01 January 2012

An insight from MacIntyre

"...the adherents of a tradition which is now in this state of fundamental and radical crisis [in context, a 'a state of epistemological crisis'] may at this point encounter in a new way the claims of some particular rival tradition, perhaps one with which they have for some time coexisted, perhaps one which they are now encountering for the first time. They now come or had already come to understand the beliefs and way of life of this other alien tradition, and to do so they have or have had to learn...the language of the alien tradition as a new and second first language.

When they have understood the beliefs of the alien tradition, they may find themselves compelled to recognize that within this other tradition it is possible to construct from the concepts and theories peculiar to it what they were unable to provide from their own conceptual and theoretical resources, a cogent and illuminating explanation--cogent and illuminating, that is, by their own standards--of why their own intellectual tradition had been unable to solve its problems or restore its coherence...

In this kind of situation the rationality of tradition requires an acknowledgement by those who have hitherto inhabited and given their allegiance to the tradition in crisis that the alien tradition is superior in rationality and in respect of its claims to truth to their own."

Alasdair MacIntyre, "Whose Justice? Which Rationality?" pp. 364f

MacIntyre succinctly captures my journey from Lutheranism to the Orthodox Church.

From a hot summer day in 1984 when layfolk participated in an ordination, to the 2004 convention of the LCMS when, for the first time, the non-ecclesial nature of the Synod was clearly visible to me...from the Good Friday afternoon in 1987 to the afternoon of July 23, 2005 when I was chrismated--I gradually came to see that things in Lutheranism which initially annoyed were, rather, signs of systemic brokenness and decay; and that things in the Church which initially struck me as fragments of truth and beauty were, in fact, part of a consistent and complete whole which could no longer be denied.

All this I write, not to offend Lutheran friends, but to serve as a monument for my own memory.

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