Pieces of Moral and Dogmatic Theology

by Edward N. Haas


Formats

Softcover
£15.25
Softcover
£15.25

Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 2/15/2001

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.25x11
Page Count : 376
ISBN : 9780759611894

About the Book

This is a compilation in which ten works--each too small to be a book on its own--have been gathered together to form jointly the book no one of them can be individually. As the title of the whole suggests, each of the ten works deals with topics of interest to anyone interested in religious things, which is to say the things which connect us to, or disconnect us from, God.

When the human mind leans toward religious things, it mostly goes in one or both of two directions--namely: moral theology and dogmatic theology. From one point of view, moral theology deals with the way we think, talk, and act with regard to self and other humans; whereas, dogmatic theology deals with the way we think, talk, and act with regard to God--particularly with regard to the way He relates to His creatures. For example, whether or not abortion is murder is a question for moral theology; whereas, whether or not Jesus Christ was truly God and man is a question for dogmatic theology.

Dealing with the way we think, talk, and act, both moral and dogmatic theology first tell us what thoughts, words, and deeds are--according to God’s infinitely informed truth as divinely revealed to us--gravely irrational. To say they are gravely irrational is to say their presence in us leads to extremely irrational results, the most devastating of which is an eternally and indescribably obstinate hatred for God’s infinitely informed truth. For that reason, we must try to avoid them far more diligently than we try to avoid anything else. Theology next tries to tell us what thoughts, words, and deeds are--according to God’s infinitely informed truth as divinely revealed to us--gravely important. To say they are gravely important is to say that their absence in us leads to extremely irrational results, the most devastating of which is an eternally and indescribably obstinate hatred for God’s infinitely informed truth. For that reason, we must try to acquire them far more diligently than we try to acquire anything else.

Those, then, are the parameters within which the communications of book are meant to fit. For that reason, some of its passages seek to explain what thoughts, words, and deeds God’s divinely revealed moral teaching tells us either to avoid or to incorporate into our lives; whereas, other passages seek to clarify what thoughts, words, and deeds God’s divinely revealed dogmatic teaching tells us either to avoid or to incorporate into our lives.

Notice the repeated references to God’s divinely revealed teaching. That’s because this book’s communications always seek only to extract by analysis, and to clarify, what is already contained in God’s revealed word; never do this book’s communications seek to introduce a new revelation in no way contained in what was said of old. By way of example, you might say this book is merely a microscope and/or a telescope trying to make it easier for weak eyes to get a better and more instructive view of what is already in front of them. By no means is it an attempt to put in front of others something, which God Himself had not already put there.

To be sure, in the piece about dinosaurs in Genesis and in the piece about the Apocalypse, very cryptic passages from scripture are given very concrete meanings no one could have imagined without the benefit of recent discoveries and recent historical events. So what?! Just because those words were too cryptic to convey their actual meaning until now, that does not deny that they were indeed revealed a long time ago. On the contrary, once it is seen how neatly words thousands of years old fit events only recently realized, it is clear those ancient words have to be a case of divine revelation.

Granted, the meanings herein read into the first and last books of the Bible are so startling and fit the words so neatly, it strongly implies this: In so far as divine revelation is sensible (We are not here talking about the Divine Revelation which goes on in the innermost depths of the individual’s soul and just beyond the veil of consciousness.), it often involves no more than symbols whose critical meaning cannot be grasped without much personal and collective effort. Isn’t that what we ought to imply? After all, does not divine revelation itself assure us that we humans must earn our bread by the sweat of our brows (cf.: Genesis 3:19)?

Come, then, dear reader, and let’s see if perhaps this book can serve as the microscope and/or telescope which makes it much easier for you to become a master of moral and dogmatic theology. Then shall the critical meaning of the symbols be much clearer to you and, hopefully without nearly as much sweat as it cost its author’s brow.


About the Author

Born April 13, 1936, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the author graduated from Jesuit high school, in New Orleans, in 1953. A single fruitless semester studying music at Loyola University of the South in New Orleans was followed by almost two years of floundering in a sea of confusion, and the author then joined the U. S. Air Force on Dec. 7, 1955. Honorably discharged in April of 1960, the author underwent another two and a half years of floundering so severe, he came extremely close to a mental breakdown. In desperation, he gave away everything he owned and, for thirteen years, took to the life of a wandering hermit. In search of as much time and energy as possible for inner reflection upon self, God, and the nature and purpose of reality, he criss-crossed the United States on foot four times. At first, he lived off of whatever food and clothing he could beg; but, after learning how to live on a dollar a day or less, he turned to working at various monasteries in the winter time in exchange for the two to three hundred dollars required to feed and to clothe himself during the next spring, summer, and fall of walking. The monasteries also provided access to libraries in which he could read, and extract notes from, the great writings of the Catholic Church. In the course of that thirteen-year odyssey, there was a four year period during which he refused to speak to anyone (except on very rare occasions) and communicated only by means of written notes.

In August of 1975, the author’s father lost his mind, and the author’s siblings insisted he was the only one in the family with the time and ability to tend to their father in his hour of need. Thus, after thirteen years, the author’s preferred lifestyle came to an end. Dire poverty then gave way to economic independence, and total seclusion gave way to what little privacy can be enjoyed by bachelors who prefer to avoid partying and to stay home and--as much as possible--to bury themselves in as much reading and writing as the world around them will allow.

After his father’s death in 1981, the author took care of his mother until her death in 1996. In this book, the self-educated author of dozens of mostly unpublished books and pamphlets seeks to share with others the avenues of thought down which his mind was lead by thirteen years of heroically intense inner concentration followed by twenty-two years of moderately intense inner concentration.