Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alice von Hildebrand takes on Christopher West in 36 Pages

In a CNA exclusive, Alice von Hildebrand takes on the Theology of the Body cheerleader Christopher West in a 36 page essay titled Dietrich von Hildebrand, Catholic Philosopher, and Christopher West, Modern Enthusiast:Two Very Different Approaches to Love, Marriage and Sex.

From the Introduction
It is a joy to praise a great book or author; it is a grief and duty to criticize a bad one. But it is especially difficult to criticize someone who has many talents, whose work has positive sides, but which also suffers from certain faults, calling for correction. Such is the case with Christopher West, with his popular presentation of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”

As gifted as he is—and as much as I appreciate all the good he has done for the Church—West’s work continues to fall short in many respects. He has sometimes misunderstood the authentic Catholic tradition; overlooked or disregarded essential aspects of it; and promoted a new form of religious “enthusiasm” which can best be described as wayward. Monsignor Ronald Knox, who critiqued this attitude so well in his book Enthusiasm, was a prophet, recognizing such outbursts as recurring phenomena in the history of the Church, characteristic of easily misguided movements for which we should always be on the watch.


I am not a hugh Christopher West fan and from the early looks of it, I will likely be agreeing with von Hildebrand.

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