The Primacy of Christ in the Vision of Edward Holloway

Michael John Galbraith FAITH Magazine January-February 2006

The Unity of Truth

In his Encyclical Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul II reminded us that, “the unity of truth is a fundamental premise of human reasoning... Revelation renders this unity certain, showing that the God of creation is also the God of salvation history. It is the one and the same God who establishes and guarantees the intelligibility and reasonableness of the natural order of things upon which scientists confidently depend, and who reveals himself as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”.[1]

The insistence upon the primacy of Christ within the thought of Fr Edward Holloway ultimately stems from the same philosophical and theological conviction of the unity of Truth as outlined in Fides et Ratio – an essential doctrinal principle in Catholic theology.[2] However sweeping the generalisation might be, the history of theology itself can be summed-up as the succession of various attempts to synthesise the two “wings” of faith and reason into one vision - a history which is itself summarised in broad brush-strokes in Fides et Ratio.[3]

As a part of this historical process, much of modern theology has followed the so-called ‘transcendental’ approach – the appeal to the rationality of faith by an analysis of the being or nature of man. The expectation was that a profound analysis of the inner workings of the human psyche would reveal that man, in his subjective experience, actually finds his fulfilment in the objective content of Revelation; in the person of Christ. Thus it was hoped that the relevance of revealed religion would be upheld in an intellectual culture which was sceptical of any claim to objectivity.

The problem with this transcendental approach has been the rather exclusive attention paid to the phenomena of human experience and the ensuing abandonment of any approach to God and Revelation which takes as its point of departure the objectivity of the created order.[4] In fact, it is not uncommon for the very mention of ‘Natural Theology’, even in Ecclesiastical Universities, to be the cause of academic condescension or even contempt:[5] in the search for God, the arid and abstract discussions of Natural Theology are though to have been successfully superseded by the more sophisticated and nuanced study of Fundamental Theology.

If anything is self-evident in the current climate of Catholic theology, it is the fact that this ‘turn-to-the-subject’, as it is frequently called, has failed to bring a successful synthesis of faith and reason. It has not brought about the renewal of Catholic theology, nor has it had any lasting cultural effect upon the credibility of Christianity. In fact, to the common man-in-the-street, Christianity is more remote than ever. The universal significance of the Incarnation is alien to many a ‘Catholic-in-the-pew’ never mind the ‘man-in-the-street’. Some of the effects of this ‘turn-to-the subject’ are well known to us all: the objective content of revelation and dogma, indeed language itself, has been undermined; the nature of creation has been abandoned as a tool in apologetics; andthe sacraments are often reduced to a one-sided, anthropological conception of ‘encounter’, as opposed to a concrete action of God in history.

Fr Holloway’s unique contribution to the debate has been to work within this transcendental method without abandoning the objectivity of the created order; and he claims to do this by an analysis of man as a ‘being-in-relation’ – not only in relation to others but in relation to the environment in which he lives. His hope was to offer a solution to the crisis in Catholic theology for a modern, scientific age.

The Cause of the Crisis

Now, as many are willing to accept, the root cause of this crisis within Catholic theology has been the failure of the thomistic synthesis in the face of modern science. Following the essentialist metaphysics of Thomism, the intelligibility of matter is maintained by the apprehension of the eternal, immutable (platonic) form of any particular thing by the human mind. The resultant cosmic vision, then, is that of a static and closed conception of the universe - a vision which is at odds with the dynamic and open character of an evolving cosmos, as demonstrated by modern science. The contrast of cosmic visions, or ‘paradigms’, is often presented to theology as a stark choice: uphold the essentialist metaphysics and abandon any pretence to synthesising it with scientific knowledge; orabandon essentialism – and along with it the claim to objectivity in human knowledge - and embrace the scientific age.

