Monday, November 26, 2012

Theology word clouds: "Predestination" in the Catholic Encyclopedia

New Advent has a hugely helpful resource: the text of the Catholic Encyclopedia. (Just because I'm not Roman Catholic, that doesn't mean I'm ungrateful for the work and the resource, or won't give credit where it is due.) A few years back I did a "word cloud" project of the New Testament and its books. Part of the long-range goal of that project was to compare systematic theologies to the Bible at the summary level. Here is my first preview of the kinds of things that will become apparent. This word cloud is for the entry on Predestination in the Catholic Encyclopedia. -->
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We see some trends we might have predicted from the source being Roman Catholic: it mentions "merit" more than "justification", and "works" more than "faith". I was a little surprised to see "Augustine" mentioned more than "Christ". But that's the kind of thing that all kinds of groups do, when they discuss predestination: there is a tendency to look at Augustine and to lose sight of Christ. This is not meant to pick on the church of Rome; I hope to build a full set of these for all kinds of systematic theologies before I am done. But I was reading the handy article on predestination recently, and thought it would be a good place to start.

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