A Keyhole for Unbelievers? The Public Character of Cultus and the Broadcasting of the Mass on TV

Our next monthly meeting will be held on Friday, May 8th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. We will be discussing “A Keyhole for Unbelievers? The Public Character of Cultus and the Broadcasting of the Mass on TV” by Robert Spaemann from the Fall-Winter 2018 (Volume 45.3-4) issue of Communio entitled “Peace and Homo Viator”. The PDF can be downloaded from here.
Even though the article is short, given it’s timeliness, I’m sure it will generate plenty of discussion. Nevertheless, a related article by Spaemann entitled “What Makes Persons Persons?” is an optional reading that we may or may not end up discussing.

Here is an excerpt from the Introduction to the issue:
In Retrieving the Tradition, we publish two of Robert Spaemann’s works. First, in “What Makes Persons Persons?,” Spaemann begins from the paradox that the dignity of the person as irreducible to any other, or as “end-in-himself,” is manifested above all in his self-offering service of his community. The reason why this is so, he argues, is that the reference to another belongs to the ontological wholeness and distinctiveness of each person, for persons “can understand themselves as part of the world of another.” On this basis, he reflects on our primitive sense of our neighbor’s worthiness to be loved, disclosed in an exemplary way by the mother, before whom the child learns his own dignity. “She says ‘you’ to the child, she treats it as a small person and only because she will treat the child already as a person will it become what it was from the beginning and what she regards it as from the beginning.” Next, Spaemann’s 1954 “A Keyhole for Unbelievers? The Public Character of Cultus and the Broadcasting of the Mass on TV” examines particular media in light of his understanding of art’s sacramental structure of self-transcendence and what cultus publicus truly means for the Church.

Location: Due to the pandemic, we will NOT be meeting in the Kateri Room located at St. Michael’s Church, 240 Hemlock Street, Waterloo, Ontario. Instead, we will be meeting via an interactive live-stream.

Here are some links I was asked to share after the last meeting:

Andrew Willard Jones writes here:
that last month’s article was written in response to the following:

March 2019 talk “Theology and Human Rights: Conflict & Convergence” by Rowan Williams:

Catholic Ironies by Andrew Willard Jones (Review of George Weigel’s The Irony of Modern Catholic History):

Note: We had considered holding a study day on David Bentley Hart’s book That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation at the end of May. However, we have decided to postpone it, possibly until July. I will keep you posted.

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