the Christian life, or of the life of Christ in the Church at the close of the first century.|
|19. Heterodox exegetes have expressed the true sense of the Scriptures more faithfully than Catholic exegetes.|
|20. Revelation could be nothing else than the consciousness man acquired of his revelation to God.|
|21. Revelation, constituting the object of the Catholic faith, was not completed with the Apostles.|
|22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.|
|23. Opposition may, and actually does, exist between the facts narrated in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s dogmas which rest on them. Thus the critic may reject as false facts the Church holds as most certain.|
|24. The exegete who constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful is not to be reproved as long as he does not directly deny the dogmas themselves .|
|25. The assent of faith ultimately rests on a mass of probabilities .|
|26. The dogmas of the Faith are to be held only according to their practical sense; that is to say, as preceptive norms of conduct and not as norms of believing.|
|27. The divinity of Jesus Christ is not proved from the Gospels. It is a dogma which the Christian conscience has derived from the notion of the Messias.|
|28. While He was exercising His ministry, Jesus did not speak with the object of teaching He was the Messias, nor did His miracles tend to prove it.|
|29. It is permissible to grant that the Christ of history is far inferior to the Christ Who is the object of faith.|
|30. In all the evangelical texts the name “Son of God” is equivalent only to that of “Messias.” It does not in the least way signify that Christ is the true and natural Son of God.|
|31. The doctrine concerning Christ taught by Paul, John, and the Councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon is not that which Jesus taught but that which the Christian conscience conceived concerning Jesus.|
|32. It is impossible to reconcile the natural sense of the Gospel texts with the sense taught by our theologians concerning the conscience and the infallible knowledge of Jesus Christ.|
|33. Everyone who is not led by preconceived opinions can readily see that either Jesus professed an error concerning the immediate Messianic coming or the greater part of His doctrine as contained in the Gospels is destitute of authenticity.|
|34. The critics can ascribe to Christ a knowledge without limits only on a hypothesis which cannot be historically conceived and which is repugnant to the moral sense. That hypothesis is that Christ as man possessed the knowledge of God and yet was unwilling to communicate the knowledge of a great many things to His disciples and posterity.|
|35. Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.|
|36. The Resurrection of the Savior is not properly a fact of the historical order. It is a fact of merely the supernatural order (neither demonstrated nor demonstrable) which the Christian conscience gradually derived from other facts.|
|37. In the beginning, faith in the Resurrection of Christ was not so much in the fact itself of the Resurrection as in the immortal life of Christ with God.|
|38. The doctrine of the expiatory death of Christ is Pauline and not evangelical.|
|39. The opinions concerning the origin of the Sacraments which the Fathers of Trent held and which certainly influenced their dogmatic canons are very different from those which now rightly exist among historians who examine Christianity .|
|40. The Sacraments have their origin in the fact that the Apostles and their successors, swayed and moved by circumstances and events, interpreted some idea and intention of Christ.|
|41. The Sacraments are intended merely to recall to man’s mind the ever-beneficent presence of the Creator.|
|42. The Christian community imposed the necessity of Baptism, adopted it as a necessary rite, and added to it the obligation of the Christian profession.|
|43. The practice of administering Baptism to infants was a disciplinary evolution, which became one of the causes why the Sacrament was divided into two, namely, Baptism and Penance.|
|44. There is nothing to prove that the rite of the Sacrament of Confirmation was employed by the Apostles. The formal distinction of the two Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation does not pertain to the history of primitive Christianity.|
|45. Not everything which Paul narrates concerning the institution of the Eucharist (I Cor. 11:23-25) is to be taken historically.|
|46. In the primitive Church the concept of the Christian sinner reconciled by the authority of the Church did not exist. Only very slowly did the Church accustom herself to this concept. As a matter of fact, even after Penance was recognized as an institution of the Church, it was not called a Sacrament since it would be held as a disgraceful Sacrament.|
|47. The words of the Lord, “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23), in no way refer to the Sacrament of Penance, in spite of what it pleased the Fathers of Trent to say.|
|48. In his Epistle (Ch. 5:14-15) James did not intend to promulgate a Sacrament of Christ but only commend a pious custom. If in this custom he happens to distinguish a means of grace, it is not in that rigorous manner in which it was taken by the theologians who laid down the notion and number of the Sacraments.|
|49. When the Christian supper gradually assumed the nature of a liturgical action those who customarily presided over the supper acquired the sacerdotal character.|
|50. The elders who fulfilled the office of watching over the gatherings of the faithful were instituted by the Apostles as priests or bishops to provide for the necessary ordering of the increasing communities and not properly for the perpetuation of the Apostolic mission and power.|
|51. It is impossible that Matrimony could have become a Sacrament of the new law until later in the Church since it was necessary that a full theological explication of the doctrine of grace and the Sacraments should first take place before Matrimony should be held as a Sacrament.|
|52. It was far from the mind of Christ to found a Church as a society which would continue on earth for a long course of centuries. On the contrary, in the mind of Christ the kingdom of heaven together with the end of the world was about to come immediately.|
|53. The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable. Like human society, Christian society is subject to a perpetual evolution.|
|54. Dogmas, Sacraments and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.|
|55. Simon Peter never even suspected that Christ entrusted the primacy in the Church to him.|
|56. The Roman Church became the head of all the churches, not through the ordinance of Divine Providence, but merely through political conditions.|
|57. The Church has shown that she is hostile to the progress of the natural and theological sciences.|
|58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.|
|59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.|
|60. Christian Doctrine was originally Judaic. Through successive evolutions it became first Pauline, then Joannine, finally Hellenic and universal.|
|61. It may be said without paradox that there is no chapter of Scripture, from the first of Genesis to the last of the Apocalypse, which contains a doctrine absolutely identical with that which the Church teaches on the same matter. For the same reason, therefore, no chapter of Scripture has the same sense for the critic and the theologian.|
|62. The chief articles of the Apostles’ Creed did not have the same sense for the Christians of the first ages as they have for the Christians of our time.|
|63. The Church shows that she is incapable of effectively maintaining evangelical ethics since she obstinately clings to immutable doctrines which cannot be reconciled with modern progress.|
|64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.|
|65. Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism.|
II. THE MODERNIST HERESY INDEX
Let Y, N, and A be the total numbers of your Yes , No, and Abstain answers, respectively. The modernist heresy index H and the ignorance index G are defined as follows:
- H = Y/65,
- G = A/65.
