The Feast of Corpus Christi
Not unrelated our recent discussion in the nature of Scripture's authority in relationship to "tradition," which is actually a question of how the believing and bible-reading community works in the interpretation of texts.
What does tradition mean, and what is it for? I posted this on Alan's blog:
I would say that Jesus was criticizing the obedience to human tradition that has set itself up against scripture. It doesn't look to me like a case of Jesus saying, "You guys shouldn't have traditions, you should read the Bible instead."What do you think about that kind of definition, and sense of tradition's "authority"? Mind you that I'm not suggesting by any means that there are somehow two "streams" of authority, Bible and Tradition, with one pitted against the other. (Remember that particularly in debates like this, sometimes what isn't said is as important as what is.)
On an important level, "tradition" is the history of the church's bible reading, it's attempts to be faithful to the text (and moreover the god to whom it attests!) throughout history. We continue to tweak our traditions of theology and praxis as we go back to the text and always try to read it together with the opened eyes and burning hearts he gives to us.
For my own, kinda-protestant, kinda-catholic purposes, I'd define "Tradition" as those readings which are permanantly privileged, e.g. the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, the Chalcedonian Definition - just for a start.
On a practical level for me, it means I have to have dialogue with the Fathers and all kinds of people (even the Reformers!) to some degree as I consider what the Scriptures "mean" just as I must do so with my own local, covenented, sacramentally-bound community.
Also, Alan has asked a direct and perhaps challenging question you might want to go tangle with:
If in the Bible, it NEVER says that it (the Bible) is the sole authority in life and doctrine, then how is it that many of us believe such a thing?Go get all up in that.