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The Catholic Tradition Podcast: 140 – Let’s Get Actual


Aug 19, 2022

Joshua Hren, creator of fiction, non-fiction and poetry,
editor-in-chief of Wiseblood Books, and co-founder of a brand new Grasp
of Fantastic Arts program in inventive writing on the College of St.
Thomas in Houston, returns to the podcast to debate his latest
essay, Contemplative Realism: A Theological-Aesthetical

As ever, however particularly in our
current age of raging post-truth unreality, we must heed Pope
Benedict XVI’s summons to “ask fairly extra fastidiously what ‘the
actual’ truly is.” So-called “realism,” when relegated to materials
tangibilities, can blind us—as a substitute of binding us—to issues as they
are. “Are we not within the cosmos anymore?” Benedict asks.
“Are we at this time actually hopelessly huddled in our personal little circle?
Is it not necessary, exactly at this time, to hope with the entire of
creation?” If this preeminent thoughts of our time will not be improper, and
“the person who places to at least one facet the truth of God is a realist solely
in look,” then we must ask with unflinching depth and
openness: what’s actual? Like liturgy, literature asks this query
with a spread of varieties that reply it very in another way. At occasions,
each artwork and worship appear to devolve into the manners and temper of
self-referential and inconsequential play, gestures with out
which means, or “financial institution notes” (says Benedict) “with out funds to cowl
them.” These too-closed circles of communication wall off
transcendence. In dwelling cruciform liturgy—quite the opposite—“the
congregation doesn’t supply its personal ideas or poetry however is taken
out of itself and given the privilege of sharing within the cosmic music
of reward of the cherubim and seraphim.” In dwelling contemplative
literature one thing analogous occurs: we undergo and reward with
the entire of creation; the prose cultivates a grateful disposition,
prompting us to yearn for a imaginative and prescient of the entire.

However this manifesto on behalf of
a “contemplative realism” makes no claims to create, ex nihilo, a brand new aesthetical species. Nor
does it advance this tough college of literary fish as some
preeminent or sole “approach ahead” for fiction in our time. Fairly,
it seeks to articulate a literary strategy that exists already in
diffuse books in addition to within the potencies of dwelling artists. It
seeks to assemble and impress these souls. Greater than something, it
yearns to quicken a contemplative realist disposition amongst as many
comers as potential—literary chops or no. For, in a really unhealthy approach (to
borrow from Josef Pieper), “man’s skill to see is in
(Writer’s description)

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Learn a brief model of the manifesto

Purchase the total model of Contemplative Realism

Wiseblood Books

MFA program in inventive writing at UST

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