The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedThomas J.J. Altizer
Title QuotedNew Apocalyps: The Radical Christian Vision of William Blake
Date (Year/Month/Day)1968/03/26
ImprintAnn Arbro : Michigan State University Press. 1967
QuotationAnd then Hugo Rahner. I have read bits of a new book (Theology of Proclamation). But I come to this: "Through the historical visibility of the Papacy our faith must experience the divinity of the Church and seek it with anxious lov"¦. Loving faith will discover there hidden divinity"¦surrendered to the human element. Only in this most bitter visibility does the invisible become comprehensible." Quite apart from the Church doctrine on the Papacy"”the tone of the statement, the manner, the resonances, make me impatient and suspicious. Most of the time I don't bother about the Papacy one way or another. I accept it and hope for the best. This kind of writing tempts me to active questioning and to doubt. So anyone who does not experience the invisible divinity by looking at Pope Paul is a "gnostic"? Especially if he claims to experience the presence of God somewhere els"”in his own heart for example? How can I believe this does not reflect in Rahner an unconscious bad faith, bred of his Jesuit hangups? A willful effort to convince himself? And to use me to help him do it! The kenoticism of Altizer seems to me more open and more honest. (The Blake book.) [Note 16: Thomas J. J. Altizer's The New Apocalypse: The Radical Christian Vision of William Blake was published by Michigan State University Press (Ann Arbor) in 1967. Merton wrote a review article that appeared in the Sewanee Review 76 (Autumn 1968) and was later included in The Literary Essays of Thomas Merton, edited by Patrick Hart (New York: New Directions, 1982).] But is this whole kenotic thing too much of a mannerism?
JournalThe Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 7, 1967-1968.; Edited by Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1998, p. 72
Link to Merton's Copy