Neither of the two options will do. What is self-apparent from the objective claim of Christian Revelation and its cosmic significance is that the objectivity of human knowledge must be upheld: any synthesis of faith and reason will necessarily require an epistemological and metaphysical realism. On the other hand, Catholic theology needs a synthetic apologetic: it must engage with the metaphysical implications of modern, scientific discovery....Truth is one! Here we shall only consider some aspects as to how Fr Holloway sought to synthesise the scientific understanding of the cosmos with the revealed truths of the faith.

Holloway's Method

The aim of Fr Holloway’s transcendental method is to safeguard the philosophical realism of Catholic theology by using the implications of modern science to demonstrate that man, and indeed all matter, is ‘being-in-relation’. That is to say, not just in relation with others (thou – or even Thou!) but in relation to his Environment, as part and parcel of the created order. Consequently, it is futile for man to try and comprehend who he is while ignoring the reality in which he lives, i.e., creation. This has been the fatal undoing of much of modern theology. A closer but more all-encompassing analysis of man in his environment will reveal a Law of Order and Direction. Man will necessarily form a part of this created order and will depend upon it for his material well-being.However, material well-being alone will not suffice to explain his radical power to dominate and control his environment. The unique nature of man will require the further explanation of a distinct spiritual principle within his being: the soul. As a body-soul composite, he must look for another mind which is like or greater than his own in order to find rest for the environment of his soul.

The Idea of the Law

Central to Holloway’s entire synthesis is the Idea of the Law: “the Unity-Law of Control and Direction”. It is important that we do not misconstrue his thought here. Holloway does not use this phrase in a merely poetic or fanciful sense in order to designate the general order of creation and its happy concordance with the fundamentals of salvation history. The Unity-Law of Control and Direction IS creation and salvation history ordered to its one goal in Christ. Just as any law of physics is not simply an equation abstracted from reality by the human mind but truly does re-present reality in itself (if you like, the equation is reality – there is a correspondence between physical reality and its equational notation), so too the Unity-Law of Control and Direction truly‘re-presents’ that which is real, in the literal sense of that word.

This is not to say that Holloway’s philosophical and theological principle of the Unity-Law of Control and Direction is in any way Idealistic, i.e., the logic at play is not that of the a priori to the real. On the contrary, it is the nature of the real, which impresses itself upon the mind of man as ordered and directed, that leads Holloway to conclude that in both creation and Revelation there is one, harmonious law governing all things - albeit in different orders of being.

Briefly summarised, the argument would be: creation itself is ordered and directed by law (and we can prove as much by modern science); Revelation is lawfully ordered and directed to a specific goal in Jesus Christ (and we can prove as much from the investigation of Sacred Scripture). Therefore, we can legitimately pose the question: what if these law-governed principles are simply two aspects of one Unity-Law that holds them in distinction in the order of being but have a dynamic unity of purpose and end in the person of Christ?

Science and the Cosmos

Let us turn first of all to science. The success of modern science (especially physics and biology) has been to offer a vision of the universe as a cosmic equation of energies and entities in one, harmonious state of interdependency. It has been demonstrated that all matter is essentially law-governed, even if it be within the laws of statistical probability at the sub-atomic level. As such, all matter is intrinsically determined. The rhetoric of a few populist writers of science, who speak of ‘ordered chance’ and such like, is itself an intolerable contradiction of the whole scientific enterprise and its achievements.

As we know, the relatedness of one thing upon another, or causation, has long been the subject of scientific enquiry in the biological and chemical sciences (Aristotle is often considered to be the father of Biology, and Chemistry was of particular fascination to the Arabs). Geometry and the nature of motion also have a long and noble history in various cultures, particularly the Greek culture. However, the specific discovery of modern science has been to show that the whole cosmos is one, ordered, equational reality and, therefore, all the sciences are related and appear to be just many branches of the one law of nature. 

