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#280816 - 02/29/08 06:43 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: PrJ]  
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Originally Posted by PrJ
The problem with this argument is that it could have been used to argue that the New Testament should not have been written in Koine Greek -- which was considered "gutter" Greek by the cultural elites of the Greek world. If you substitute "koine Greek" and "classical Greek" in the argument of the science professor, you will basically revisit the first century argument over language.

I don't believe that it is generally accepted, now or even in LXX-NT times, that what is termed Koine Greek simply or properly equated to "gutter" Greek. Even if it were so, it would not equate with the indicated substitution.

The issue is not the difference between "It is I" and "It's me"; or a schoolmarm insistence on not splitting infinitives: "to go boldly" rather than "to boldly go." It is rather on the forces, motivations, and manipulations that can significantly transform or perhaps deform a language within a span of just 25 years:

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Quote
To boldly go where no man has gone before

This line reinvigorated the last-lasting debate over split infinitives. These are infinitives that have an adverb between 'to' and the verb. Those grammarians who still cared about this in the 1960s complained that 'to boldly go' should have been 'to go boldly'. The debate had been simmering on and off for the best part of a century. As early as 1897, Academy magazine suggested that an insistence that split infinitives were incorrect was somewhat pedantic:

"Are our critics aware that Byron is the father of their split infinitive? 'To slowly trace', says the noble poet, 'the forest's shady scene'."

Most authorities now accept Star Trek into the grammatical fold and no longer care, or at least rarely publicly complain, about 'to boldly go'.

By 1966, people cared more about implied sexism than doubtful grammar and the show's producers received criticism for the 'no man' part of the speech. Despite some recourse to the tradition defence of the use of 'man' to mean 'human', i.e. 'man embraces woman', by the time Star Trek: The Next Generation was aired, in 1987, the shows producers had opted for the more politically correct last line - "Where no one has gone before".



Further, the issue is on the appropriateness of inviting those forces, motivations, and manipulations that can so significantly deform a language, into our expression of prayer, especially in the translation of the summit of our prayer as a church, the Divine Liturgy.

And as I have asked before, where are we going with this? The changes, in the Creed and from "Mankind" to "us all," are not trivial. Is that the price that must be paid just to appear "inclusive"; is it not then just tokenism, or the little pinch of incense on the altar to the forces of social engineering?

What general good has it accomplished? To what end then -- certainly not doctrinal clarity or beauty?

Dn. Anthony

#280824 - 02/29/08 07:29 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: ajk]  
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What is odd about this discussion to me as an eastern Catholic is that the tradition of the eastern Church has been to emphasize praying in the language of the people. So to follow the argument, if the language of the people (i.e., the common person on the street) has changed the language of the liturgy should be changed to match that language.

Language is symbolic -- there is noting inherently holy about any language. Words are simply symbols that human beings in our past have chosen to use when speaking of things, emotions, etc. Like all symbols, words are imprecise. (This is especially true of English, as any translator will tell you.)

Much of the reaction to changes in the English language strikes me as odd -- language changes and evolves. The meanings of words change -- words that meant one thing a hundred years ago mean something different today.

You can't stop a language from changing as long as you use it. The only languages that don't change are "dead" languages.

We can disagree over how best to express the truths of the Gospel and we can argue about which words best express these truths. But to act as if there is something sacrosanct about any English word or any stage of the development of the English language is (at best) misguided and (at worst) the kind of elitism that alienates many people from the true meaning of the Gospel.

#280825 - 02/29/08 07:34 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: ajk]  
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I don't believe that it is generally accepted, now or even in LXX-NT times, that what is termed Koine Greek simply or properly equated to "gutter" Greek. Even if it were so, it would not equate with the indicated substitution.


Actually it was termed this by the cultural elite of the ancient Greek world. Koine Greek was the language of the commoner, the prostitute, etc. In fact, the word "koine" means common. To the elites among the Greeks, koine Greek was considered a decayed form of Greek which was not worthy of attention. In fact, the linguistic purists of the first century (Atticist scholars of the Hellenistic and Roman periods), in order to fight the evolution of the language, published works which compared the supposedly "correct" Attic against the "wrong" Koine by citing example after example. For more on this, I encourage you to consult Nikolaos P. Andriotis, History of the Greek Language..

