When not to Forgive: Lessons from the Donatists

by Charles André van Loo, date unknown

The Donatists judged that reunion with the Catholics would entail a new domination by the crumbling Roman Empire. They refused to forgive, refused to share authority and a political world with Roman agents who claimed to want only peace but had historically engaged in political domination in the region. The question that Augustine’s letters present is this: could they forgo ‘sharing authority’ while preserving the charitable affect of dwelling in a shared world? Generally speaking charity does not demand agreement or the fusion of horizons, certainly not in the face of an unforgiveable scandal.

Snark Polemics and Contrite Fallibilism

Most people who know me in person would at least consider using the term “snarky” in their description of me, which is why John Barnes’ polemic against “snark” troubled me so:  It’s a currently fashionable powerful rhetorical weapon that allows the uninvolved and the never-to-be-involved to discredit people who do, or attempt – anything at… Continue reading Snark Polemics and Contrite Fallibilism

Charity as a Flight from Politics

Part 1: Forgiveness and the Problem of Irreversibility Part 2: Forgiveness as a Manifestation of Divine Charity Part 3: A Duty to Forgive? Part 4: Prejudice as the Crystallization of Judgments Part 5: Charity as a Flight from Politics Part 6: Publicity without Politics Auden’s criticisms of Arendt explicily call for a flight into the invisible and eternal world, which comes… Continue reading Charity as a Flight from Politics

Prejudice as the Crystallization of Judgments

Part 1: Forgiveness and the Problem of Irreversibility Part 2: Forgiveness as a Manifestation of Divine Charity Part 3: A Duty to Forgive? Part 4: Prejudice as the Crystallization of Judgments Part 5: Charity as a Flight from Politics Part 6: Publicity without Politics In order for us to understand Arendt’s “prejudice against charity” properly, we must evaluate her idiosyncratic understanding… Continue reading Prejudice as the Crystallization of Judgments

Forgiveness as a Manifestation of Divine Charity

Part 1: Forgiveness and the Problem of Irreversibility Part 2: Forgiveness as a Manifestation of Divine Charity Part 3: A Duty to Forgive? Part 4: Prejudice as the Crystallization of Judgments Part 5: Charity as a Flight from Politics Part 6: Publicity without Politics Having been especially moved by Arendt’s depiction of forgiveness, W. H. Auden wrote a glowing review of… Continue reading Forgiveness as a Manifestation of Divine Charity