This has not always been self-evident. The interrelations between the various disciplines of science have not always been so clearly defined. It is only with the advent of modern physics and cosmology that these relations have become more apparent. In fact, it is precisely because of the philosophical implications of a scientifically demonstrable universe that some scientists of a more atheistic persuasion have shied away from the singular use of ‘universe’ and instead talk of ‘universes’ or a ‘multiverse’, despite the total lack of empirical evidence to back up their claim.[6]

Evolution

The catalyst for this conceptual unity has, of course, been evolution: “[t]his concept has imposed a unity which is truly universal on the diverse data of the sciences”.[7] As Holloway continues, “[b]ehind the claims made for evolution of all matter, including life and mankind, was the urgent prescience of a majestic, sweeping concept which one day would be proved to have worked in and through all departments of being”.[8] Whatever the wrong turns and unjustified claims have been along the way, the bulk of modern science backs up the general principle of evolution and has had profound effects upon our understanding of ‘Nature’ and the philosophy ofscience.

What is now clear is that all matter finds its intelligibility in relation to its environment, and this is particularly evident in animate matter. Removed from the environment in which it lives and moves and has its being, animate matter ceases to be intelligible - it perishes. It comes into existence and is sustained by the interdependent relations of one thing upon another and itself contributes to the harmonious and balanced make-up of its environment.

Thus, the concept of causation, of which science is the observation, is itself altered. Causation means more than an assignable succession of phenomena that can be observed scientifically. The scholastic axiom rings truer than ever: a cause is “‘that which inflows being into something else’. A cause does more than influence the being of another, it makes the other to ‘be-come’, by making being flow into it; it brings it into being as existent. The fact of the interdependence of natures which evolution describes in its very name, manifests the real nature of causality”[9]. For “[e]volution is the synthesis of complex being upon the physical basis of primal energies. The growth and development of thisprocess of coming to be of the complex entity can be initiated and maintained only through inter-action and movement-in-relativity”[10]. This will be of primary importance in re-evaluating the very definition of nature; for ‘nature’ in such a universe can never be wholly static but is always dynamic, always open to development - given the dynamic nature of the causative environment in which each being subsists.

The Ascent of Being

Essential to the concept of evolution, then, is “the perspective of the universe as the unfolding of a cosmic equation of energies, numbers, values, natures, and individual entities”.[11] In the beginning of history, in the initial equation of energies poised together in organisation and potency, all of life is held together in what will be the ordered development of the cosmos from the formation of the first galaxies to the appearance of life. As the ordered development of evolution itself demands, this process will be subject to a law of inter-action, of being and becoming, in which each new entity will find its intelligibility.

This is essentially what Holloway calls the ‘Law of Control and Direction’ and is fundamental to the understanding of all matter in which space and time are only aspects of the one law of development: “[g]reat masses and small, individuals and natures, complex beings and primal elements, they are all, through many an intermediary, members one of another. The universe continues to be woven, and is still a garment woven throughout without seam”.[12] Hence, “nothing created can be its own law of control and direction, ... everything which causes must come into contact with, but not be controlled by that which it effects... [and]... as new and more complex syntheses of being arise by evolution, whether living or non-living, theybecome part of the balanced equation of the creation. In other words, the ascent of evolution is mathematical and equational in principle”.[13]

And here he concludes on the development of material being: “the consummation of this Law in the material order finalises in a unique way in the coming to be of Man”.[14] In man we find the end-point of this ascent of being, an ascent which suffused all the individual laws of the sciences into one Unity-Law of everything; the end-point in man was mathematically determined in this one equation of being. 

The Uniqueness of Man

We cannot dwell here on the unique, spiritual nature of man as Holloway demonstrates in his work. Suffice it to say here that, in creation, man is an anomaly. Belonging to the same order of created matter, he too cannot be the law of his own control and direction. He forms part of the material environment and stands in relation to it, but he does not find his fulfilment in the material environment. Indeed, unlike all other life, he has the peculiar power to dominate and control the environment himself – even destroy it. The equational development of creation appears to reach its pinnacle in man but man is not content with lording it over the rest of creation. Created in the image and likeness of God, principally in the soul, he yearns for more; he yearns for the soul’s trueenvironment which is the love and knowledge of God, for the goal and purpose of all spiritual nature is to rest in God.[15]

The Natural Desire for God

A key concept then in Holloway’s synthesis is the term, ‘God as environment’. If it is true that union with God is the goal and purpose of the personality of man and that God is therefore man’s true environment, then God must minister to the soul the means of life. Just as the animal requires its environment to provide it with the means of existence and, in that environment, finds its intelligibility, so too man must be given his spiritual sustenance by God.

