Thursday, February 12, 2009

Radically Lame

Sentences like the following have sucked the pleasure out of reading Radical Orthodoxy and the Reformed Tradition (p. 76):
Second, knowledge is expressed most adequately in formal definition, by which the universal nature of the concrete material substance under consideration is conceived as a predicate constituted by the genus or general kind to which the concrete material substance belongs and a specific difference or differentiating property that the concrete material substance possesses and that specifies further the substance's identity in kind. [source]
Yep - one sentence. Now, only because I studied a little Aristotle in college does that sentence vaguely approximate intelligibility - and that after reading it about five times. But really, is this the real cash value of the Academy: the ability to make a living writing impenetrable prose?

Truth be told, I haven't given up on the book. Some of the essays in there are great. Jamie Smith's piece on the RadOx version of Plato hit the nail on the head, methinks. And I really enjoyed Milbank's discussion of Calvin, but I don't know how much more language in the vein of Sweetman (above) I can take before I give up.