In Vino Veritas!
What is better than discussing God, the world and the meaning of life, with good friends and cold beer? Theology on Tap meets once per month at a variety of locations.
We are currently discussing the Virtues: what are they, and why do they matter? The readings and discussion notes below are for the curious, and not necessary to participation in the discussion.
Our next meeting will be Tuesday, December 19th, 7:00pm at the home of Ben Jones and Rhianna Nagel. Contact the office for directions. We will discuss a special Christmas topic: The Incarnation. Some artifacts to consider for this session: The Collect for Advent (below) and St. Francis of Assissi’s revival of the Nativity, and a reading on the topic written by Thomas Merton (click: Merton on the Incarnation).
Collect for Advent
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which they Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; though him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, now and ever. Amen.
Past Readings:Tending the Heart of Virtue
Ministry Witness: Theology on Tap
Jessica Ziakin-Cook, facilitator
Recently, a fellow parishioner asked me, “Is Theology on Tap an intellectual activity that you hope will attract those among us who are seeking intellectual satisfaction?” I responded, “Theology on Tap is for those who, for love of God, seek a deeper understanding of Him and, in doing so, will be better equipped both to speak to His role in our lives, and to discern the difference between the Kingdom and our broken world.”
Theology on Tap is a discussion group, not a lecture series. My goal is not to make an authoritative or even thorough presentation of a subject, but to offer up a collection of artifacts from our tradition which will provide meat for a discussion in which we might examine the world in which we live, articulate its challenges to our faith, and have the opportunity to hear how those who have gone before us have responded. To prepare for our meetings I leap into research following tangents, preparing definitions of key terms, and looking into sources from Theology, Philosophy and Art History that I believe will illuminate the concepts at hand. As I progress in my research, I tend to feel less and less prepared for the upcoming meeting—I learn how much I do not know!
For our first discussion in this new season, I have alit upon the subject of the virtues through contact with the book After Virtue (Notre Dame, 1981) by the Catholic philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre. The book is difficult and dense, but it makes some observations that are proving to be more accurate today than when it was written: Words like temperance, prudence, fortitude and even chastity are arcane. Social discourse has become shrill to the extreme as differences have become incommensurable. Indeed, the question that seems to be pressing upon us from our Southern borders is, “What is truth?”
This Wednesday I will offer a refresher on the virtues, drawing on MacIntyre’s book, Giotto’s frescos in the Arena Chapel, and a short essay by George Grant (available for download above). It is easy to be critical and disapproving and even afraid of Postmodernism and contemporary society, but let us listen to St. Paul and instead turn to the study of “…whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, [and] if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”