In other words, it is not enough for the spiritual nature to simply ‘desire’ God. There must be some level of possession of God in love. True, the nature of human knowing is always a ‘seeking’ and human loving is always a ‘yearning for more’ – it is a developmental and maturing process – but the spiritual nature cannot love what it does not know. To love God requires the natural possession of God at some level, and the claim being made is that God is naturally the environment of man. “This means that God must reveal himself to the spiritual creature as a necessity of his wisdom, the wisdom that is embodied in the making of man”.[16] It is a necessity in the ontological order; otherwise the law of control and directionin man breaks down – man is unintelligible.

The 'Claim' upon God

So, does this not undermine the free act of Revelation? Is this not a claim upon the being of God? Clearly this cannot be the case. The relationship of man to God, while analogous to the relation of any creature to its environment, is not on the same level of being. God is not relative to the created order and, as such, no created being can make any ‘claim’ upon the being of God. God wills to create and to reveal himself as an act of Divine Charity and so all being is relative to him.

When we say that the revelation of God to man, as environer, is a necessity in the ontological order, we mean that, “the intelligibility of man is related not to the Divine Essence as a claim, but only to the Divine Wisdom, as the principle of meaning for the whole of creation...because the Divine Wisdom and Will that is evident in man must be true to itself”.[17] If the whole material environment reaches its pinnacle in man and man finds his fulfilment in God, then God ‘owes it’ to his own plan, in the order of charity, to make man intelligible by revealing himself to him. The act of Revelation remains a free act, for man has no right or claim over God. However, if God were not to reveal himself, he would be unfaithfulto his plan for man and, indeed, for all of creation.

The Need for Religion

The consequence of this is that God, as the environer of man, “must from the beginning have acted upon man as the necessary means of the seeking and the attainment of human destiny”.[18] The human personality then, as one unity of body and soul, needs religion “because it requires the touch of God upon its inmost substance to fulfil it, and this growing up to fulfilment involves all the faculties of the spiritual being, just as when a child develops, every organ of the body and every faculty of the mind is involved and is correlated in a natural harmony”.[19]

The Personal Dimension

So how is the need for religion or Revelation satisfied? From the very beginning it is the determination of the spiritual powers in the soul of man by God. God acts upon the human spirit as its connatural environment and prompts an ever greater knowledge and love of himself, thus confirming the bonds of personal relationships between God and man and between man and his neighbour. As such, this is simply the application to man of the Unity-Law of Control and Direction to fulfilment of being, through which all creation is framed, as is natural to him. Put simply, the role of religion is “to form the mind and heart in wisdom and in ordered love”.[20]

Religion is therefore a fact of nature and the intellect of man has always been God-dominated. This is precisely why the same intellect, looking into the natural world, saw all things were ordered by measure, number and weight ( Wis 11:21) and inferred the existence of a mind like its own, although much greater in power and the ground of all being. Religious knowledge is just as natural to man as scientific knowledge.[21]

The Social Dimension

Yet, if religion is natural to man, it must affect every aspect of man’s being, not just the personal and inward dimension but the external, social and public spheres. For man, as we have seen, is a unity. We would expect Revelation, then, to be a personal and social reality just as man himself is both personal and social. As God progressively environs man and deepens his personality, it would be natural for man to enshrine his religious nature within the fabric of social life. The offices of priest, prophet and king are just as natural to man as a social and religious being as the leader is in a pack of lions or the elements are in a periodic table. They are values of what is real, of the objective order. Rightly understood, Revelation will then be the continuouswork of God in developing man in all his aspects of being and not a random series of events in history.

