Meilaender unimpressed by Wright

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Gilbert Meilaender, who holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair of Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University, scorches N. T. Wright in the current issue of First Things (Februray 2007). For once, it's not his assertions on Paul and the New Perspective that has Meilaender bent out of shape; it's the bishop's lecture given at Durham Cathedral on the Iraq War given last November in the wake of the elections.

It was Wright's assertion that God was present "in the calling to account that has taken place in America" (a reference to the election victory afforded to anti-Iraq war factions) that seriously offended Meilaender. The rhetoric in Durham reached quite a pitch: an "angry superpower, like a rogue elephant teased by a little dog, has gone on the rampage stamping on everything that moves in the hope of killing the dog by killing everything within reach." It calls from Meilaender undiluted scorn, reaching its peroration with these comments:

"This lecture is the sort of thing that tempts some folks to say that bishops should stick to theology and avoid politics, but, in fact, what's wrong here is both political and theological. A little less confidence and a lot more nuance would be needed before some of us could be attracted by such episcopal advice." 
Posted March 8, 2007 @ 8:54 PM by Derek Thomas

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