Nominalism etc. for dummies

John Milbank has a nice clear article for popular consumption on the Church as an organic union of divine and human aspects. The piece goes into nominalism, voluntarism, William of Ockham and what not else, and explicitly says that the mixed and organic nature of the Church should serve as a guide to secular as well as church polities. If he wants to call such views “socialism” and take a swipe at Margaret Thatcher it’s OK with me, we all have our quirks.

He presents his view in opposition to one proposed by the Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, Marilyn McCord Adams, to the effect that “the best model for the human institutional side of the Church is not the organic body, but the [liberal] secular state.” He’s quite genteel in his treatment of the lady, they’re part of the same church and guild and she’s extremely well-placed, so he attributes her views on such matters to her “scholarly interests.” Inside dope from an Old Yalie [search about 3/5th the way down] suggests that those interests may have an extra-scholarly point, at least if black leather bondage-wear as clerical attire counts as extra-scholarly. In today’s academy, though, who knows?

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