Natura Pura, the Invention of the Anti-Christ: A Week With No SabbathConor Cunningham
“The allegation of the Anti-Christ—the assertion that the Christ is just
Jesus and that Jesus is just a man, that he is not Jesus Christ—is not only the
liar’s greatest deceit, but also philosophically untenable.”
The dripping blood our only drink
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
—T. S. Eliot, East Coker
In this very short paper, I will not be able to negotiate the texts of St. Thomas in terms of the debate surrounding natura pura. What I will offer, however, is a very brief intervention into the debate highlighting some of the main issues. I will do so mostly by appealing to a counterfactual thought exercise, in which we imagine actual habitants of a world of pure nature, wherein they are intelligent but have no supernatural telos. As a result of this experiment, a consequence we feel argued for is that Christ must be the only true metaphysics of creation, and to that end, we will mention, again very briefly, the catastrophe that is ontological naturalism, which we think is a progeny of natura pura.
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