SPRING 2005: THE BAPTISM of JESUS
Table of Contents
The Spring 2005 issue of Communio begins with the latest installment in our series of annual reflections on the mysteries of the life of Jesus with three articles devoted to his baptism. All three concern themselves with the mysterious fact that Christ’s baptism was a decisive event, not just for our salvation, but for the Lord himself.
Can we affirm that the baptism was in some sense a real anointing, a “Messianic investiture,” as John Paul II once put it, without falling into adoptionism? Yes, our three authors respond; yes, because Jesus’ baptism is a trinitarian event, in which the Father’s “two hands” co-operate in a complex, multi-layered reciprocity.
In “Towards a Theological Reading of the Baptism of Jesus,” Jean-Pierre Batut surveys the New Testament texts with a theologian’s eye in order to show that the paternal declaration, “thou art my Son,” is not a decree of adoption, but a foreshadowing of the Resurrection, in which Jesus’ humanity “catches up” with the fullness of glory he always already possessed with the Father in his divine sonship.
José Granados, in “The Ages of the Life of Jesus: The Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan,” draws on Irenaeus and Justin Martyr to present a non-adoptionistic account of Jesus’ real human growth under the Spirit as the Son’s way of unfolding temporally the sonship he has eternally with the Father.
Richard Malone’s “‘Thou art my beloved Son’: The Baptism of Jesus as a Trinitarian Event” offers a theological synthesis that shows how the Irenaean intuition about the baptism as a messianic investiture can be integrated with a full-blown post-Nicene Trinitarianism.
The second main theme of the Spring issue is "Beauty and the Sacred."
In “How Many ‘No’s? Billions. How many ‘Yes’es? Just One!” Jörg Splett argues that art, like human freedom, is capable of a relatively absolute affirmation, one that is intrinsically open to the absolutely absolute affirmation of God in Christ.
Jonah Lynch develops a similar reflection in his “Art and Faith,” where he shows, partly on the basis of his own experience as a violinist, how the artist is called upon to reflect the paradox that the glory of Christ shines forth from within his abasement on the Cross.
In “Bach’s Musical Treatment of Jesus’ Baptism,” Matthew O’Donovan and Oliver O’Donovan offer a detailed analysis of Bach’s cantata “Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam” as an example of the great composer’s capacity for combining musical form and theological reflection.
Mark Freer’s “The Triune Conversation in Mozart: Towards a Theology of Music” argues that the structure of Mozart’s music is trinitarian—and, as such, provides a key to understanding the nature of all music tout court.
In “Liturgical Architecture and the Classical Tradition: A Balthasarian approach,” Dennis R. McNamara draws on Balthasar’s theological aesthetics in order to argue for a deep harmony between the tradition of classical architecture and the tradition of Catholic worship.
Finally, Kim Paffenroth, in “Deadly Self-Deception and Life-Giving Revelation in Flannery O’Connor,” explores the great American writer’s preoccupation with the sin of self-deception in all its horror and grotesque funniness—and with the often equally grotesque unmasking of self-deception by divine grace.
We return in this issue to the theme of "Biotechnology and Morality: The Altered Nuclear Transfer Proposal, Part II."
In “Altered Nuclear Transfer: A Critique of a Critique,” Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco offers a rebuttal of Adrian Walker’s critique of the proposed procedure in the Winter 2004 issue of this journal. Walker’s argument that ANT is a form of cloning, Austriaco claims, fails insofar as it does not take account of the primacy of epigenetics in determining cellular identity.
In “The Primacy of the Organism: Response to Nicanor Austriaco,” Adrian J. Walker replies to Austriaco’s rebuttal by showing that manipulation of epigenetic factors is not yet sufficient to distinguish ANT from human cloning.
In a companion piece, “A Way Around the Cloning Objection Against ANT? A Brief Response to the Joint Statement on the Production of Pluripotent Stem Cells by Oocyte Assisted Reprogramming,” Walker presents a similar critique of a recent statement endorsing a new epigenetics-based variant of the ANT proposal.
David L. Schindler, writing in “Veritatis Splendor and the Foundations of Bioethics: Notes Towards an Assessment of Altered Nuclear Transfer and Embryonic (Pluripotent) Stem Cell Research,” defines the theological and philosophical parameters in which the ANT proposal needs to be considered. What is at stake, Schindler argues, is nothing less than the wholeness of the human being and the creaturely gift-character that this wholeness bespeaks.
"Notes and Comments" begins by paying tribute to two popes, John Paul II and his successor (an upcoming issue of the journal will devote extensive space to a discussion of their life and mission).
In “Benedict XVI: A Co-Worker of the Truth,” Adrian J. Walker presents a brief sketch of the theological personality of the new pope, which is marked by a deep transparency to the catholicity of God’s truth and a profound christological humanism.
“Remembrance of God: John Paul II on Memory and Identity,” Jan-Heiner Tück’s review of John Paul II’s last book, Memory and Identity, highlights a central theme of the deceased pope’s pontificate: remembrance of God is what keeps man human.
Finally, Kelly Grovier concludes the issue with a poem that leads us back to its beginning: “On the Baptism of Christ.”
Go to Table of Contents.
COMMUNIO: International Catholic Review
P.O. Box 4557 | Washington, DC 20017 | 1-202-526-0251 | fax 1-202-526-1934 | communio-icr.com | Contact Us