Our modern separation of secular values from religious values is therefore utterly foreign to the ontological facts of human nature and is ‘un-Lawful’ or ‘a negation of the Law’. This is clearly demonstrable from the arbitrary nature in which the two ‘value-systems’ are often distinguished. One cannot beat the religious nature of man into the purely private sphere without thereby thwarting the development of man himself. As Holloway puts it, “[t]hese energies of the spirit and of matter that mark off the psyche of man...will burn with a fury that destroys not creates if they are directed away from synthesis in God in whom alone they may find creative outlet, to flare with an angry, heart-aching desire”.[22] The example of the cradle-Catholic who violently rejects his faith is one we all know.

The Cultural Dimension

As culture develops, so too will religion in order that it may answer more adequately the basic problems of human life and to further deepen the synthesis of scientific knowledge with religious knowledge - the principle of evolution is written into the nature of religion, as in all life. The providence of God will see to it that, in times of difficulty and uncertainty, the prophet or the reforming mystic will bring the people back to a synthetic vision.

God-Evoked

In continuity, then, with the developmental, religious nature of man, it is reasonable to expect God to reveal himself in an evolving, purposeful manner. God is obviously at liberty to reveal himself as he sees fit. However, if he remains true to his Divine Will as reflected in the Law, it will not be sufficient for him to raise up religious truth in a sporadic fashion without any line of direction or fulfilment: “if God is the Environer of the soul of man, then from the very beginning of man there must be, within his personality and within the complex of human society a God-evoked and God directed line of spiritual truth, and good, and spiritual authority”.[23]

The content of this revelation will be expressed in human language, in word, if it is to be directed to all mankind but, given that God is the principle of human personality and human fulfilment as Environer, this human word must be a mutual interplay of God and man; it must be actively evoked by God and have its origin in him yet allow for a response. For it is a principle of the Unity-Law of creation that God himself must act and influence man directly; but the word evoked in man directly by God will be open to the process of development as the personality of man deepens and culture itself develops. There would be no need then to set up the Word of God and the word of man in direct opposition in the process of Inspiration. God does not impose his revelationupon the prophet but reveals something to him as a privileged instance of a relationship that already exists with God as Environer.

We can thus maintain that God is the author of Revelation as the one who evokes a response in conversation with the prophet, yet also maintain that the human author is a true author by making full use of his personal, social and cultural knowledge as he seeks to write the Revelation down. Inspiration in this sense would not be direct dictation but part and parcel of the workings of the one Law of God’s plan. As Holloway puts it, “this evocation should not be the arbitrary work of God, but part of the operation of the Unity-Law that begins with the poising of the universe, and is taken up into God the Environer in the creation of the spiritual creature...there will be a bursting forth into cultural history of a uniquely sober and true Religion of God and of Man...for allmankind”.[24]

Sacred Scripture

So what of the Bible? It too bears witness to this principle of law-full development. In the Old Testament we do see the gradual building-up of the Revelation of Yahweh as I-am-who-am within a covenantal relationship with Israel. In the growth in knowledge and love of God, Israel develops as a religious and cultural reality deeply ingrained with the fundamental insights of God as the one creator who is infinite love itself and holds all things in being. The love of God for his creation, and particularly for man as the good pinnacle of all creation, is made manifest through the saving intervention of God in history. Slowly but surely, Israel is prompted to expect the fullness of God’s Revelation in the one and definitive prophet who is to come.

This entire covenantal process is the vocation of every individual in his personal, social and cultural reality. “This we must require of a religion which fulfils the Unity-Law of creation for mankind. It is not optional, it is part of the stuff of creation, it is ontological, functional, of the destiny of man and of the destiny of the universe”.[25]

It is only right and fitting that in this process greater time and attention be paid to fundamental principles of the nature of God and the meaning of creation and man, particularly with the advent of sin. It will be far wiser and truer to the nature of man to allow the essentials of the content of faith to ‘sink in’ so that human culture itself becomes imbued with the truth of Revelation. It is only when a culture becomes sufficiently imbued with these principles that it will be able to recognise the direction of Revelation towards the revelation of God in person. It is obvious when we think about it. A culture that equivocates over the first principles and, say, identifies matter with the principle of evil would be incapable of accepting the Incarnation; just as a culture infected withpantheism would see no requirement for the Incarnation in the first place – nor any Revelation! In this sense, the words of Jesus directed to his uneducated but faithful Jewish followers were particularly apt: “Father, I thank you for you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned and revealed them to mere children” (Mt 11, 25).

