Does John Milbank read the Remnant?

I once pointed out the irony of using Charles Taylor to defend Christopher Ferrara (which I had been doing up to a point) given the radically different intellectual worlds which they seem to inhabit. So it was with some surprise and delight that I noticed that Ferrara’s latest book has a blurb from–of all people–John Milbank. Somehow one doesn’t picture the left-leaning, Anglican theologian à la mode Milbank actually reading the sort of American trad. polemicist who actually writes for The Remnant. Apparently, Ferrara also quotes Milbank a good amount in the book itself. Excellent, Sancrucensis says to himself;   the strategy of uniting the anti-liberal insights of the 19th century popes with that of those intellectuals “on the left and the right [who] have all taken their cue from […] Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue” (to borrow a phrase from Mark Lilla) is one that has my approval. 

4 thoughts on “Does John Milbank read the Remnant?

  1. If Milbank is so Catholic why is he still an Anglican? Women’s ordination and the recognition of gay sex, unions is the reason. Have you not noticed that he and his friend Rowan are parasites on Catholic theology? Their reading of it is distorted by a sort of English sub-Hegelianism but their aim is political. It has always been to act as spoilers of the Catholic Church in favour of liberal causes like women’s ordination. Why do they never write about Anglican theology? Simply being anti liberal (whatever that is) and using all the right nouns ( like Trinity) does not make you a Catholic theologian. Theology comes from the Petrine Church (not the Anglican para-Church) and the function of the theologian is not to entertain but to help us all understand better what the Church teaches and has always taught. if you want someone who really tackled with liberalism, read Newman.


    • I agree that Newman really tackled liberalism, and, in fact, in the epilogue to a paper on Newman (read note 532), I have raised some of your concerns w/r/t Milbank. Nevertheless, there is nothing to prevent Anglicans like Milbank from having valid insights which (to use Lumen Gentium’s phrase) “as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.” Newman, after all, began his critique of liberalism as an Anglican, and his insights then lead him to see that the Petrine Church is indeed the Church of Christ.

      (PS: it’s not true that Milbank and Rowan Williams never write on Anglican theology. Check out Williams on Hooker, and Milbank on Williams.)


  2. Pingback: John Milbank vs Mark Lilla on the Theologico-Political Problem | Sancrucensis

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