The other day I was reading some more Radical Orthodoxy. Milbank was faulting Scotus for arguing for the Immaculate Conception because it meant he could not appreciate fully the christmas carol "o felix culpa." He also said (apparently reviving the 19th century fantasies of Kleutgen or Stockl) that Scotus's views on the Incarnation amounted to having a series of predicates with nothing but the world to inhere in (though he did not make Kleutgen's follow up inference that this meant Scotus was a pantheist). Best of all, while allowing that the term "transubstantiation" predates the council of Trent, he claimed that the term "real presencef" dated to 1550. Moving on, Pickstock was so incensed by the Formal distinction that the only way she could detail the absolute horror and unease it introduced into metaphysics was to chronicle changes in bathing practice from the classical, medieval, and victorian eras (In true RO style I shall give only vague references to these opinions. Cf. Milbank, Being Reconciled, p. 3-300, Pickstock ).
Reflecting upon these matters, I was struck by the similarity to the Underpants gnomes. When the children ask the gnomes why they steal people's underpants, they respond in their cute high-pitched voices, "stage 1: steal underpants. Stage 2: ? Stage 3: Profit!!" Radical Orthodoxy's method works very much the same way. Stage 1: Scotus says something that Aquinas does not. Stage 2: ? stage 3: Modernity! Holocaust of Nihilism! For the "?" one must imagine the little gnome shrugging his shoulders and making a questioning, wordless, utterance.
In light of these matters, I have made certain RESOLUTIONS:
1. Every post (few as they shall be, don't worry) that shall treat of Radical Orthodoxy shall be labelled as "Humor", due to the unscholarly, unhistorical, obscurantist (even, dare I say, gnomic) character of their work.
2. Therefore, I shall open the polls for a new name, more accurately characterizing the movement (recall Scott Carson's recent post on RO's relation to traditional sexual ethics when you vote, or the fact that Pickstock plagiarized her own 2003 article and republished it with minor modifications in 2005..."in doing so" became "in so doing" and "abiding nature" became "binding nature", just some of the 30 pages of gems).
Here are list I have come up with so far, though I am open to further suggestions:
1. "Radical" Orthodoxy
2. Radical "Orthodoxy"
3. "Radical Orthodoxy"
4. The Cambridge Fantasists
Personally, I tend towards 4 or 5. I am a little uncomfortable with 4, however, as it almost gives them a respectible sheen from the Oxford fantasist, ie., JRR Tolkien. I'll admit, they have certain similarities. Both engaged in subcreation of a world that never existed, but wished it did. Both invented their own languages for their characters to speak, and so on. But only one would admit, in the end, that it was fiction so think I'll finally go with 5.
A final note: In my quest to understand the true nature of the movement, I asked a collegue "Why 'Radical'"? She responded, "Because they're not Presbyterian!"