#280826 - 02/29/08 07:39 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: Recluse]  
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to say that the feminization and politically driven agenda of neutered language is an example of Apostolic and patristic praxis-----is absurd.


I disagree respectfully. My ecclesiology teaches me that the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles and as such have been given the grace of God to lead the Church. From talking to those involved in the translation project, it is clear that the Bishops engaged in this project with a very deep reverence both for their calling as apostolic leaders of the Church and for the grace of God that they have received in their consecration. Therefore, this work (in my opinion) is an example of Apostolic and patristic praxis.

As I have stated, I support my bishops, I give thanks to God for their inspired leadership and for their commitment to leading the Church into the 21st century and to inspiring modern Eastern Catholics to boldly proclaim the saving Gospel of Christ to those who are in deep need of its salvific proclamation.

Last edited by PrJ; 02/29/08 07:40 PM.
#280831 - 02/29/08 08:49 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: PrJ]  
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I disagree and think you have a flawed theory...

Which could lead to..."I baptise you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier’, or ‘I baptise you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer’".

Which has happened in the Latin Rite...

pax

james




#280836 - 02/29/08 09:03 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: Jakub.]  
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Originally Posted by Jakub.
I disagree and think you have a flawed theory...

Which could lead to..."I baptise you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier’, or ‘I baptise you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer’".

Which has happened in the Latin Rite...

pax

james





I grow tired of people using worst case scenarios and hidden agendas to cloud the issue. How could using the words "creator" "liberator" etc. help people come to a deeper understanding of the Trinity? Furthermore, we are not talking about a translation issue when the names of the Triune Godhead are changed.

My argument is that the horizontal inclusive language better expresses the Gospel to our modern world. The standard is always the Gospel. Obviously, the baptismal formula you cited does not better express the Gospel. So it is not appropriate.

I don't like slippery slope arguments as every change that has ever been instituted by the Church has been opposed by conservatives who use the slippery slope argument. If that fails, they then use the hidden agenda argument. Both of these are scare tactics that do not address the core issues, but rather obscure the argument and often confuse the average believer who is led to believe (wrongly) that the Church is changing in a false way.

#280845 - 02/29/08 09:32 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: PrJ]  
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"The people never on any account asked for the liturgy to be changed, or mutilated so as to understand it better. They asked for a better understanding of the changeless liturgy, and one which they would never have wanted changed." - Cardinal Ottoviani

pax

#280859 - 02/29/08 11:14 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: PrJ]  
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Originally Posted by PrJ
My ecclesiology teaches me that the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles and as such have been given the grace of God to lead the Church. From talking to those involved in the translation project, it is clear that the Bishops engaged in this project with a very deep reverence both for their calling as apostolic leaders of the Church and for the grace of God that they have received in their consecration. Therefore, this work (in my opinion) is an example of Apostolic and patristic praxis.

I disagree respectfully with PrJ. The good intentions of the bishops and those who served on the committees that created the Revised Divine Liturgy in no way guarantees that the outcome is an example of Apostolic and patristic praxis. Good people can do bad things and we have in the Revised Divine Liturgy nothing less then a tragedy. We have texts and rubrics that are less accurate than those given in the 1964 edition, and which - even if unintentionally - embraces the politics of secular feminism. We have music that both disrespects what people have memorized and makes those singing it sound like English is not their native language (due to the improper accents). Good intentions have hurt a lot of people. Unfortunately, PrJ has fallen into the trap of judging things by the good intentions of those who fabricated them rather than by the quality of the product.