Indeed, with regard to the historical development of philosophy and science we know it to be the case that it was the doctrine of the Fall, which is peculiar to the Judeo-Christian faith, which enabled the Christian culture to maintain an ontological distinction between matter and evil in the face of cultural opposition. Christian culture did not succumb to the fatalism of the Greeks. The scientific enterprise was still a worthy one, given that God’s creation was good and reflected his will. Likewise, it was the process of Revelation and the Incarnation of the Word that maintained a vision of unity, purpose and direction.[26]

Put simply, in the gradual revelation of God in Sacred Scripture the emphasis was placed upon He-who-IS and from there was developed the whole cosmic vision of creation and Revelation – “set your hearts first on the Kingdom of God and on his saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well” (Mt 6: 33).

The Incarnation

For Holloway, the Incarnation is the summit of the creative action of the Word of God in Revelation and the summit of the entire Unity-Law of Control and Direction. Everything else in Revelation forms part of this line of developmental potential which has its fulfilment in Christ, the Word made flesh – made flesh in order that the Law may be true to itself and bring the material and spiritual nature of man into unity and communion with God, for that is man’s end.

Thus, God becomes the Environer in the physical order because all of creation was made in, through and for (unto) him. Matter itself is only fully intelligible in the light of the Incarnation as the instrument through which God would reveal himself to man. It is not at all anachronistic within this Unity-Law of all things to interpret the Old Testament in the light of the New. Indeed, as Holloway would put it, ‘it must needs be the case’. From the very beginning of Revelation it has been the one Word of God evoking in the mind of man a word of response, now in letter, now in word-pictures, now in types and symbols. How else do we explain the remarkable parity between the types and shadows of the Old Testament and the life and death of the Christ? From Adam to Christ allRevelation is therefore Incarnational in principle.

Messianism and Apologetics

The messianic nature of Revelation would therefore be intrinsic to it, if it is to be the principle of control and direction from God over human life and destiny. For, “to say that a religion is ‘messianic’ and to say that it is ‘evolutionary’ or ‘developmental’ is one and the same thing”.[27]

It was the conviction of Edward Holloway that the future demonstration of the credibility of the Christian faith will depend upon this idea of a Divine Environing of human destiny and its gradual unfolding in a messianic faith. The truth of Revelation will need to prove itself by demonstrating the need for its existence. Apologetics based solely upon an apparently arbitrary series of miracles will not suffice, for they render the whole developmental process of creation as irrelevant to salvation. Rather, the need for a Messiah must be intrinsic to the nature of creation as the mind of God controlling and directing everything unto himself.

The Church and the Apocalypse

Here also we find the true meaning of the Church as the predestined continuation of the Incarnation – the eco-system of God’s life and love for man lived out in her sacramental worship. In the one economy of creation and salvation, we would expect the Church as the full environing of man in his personal, social and cultural dimensions with the infallible authority of God. The absence of this continuity would render the Incarnation and the destiny of man as unintelligible. Strictly speaking, in such a vision it would be nonsensical to pose the question, “does the Church have anything to say to the modern world?” Of course it does! We can only proclaim, in unity with the early Christians, that “the world was made for the Church” (C.C.C. 760).

Finally, “if the Religion of God is to be fully adequate to the individual and social nature of man, it must be apocalyptic”.[28] That is to say, that it must be capable of vaguely anticipating the future and final destiny of all creation in Christ. The promise of eschatological fulfilment would naturally, then, affect the life and liturgy of the Church – what else do we see in the book of the Apocalypse but the longing for the heavenly Jerusalem (the Church) in the glory of all the saints?