If your modernist heresy index H = 1, then you are the modernist arch-heretic; if your H = 0, then you are a faithful Catholic. On the other hand, if your ignorance level G = 1, then you are truly ignorant; if your G = 0, then you understand the all the statements and you choose to agree with them accordingly. Note that the range of your heresy is in the close interval [H, H + G]. This is the Law of Ignorance: your modernist heresy index can only increase (c.f. the Law of Entropy in Thermodynamics).
For example, if your total Yes answers is 30, your total No answers is 20, and your total Abstain answers is 15, then Y = 30, N = 20, and A = 15. Your modernist heresy index H and your ignorance index G are
- H = 30/65 =0.46,
- G = 15/65 =0.23.
Thus your modernist heresy index lies in the interval [0.46, 0.46 + 0.23] = [0.46, 0.69]. This means that you are approximately half-Modernist and half-Catholic, but if you lessen your ignorance, you would likely be more Modernist than Catholic.
Last March 2008, the Department of Philosophy of the Ateneo de Manila University sponsored a book presentation, The Sum of All Heresies: the Image of Islam in Western Thought by Professor Frederick Quinn, adjunct professor of History at the Utah State University. I haven’t attended the presentation, but the book’s synopsis sounds surprisingly apologetic:
Current global tensions and the spread of terrorism have resurrected in the West a largely negative perception of Islamic society, an ill will fueled by centuries of conflict and prejudice. Shedding light on the history behind these hostile feelings, Frederick Quinn’s timely volume traces the Western image of Islam from its earliest days to recent times.
Quinn establishes four basic themes around which the image of Islam gravitates throughout history: the Prophet as Antichrist, heretic, and Satan; the Prophet as Fallen Christian, corrupted monk, or Arab Lucifer; the prophet as sexual deviant, polygamist, and charlatan, and the Prophet as Wise Easterner, Holy Person, and dispenser of wisdom.
A feature of the book is a strong portrayal of Islam in literature, art, music, and popular culture, drawing on such sources as Cervantes’s Don Quixote; the Orientalism of numerous visual artists; the classical music of Monteverdi and Mozart; and more recent cultural manifestations, such as music hall artists like Peter Dawson and Edith Piaf; and stage or silver screen representations like The Garden of Allah, The Sheik, Aladdin, and The Battle of Algiers.
Quinn argues that an outpouring of positive information on basically every aspect of Islamic life has yet to vanquish the hostile and malformed ideas from the past. Conflict, mistrust, and misunderstanding characterize the Muslim-Christian encounter, and growing examples of cooperation are often overshadowed by anger and suspicion.
In this important book, Quinn highlights long-standing historical prejudices but also introduces the reader to some of the landmark voices in history that have worked toward a greater understanding of Islam.
The title of the book should not be Sum of All Heresies. This phrase was used before by Pope Pius X in his encyclical, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, to describe not Islam but Modernism:
39. It may be, Venerable Brethren, that some may think We have dwelt too long on this exposition of the doctrines of the Modernists. But it was necessary, both in order to refute their customary charge that We do not understand their ideas, and to show that their system does not consist in scattered and unconnected theories but in a perfectly organised body, all the parts of which are solidly joined so that it is not possible to admit one without admitting all. For this reason, too, We have had to give this exposition a somewhat didactic form and not to shrink from employing certain uncouth terms in use among the Modernists. And now, can anybody who takes a survey of the whole system be surprised that We should define it as the synthesis of all heresies? Were one to attempt the task of collecting together all the errors that have been broached against the faith and to concentrate the sap and substance of them all into one, he could not better succeed than the Modernists have done.
So what should be a better title to Professor Quinn’s book? Considering how Islam conquered the ancient Christian lands surrounding the Mediterranean sea–Spain, Carthage, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Syria, Ephesus, Antioch, and Constantinople (now Turkey)–and how this conquest inspired fear in Western Europe, the heir of the Judaeo-Graeco-Roman civilization as represented by Christianity, and how this fear resulted to the Crusades to recover the ancient lands, especially the Holy City of Jerusalem, the proper title to Professor Quinn’s book should have been The Sum of All Fears: the Image of Islam in the Western Thought.