But this thread is about the problem with gender-neutral language. Gender-neutral language is wrong firstly because it is almost always inaccurate or replaces texts that were once clear with texts that muddled and in many cases potentially exclusive (which is the opposite of what is claimed). Secondly, the use of such language decided sides with the secular feminists and lets them take control of Christian theology instead of using Standard English to teach these feminists the truth about Jesus Christ and what Pope John Paul the Great taught (his further teaching on the role of women is often called Christian feminism). I could quote at length from Pope Benedict XVI, Liturgiam Authenticam, and both Catholic and Orthodox sources on how the Revised Divine Liturgy but we’ve done all that before. Those who prepared and the bishops who promulgated the Revised Divine Liturgy reject that teaching and that wisdom and instead are dead set on leading the Ruthenian Catholic Church in America into the wacky 1970s. The Roman Catholics tried that and it did not work for them and they abandoned it, and are now trying to correct the problems that that experiment created. Our bishops should have skipped the experiment. Gender neutral language does not serve the proclaiming of the Gospel to the English speaking world because its origin is political, and the politics of secular feminists have no place controlling the Gospel.

I pray daily that the bishops will rescind the Revised Divine Liturgy and instead make normative the Ruthenian Divine Liturgy. I also pray that Rome will be responsive to the various petitions that have been placed before her. We need an Eastern Catholic equivalent of the "Summorum Pontificum" not for the older form of the Byzantine Divine Liturgy but for the currently form, currently normative for the rest of the Byzantine Churches (Catholic and Orthodox). We need a version of “Liturgiam Authenticam” that specifically directs literal accuracy and prohibits gender neutral language since our bishops would not voluntarily adhere to its wisdom.

The experiment will fail, and pretty quickly.

So the task before us is to continually encourage our bishops to do what is right, and to rescind the Revision and instead embrace our official liturgical tradition. This task is a difficult one and may take a lifetime to accomplish. But it is worth undertaking and will, in time, be successful.

Authenticity in Liturgy is the goal. It works. Always.

Fabricated Liturgy does not work. Ever.

#280860 - 02/29/08 11:19 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: PrJ]  
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My argument is that the horizontal inclusive language better expresses the Gospel to our modern world.


Actually the only thing the modern world has really received in the RDL is an incomplete Creed and Liturgy which may indeed tickle the fancy of modern people who don't want to hear the Gospel truth about man.


Quote
I disagree respectfully. My ecclesiology teaches me that the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles and as such have been given the grace of God to lead the Church. From talking to those involved in the translation project, it is clear that the Bishops engaged in this project with a very deep reverence both for their calling as apostolic leaders of the Church and for the grace of God that they have received in their consecration. Therefore, this work (in my opinion) is an example of Apostolic and patristic praxis.

As I have stated, I support my bishops, I give thanks to God for their inspired leadership and for their commitment to leading the Church into the 21st century and to inspiring modern Eastern Catholics to boldly proclaim the saving Gospel of Christ to those who are in deep need of its salvific proclamation.


My inspired leader, yes I mean the Bishop, after he received my letter regarding my objections to the RDL said in a telephone conversation with me:

Quote
I received your letter, I knew we shouldn't have spent all that money.

#280866 - 02/29/08 11:52 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: lm]  
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Originally Posted by lm
Quote
My argument is that the horizontal inclusive language better expresses the Gospel to our modern world.


Actually the only thing the modern world has really received in the RDL is an incomplete Creed and Liturgy which may indeed tickle the fancy of modern people who don't want to hear the Gospel truth about man.


Quote
I disagree respectfully. My ecclesiology teaches me that the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles and as such have been given the grace of God to lead the Church. From talking to those involved in the translation project, it is clear that the Bishops engaged in this project with a very deep reverence both for their calling as apostolic leaders of the Church and for the grace of God that they have received in their consecration. Therefore, this work (in my opinion) is an example of Apostolic and patristic praxis.

As I have stated, I support my bishops, I give thanks to God for their inspired leadership and for their commitment to leading the Church into the 21st century and to inspiring modern Eastern Catholics to boldly proclaim the saving Gospel of Christ to those who are in deep need of its salvific proclamation.


My inspired leader, yes I mean the Bishop, after he received my letter regarding my objections to the RDL said in a telephone conversation with me:

Quote
I received your letter, I knew we shouldn't have spent all that money.


