The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #113: Tradition

General Introduction
– The Christian Feminist Podcast
– Christian Humanist Profiles
– The once and future host

Tradition and Roman Law
– Intangible inheritances
– Tradition as betrayal
– To translate is to betray
– The Roman Catholic meaning

Tradition vs. Progress
– A function of the Enlightenment
– An improvement on inheritance
– Where does progress go wrong?
– Progress from a perspective
– Saving Hegel from the Hegelians
– Burke’s traditionalist progress

Traditional vs. Contemporary
– Whose tradition? Which century’s tradition?
– Plugging in
– The Baby Boomers and their heirs
– Those young polyphonous upstarts!
– An awful Charles Wesley lyric
– Hymnals and Power Point

Traditional vs. Conservative
– Social and economic institutions
– Neo-conservatism and paleo-conservatism
– Stipulative definitions
– Anti-communism
– The death of conservatism?
– Global capitalism and tradition

Perspectives on Tradition
– MacIntyre the anti-antiquarianist
– Matthew Arnold, the philistines, and the barbarians
– Gadamer’s streams of tradition

Tradition and Globalization
– Returning to church music
– Mass broadcasting and local traditions
– The power is yours
– Post-colonialism and the New Left
– Former globalizations
– Tradition vs. good tradition

Tradition and the Life of Faith
– A wider, longer view of tradition
– The Bible and other books
– The specter of syncretism

2 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #113: Tradition

  1. Great episode!  A few etymological notes (because what else is a philologist going to comment on…)
    The French traduction and traduire, if I’m not mistaken, go back to the Latin transduco, which at its root means “to lead across.”  This has a common ancestor with our “traduce” though the French don’t seem to use traduire in the sense of betray.
    The modern French word for “betray” is trahir, which apparently comes from trado, the same verb that gives us tradition. As you all noted, we apparently used to use tradition in that same negative sense (I didn’t know that!).
    The negative connotations of the Latin verb trado (from trans+dare, to give over, or to give across) go back a long time.  Cicero apparently uses the word to mean treachery, and the Donatist controversy in the early 4th Century was sparked by a group of traditores, that is clergy who handed over sacred books.  That said, it wasn’t exclusively negative. 
    You’re notes one the Greek παράδοσις (paradosis) were spot on: it’s a very similar in formation to trado. One further note: though we have a critique of tradition in the Gospels, they’re not at all negative in the Epistles.  One thing that annoys me is how the NIV84 handle the word is that they use different words depending on whether a paradosis is good or bad.  So when Jesus castigates the Pharisees, Jesus attacks them for relying on the “traditions of man.”  On the other hand, when Paul instructs his churches to “hold to the paradoseis I gave to you,” the old NIV84 translated paradoseis as “teachings” rather than “traditions.” Fortunately that’s been rectified in the update.

  2. Alex P Did I fail to note the positive use of paradosis in the epistles?  If so, that was surely an oversight–you’re right that it’s a word whose ethical and rhetorical weight depend on variables beyond the lexicon, and I’m a bit ashamed if I neglected that point in the episode.

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