Preliminary Perspective on Sister Malone's Book

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I should have guessed as much given the title with "Labyrinth" as a keyword. But putting that aside, I thought perhaps there would be something here for me. However, at every turn I bump up against one or more absurdities--things I shouldn't mind so much, but do.

For example, about twenty pages into the book Sister Malone gives us an outline of the history of reading. And what to my wonder eyes should appear but the date of 1000 C.E. I know it is a little thing, but why can't a nun, one sworn and betrothed to Christ, run against the PC culture and call it what it is--Anno Domini A.D. It is no more a common era than it is anything else. This was simply a PC disguise for the fact that the world's dominant cultures date all things from the appearance of one Man who was also God. That appearance that we honor this evening and tomorrow is dishonored by caving in, for whatever reasons, to the idiocy of academia.

I'm sure I will find other sore points as I continue. Perhaps I would do better were I to forget that this is supposedly one of Christ's Brides, and think of her rather as a curmudgeonly old lady professor who, like Harriet Vane, has something to prove by what she writes. I'll try that and let you know how it goes.

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I don't think she's being PC. I think she's being professional. She's accepting that her audience may include others from the non-"dominant culture". After all, her Spouse was from the non-dominant culture.

I admire religious writers who use non-sectarian language (if that's the right expression for BCE/CE). It shows me that they hope that their work will reach people of different faiths, people they do not wish to offend.

If a modern author uses BC/AD, I tend to make a judgement about her work. I assume that it is addressed only to Christians, or that she doesn't really care what non-Christians think of her work.

Why not think of Common Era as using "common" in its role as adjective for "community", as in Common Room? Or does that smack of Harriet Vane just too, too much? ;)

Merry Christmas, Steven.

Dear Talmida,

Thanks for the note, but we'll just continue to diagree here. But I do appreciate the courtesy of another view.

I hope your Christmas season is indeed bright and beautiful.



At one newer Church I went to on the adjacent Catholic school building it said in large letters 2000 C.E.

The use of C.E. by Christians is I believe a surrender to the culture. If people are so easily offended by A.D. then shouldn't they also be offended that C.E. and O.D. start from the same event? This is of the same mindset of the French Enlightenment where days and months and even the length of the week were changed to remove any reference to Christianity. Common Era will probably also go the way of the revolutionary calendar.

Dear Jeff,

You aptly summarize my thoughts and in the last lines, my hopes as well.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 24, 2004 7:59 PM.

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