Looking for a really dry text

I’m looking for the driest text of manualistic moral theology you’ve ever read. I writing something for a course and I want to make a side point about manualists being dry. I want to quote a paragraph but although I’ve read some dry stuff, I want the driest possible.


Ratzinger’s ‘Building Stones of Catholic Theology’ is pretty dry…great, but dry

That would be counterproductive - my point is to show earlier and current theology (such as Ratzinger) is more interesting that obtuse manualism.

I think that is a point of personal interpretation and not fact. I am not sure what your point would be or if it would even be accurate.

Read the Fathers, medievals (Aquinas), manualists (especially on spiritual theology), and moderns like Ratzinger and von Balthasar. The manualists are the driest, most obtuse, and most boring. My point is that we need to step back before them to understand spiritual theology. I’ve read a few and they were boring but I can’t remember them.

Boring or dry is a matter of personal preference. :shrug: Perhaps you could simplify what the point of this exercise is. That theologians should take a creative writing class?

When you say things like Aquinas is boring dry and obtuse that is a subjective point. And one that may not be the same for everyone.:shrug:

The point is that they tend to get too abstract when talking about virtue so it is dry and hard to apply. Even Tanquerrey (who I like and sometimes use for reference) errs in this direction. I remember reading an author or 2 who were far worse though.

I guess I struggle with the idea that your opinion of the texts or maybe even many people you know who have opinions of the texts can be thought of differently by others. I know some people who read Twain and literally fall our of their chairs laughing, and others who cannot make it through a book because it is dry. I guess what we are talking about is taste. And I do not have any other suggestions, but I would caution against a couple of things. Sometimes “abstract, or dry writings” retain the true points better than other styles of presenting the information. So, my concern would be to find something that has what you are looking for but still retains the truth of the theological points.

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