I wonder what bishop??? wink

Ung

#280906 - 03/01/08 11:33 AM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: Administrator]  
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the use of such language decided sides with the secular feminists and lets them take control of Christian theology instead of using Standard English to teach these feminists the truth


A couple of points:

1) Not all feminists are secular -- there is such a thing as a religious feminist. You can disagree with them, but to insist that they are not believers inspite of their own practices and faith is insulting to them. This is the kind of labelling that the conservative right likes to use. Using labelling as a form of argumentation (like the slippery slope and conspiracy theory) obscures the issues and makes real discussion difficult.

I reject complete the idea that feminism is anti-Christian. True feminism is a positive consequence of the Christian tradition. It has only developed in the Christian world and is a direct result of women and men believing the Gospel. (I encourage you to review the history of the early ante-bellum feminist movement in America. Most of the leaders in that movement were deeply committed Christians. Most of their arguments were biblically based.)

2) Once again, from a historical perspective, I would note that everytime the Church has changed to make her message more clear and to bring her praxis into more consistent conformity with her theology (which is how I interpret both the intent and the remarkable success of the RDL), the conservatives have accused the reformers with being inspired by "secular" motives and ideas. This was certainly the case in the slavery issue in the deep South where preacher after preacher accused the abolitionists of being "secular" "non-Christian" etc. Of course, as history has proven, abolitionism was a fruit of the gospel not its antithesis. And giving freedom to African-Americans did not destroy Christianity, etc.

3) You will notice that I use the word "conservative" negatively. I remember Fr. Schmemman commenting that there is an important difference between "conservatives" and "traditionalists." He stated that true Christians are never conservatives. We do not seek to "conserve" the past -- we are "traditionalists" (that is we seek to be current while remaining true to the tradition). As I remember his point, when the Church becomes conservative, it fails in its mission to be true to its calling to speak the truth to the contemporary generation.

#280907 - 03/01/08 11:39 AM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: lm]  
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the only thing the modern world has really received in the RDL is an incomplete Creed and Liturgy which may indeed tickle the fancy of modern people who don't want to hear the Gospel truth about man


How hearing the rich theology about Christ's redemption that is expressed by the anaphora prayers of St. Basil's liturgy could "tickle the fancy of modern people" is beyond me!?!

In point of fact, the requirement that the prayers of the anaphora be said in an audible voice doesn't tickle the fancy of modern people who want micro-waved services. It makes the services longer -- something many modern people complain about. (I know -- I have heard their complaints.) Requiring people to stand leads to some modern people complaining that their feet hurt. Etc.

The RDL allows the people of God to hear in their own language, in words that they can easily understand, the truths of the Gospel. It centers the liturgy on the prayers and unites the entire people of God with the priest at the head in prayerful worship of the triune God.

This is holy fruit -- and clearly any decisions that have led to this result were made as part of and flowing out of the Apostolic and patristic praxis that defines the Eastern Christian experience in the world.

#280908 - 03/01/08 11:46 AM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: Jakub.]  
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Originally Posted by Jakub.
"The people never on any account asked for the liturgy to be changed, or mutilated so as to understand it better. Cardinal Ottoviani


The Cardinal's words obviously refer to the Western context when in fact an entirely different mass was created. Even the most severe critic of the RDL has to admit that the structure of the Chrysostom liturgy has remained intact. Yes, a few Litanies were removed (P.S. This is something that has been done in other jurisdictions. I remember serving with Bishop Antoun of the AOC and his directing the deacon to "skip" those litanies. He also told the deacons to "double" every refrain in the Litany so that we could be out of the Liturgy in under an hour.)

There is no "new" Liturgy in the East. It is the same Liturgy -- just a new translation. The few rubrical changes that have been made all can be found in the varied liturgical tradition of the Church. It is the same Liturgy.

But notice the Cardinal's next words:

Quote
They asked for a better understanding of the changeless liturgy.


IMHO, this is what our Bishops have given us.

#280910 - 03/01/08 12:17 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: PrJ]  
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An anecdote on the flip side...