Conclusion

When we know that the ultimate end of man is in the very life of God, we can view the entire universe and all its laws, from the symmetry of the elements to the Incarnation of Christ, as part of one evolutionary Providence or Divine Wisdom.

If this is so, we would expect to see this consummation in Christ foreshadowed in the nature of Revelation. This is indeed observable in the Bible - uniquely so - for it gives us a ‘Law of Finalism’ without ambiguity in its growth and development. It is conscious of this development in its messianic expectation.

If God is faithful to his plan for man, we would expect that God reveal himself in a manner which is intelligible to his nature. This he does in the Incarnation of his only Son “whose claim was Divinity, and whose personality and character draws the souls of good men as their true magnet in a love that is tender, but strong, and all-surrendering”.[29]

This is an exciting vision; exciting because it inspires the mind with its simplicity, and yet is bold in its all-encompassing synthesis of truth unto the person of Jesus Christ. Is not God himself a god who is one, true, beautiful and utterly simple?

It is our belief that, until theology takes such a christocentric vision fully on board and synthesises it with the world of modern science, there will be little genuine renewal of theology and the primacy of Christ will continue to be foreign to the hearts and minds of the people.

[1] Fides et Ratio 34.

[2] DH 3017. See also the Introduction to Fides et Ratio.

[3] Fides et Ratio 36-48.

[4] Hence, it is not surprising to read that, in theology in general, “creation has been off the theological agenda” – which is all the more unusual given that “[c]osmologists write books almost every month, it seems, arguing that the form and content of the physical universe display an elegance and delicate balance which suggest that it has an intelligent creator.” D. Fergusson, The Comsos and the Creator: An Introduction to the Theology of Creation (London: SPCK, 1998), 2.

[5] The most devastating effect of this has been upon catechesis, especially when dealing with the creation accounts in Revelation: “the creation account is noticeably and nearly completely absent from catechesis, preaching and even theology”. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, ‘In the beginning...’: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1995) ix.

[6] Cf., the discussion on the subject by Stanley Jaki in, Is there a Universe? (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1993).

[7] Edward Holloway, Catholicism: a new synthesis (Surrey: Faith Keyway Publications, 1976) 36.

[8] Ibid., 37.

[9] Ibid., 41.

[10] Ibid., 42.

[11] Ibid., 43.

[12] Ibid., 44.

[13] Edward Holloway, “The Word most certain and sure in all its ways”, 6. An article written for Faith Symposium, Chigwell Convent 1998 – as yet unpublished.

[14] Holloway, Catholicism, 44.

[15] “The being of man comes just as rigidly under the Law of relativity unto finality, but man is not relative only to matter, man is relative unto God. ...passes to a new order, in the unity of the one principle of finalism, the order in which God in person is the Principle of the Law, the centre of the determination to fulfilment, God takes up the Law into himself, becoming to man the environment, or better the Environer”. Ibid., 107

[16] Ibid., 107

[17] Ibid., 108/9.

[18] Ibid., 116.

[19] Ibid., 117.

[20] Ibid., 117.

[21] In fact, the knowledge of matter is easy for the soul of man, for matter is open to control and direction by mind. Cf. Ibid., 110.

[22] Ibid., 118.

[23] Ibid., 122.

[24] Ibid., 127.

[25] Ibid., 136.

[26] That this is historically the case with the development of modern science is extensively and convincingly argued by Stanley Jaki. The Christian cultural matrix was conducive to the impartial, empirical observation of the material realm for the dogmas of creation and Incarnation offered the intellectual stimulus to perceiving order and finality in the universe without thereby confusing matter with Divine Being. Cf., Stanley Jaki, Cosmos and Creator (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1980).

[27]Holloway, Catholicism, 138.

[28] Ibid., 142.

[29] Ibid., 153.

Faith Magazine

January - February 2006