Back in my wayward youth, before I became a Catholic, long before I'd even HEARD of the Melkite Catholics, I attended a nondenominational house church (with an admittedly dicey theology. crazy But, hey, I was young, and just discovering God, and I turned out okay anyway. wink )

The group had its share of people who supported inclusive language, but I very deliberately and almost insultingly refused to use it. Even then I loved language, and I knew that the masculine included the feminine when speaking in general terms. Therefore, my use of language was correct, and any intelligent person would know that I was not being exclusive.

At a retreat, we were reading aloud the Dietrich Bonhoeffer classic on Christian community, Life Together. The text was translated from the German, was directed toward Bonhoeffer's specific community of men, and -- of course -- was not at all gender neutral. I listened intently, absorbing his wisdom and pondering the virtues he extolled. One woman was becoming increasing irritated by all the male language, and when her turn to read came, she changed all the pronouns to female.

The result was enlightening.

1. All of a sudden, Bonhoeffer's words were not abstract virtues. He was talking to ME. When his words were describing the Christian WOMAN instead of the Christian MAN, they suddenly were about ME, not just about principles of Christian behavior.

2. Every woman in the room, bar none, sat up and began listening with brighter eyes, more intently, more openly.

3. The men in the room shrank a bit. The words suddenly did NOT apply to them, were NOT relevant to them. As the reading continued, I could see their faces close down, could see that they were no longer hearing Bonhoeffer's message.

From that day forward, I have used gender-neutral language whenever possible. Linguistically, the masculine includes the feminine: Experientially, it does not.

#280922 - 03/01/08 01:43 PM Re: Feminism and the English Language [Re: PrJ]  
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Originally Posted by PrJ
Quote
I don't believe that it is generally accepted, now or even in LXX-NT times, that what is termed Koine Greek simply or properly equated to "gutter" Greek. Even if it were so, it would not equate with the indicated substitution.


Actually it was termed this by the cultural elite of the ancient Greek world. Koine Greek was the language of the commoner, the prostitute, etc. In fact, the word "koine" means common. To the elites among the Greeks, koine Greek was considered a decayed form of Greek which was not worthy of attention. In fact, the linguistic purists of the first century (Atticist scholars of the Hellenistic and Roman periods), in order to fight the evolution of the language, published works which compared the supposedly "correct" Attic against the "wrong" Koine by citing example after example. For more on this, I encourage you to consult Nikolaos P. Andriotis, History of the Greek Language..


Please note the words "simply or properly." That an elite of the times were snooty is to be expected; that their myth and bias continues to be thoughtlessly propagated is regrettable and misinforms.

Originally Posted by PrJ
... scare tactics that do not address the core issues, but rather obscure the argument and often confuse the average believer who is led to believe (wrongly) that the Church is changing in a false way.


OK, to the core issue, to basics. Is it not the case that the language was hijacked in the 1960's by a feminist agenda? Is it not the case that this is not the natural evolution of a language but the manipulation of language? Are we not being coerced through a process of reprogramming to accept the changes of the agenda?

More basics. Here are some Greek words used in the liturgy and scripture and their basic meanings:

philos = love
anthrōpos = man
dia, di' = for
hēmas = us

Question: Using the above, what words in Greek would be used to say loves-man?

RDL answer: di' hēmas

But then how would one say instead for us?

RDL answer: di' hēmas

The same thing? Well, how then would one say not just for us but for us men?

RDL answer: di' hēmas

But another word has been added? Shouldn't there be another word in the Greek?

RDL answer: di' hēmas

But there are theological meanings that are then lost. Consider that the first-formed-one is named Adam (man in Hebrew) and is called Man (LXX: anthropos), and Jesus referred to Himself the Son of Man (anthropos), and Paul (1Cor 15:45, Rom 15:12) provides us with inspired theology on the interplay on Adam and Jesus based on this understanding of Man, and ...

RDL answer: di' hēmas

But, look, look at the words: loves-man, philos anthrōpos, philanthrōpos

RDL answer: di' hēmas

But ...


Dn. Anthony


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