1/2022 English Summary – anger

Marie J. Pitterová OP
Who can withstand his terrible wrath? (Nah 1:6)
God’s wrath in The Old Testament perspective

Exploring God’s wrath in The Old Testament context puts the reader in a relational level. The key to understanding this phenomenon is to become familiar with the various ways it is expressed. This can be found in lexical and metaphorical terms as well as in theological aspects. In the Old Testament concept, God’s wrath is not necessarily a negative fact, but always has causes and consequences that can be seen quite easily in the texts. Although it occurs in a variety of contexts, it is always a call for human conversion; the response is God’s mercy.

Mireia Ryšková
Anger in the New Testament

This study examines New Testament texts that touch on anger in some way. It divides it into three categories: the wrath of God, the wrath of Jesus, and anger as a human emotion. The term wrath of God is primarily a term for God’s sovereignty, power, and final jurisdiction. Jesus is a bearer of God’s wrath over the iniquity of the temple worship, the iniquity of the leaders of the chosen people in their relationship to God’s justice. Jesus’ radicalism stems from his relationship with the Father. But far more than wrath, sadness, compassion, and pity determine his actions in the face of Israel’s (Jerusalem’s) unrepentance. Anger as a human emotion, then, is evaluated primarily as a vice, the consequence of which can even result in the murder of a person (the adversary).

The Apophthegm of the Desert Fathers about anger
(Introduction Jiří Pavlík)

Jiří Pavlík, an expert on the Greek patristic tradition and a translator of the apophthegm, first introduces the nature of early Christian asceticism and the genre of the apophthegm itself, in his introduction to a selection of sayings from the Desert Fathers, in order to turn to anger itself in ascetic thought and practice.

William Mattison
Virtuous Anger?
From Questions of Vindicatio to the Habituation of Emotion

Can a Christian experience virtuous anger? Anger is most commonly understood as a desire for vindicatio, which is the rectification of injustice. Recent discussions of anger in theological ethics have focused nearly exclusively on the possibility and parameters of Christian vindicatio. While this issue is crucial, attending to it alone neglects equally important questions concerning the moral evaluation of an emotion. Does it make sense to label an emotion such as anger praiseworthy or blameworthy? If so, how does one develop virtuous anger? The author of the article draws on Thomistic moral theology and contemporary neuropsychology, argues in favour of the claim that anger is a moral phenom­enon, and explores how one might progressively develop a disposition to experience good anger.

Alois M. Haas
Dies irae, dies illa

The author reflects on the correct understanding and relevance of the hymn Dies irae and compares the Christian and secular views on the issue of the Last Judgment. He describes the history of the hymn, its structure and content: from the doomsday narrative to the believer’s pleas for forgiveness of punishment to the penitent’s humble surrender to the Saviour. He shows that this hymn is not a threatening pastoral growing out of a culture of fear, but a work glorifying a merciful God who has mercy on people.

Tomáš Sixta
The (Un)Angry Christ in the Authors of Contemporary American Theology

This study examines what image of Christ can be found in three authors of contemporary American theology and spirituality: John Eldredge, Walter Wink and John D. Caputo, especially with regard to the issue of wrath. In the introduction, the author outlines how the image of Christ’s human personality affects the spirituality of the Christian, which is essentially determined by following and imitating Christ. He then introduces the role of anger as seen in Christ in the books of the authors mentioned above (John Eldredge: The Beatiful Outlaw; Walter Wink: Engaging the Powers; John D. Caputo: What Would Jesus Deconstruct?). This study not only introduces their images of Christ but also assesses their strengths and weaknesses. It concludes by presenting some suggestive points on which the authors agree regarding the wrath of Christ. The text invites the reader to reflect on ­where his own conception of the personality of Jesus of Nazareth lies on the imaginary scale between the wrathful and the meek Christ.

John of the Cross
On the Imperfectness into which Beginners Fall in the Vice of Wrath
(Introduction Jan Andil OCD)

In his introduction to the edition of Chapter 5th of The Dark Night of st. John of the Cross, “On the Imperfectness into which Beginners Fall in the Vice of Wrath”, Jan Andil OCD focuses on the issue of wrath in the work of the Spanish mystic. First of all, he presents the reality of “dark night”, it means the key phase of the spiritual life in which the senses and spirit of a man are purified and thus endowed to unite with God in Love. Then he deals with the issue of wrath itself and shows where the transformation of wrath leads in the base of spiritual practice described in the work of John of the Cross.

Pavel Pola OCD
How to get angry properly

Author, the Discalced Carmelite, deals with anger, which, in his experience from pastoral work and spiritual accompaniment, is something people often do not know how to handle, something powerful and at the same time ungraspable, something they are ashamed of, something that makes them feel guilty and helpless. The author tries to justify anger and to show its positive meaning either using biblical examples or psychological perspective. He discusses the experience of suppressed anger and in the end he offers concrete steps leading to meaningful usage of anger.

Francesca Šimuniová OSB
Don’t let anger devastate your soul

In her letter, the abbess of the Czech-German Abbey in Venio describes the reality of a 21st century nun who, like anybody else, struggles with emotions including emotion of anger. She refuses the idealisation of nuns as quiet, self-sacrificing and obedient but she speaks about practical tools for work with anger. For her personally, then, it is the prayer of psalms.

Pope Francis
Let the Little Children Come to Me
Speech before the Angelus prayer on Sunday, 3 October, 2021
(Introduction Matěj Jirsa)

The introduction to the Octobore 2021 edition of pope Francis’ homily on angered Jesus places this homily to a broader context of pope Francis’ reflections on anger as we can find scattered throughout the fundamental texts of his pontificate and his view of a person and interpersonal coexistence in general. In this meaning he applies anger to momentary natural human reaction; anger, which does not remain with the first natural reaction but becomes permanent life attitude; and anger of society directed against the Church in connection with sexual abuse scandals.

To be a worrier is to give your anger at the ministry of something higher
The dialogue with psychotherapeutist Richard Machan

The dialogue with psychotherapeutist Richard Machan explores anger from the view of evolutional psychology and therapy. He offers tools for reflecting on anger, managing anger and preventing its destructive effects. In this context, he also deals with the issue of human evil.

Peter Beneš
On anger in literature and its treatment

In his study, the author shows how various authors of world literature work with the motif of anger. His aim is not to provide a literary-scientific treatment of the problem; he rather gathers inputs for thinking of this powerful emotion and for working with it. He focuses on anger as a driving force in the ancient and classical worlds, the immortalized anger of Dante, the proud anger of W. Shakespeare, the respectable anger of a ridiculous man in F. M. Dostoyevsky and the total anger which goes out on its own in T. Bernhard.

Alexandra Alvarová
An epoch of profitable anger

The essay explores the forms of Russian propaganda after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its connection to the environment of American technology companies. This has led to a situation where the way the most important social networks influencing events around the world operate is dangerously connected to circles close to the current Russian power. The author analyses how the algorithms of social networks and are connected to the principle of anger, how their metrics depend on the negative emotions which cause and spread. She illustrates it on four elements of effectiveness that carry the contemporary propaganda, which include quantity, repetition, social and para social bonds and cultural memes.

Guido Schlimbach
On the aesthetic level of today. Can Rubens be “replaced”?
Kunst-Station Sankt Peter in Cologne and the project “Replace Rubens”

The issue is accompanied by photographs of the individual realisations of the “Replace Rubens” intervention, in which five contemporary artists successively took the place of Rubens’ famous pain­ting of the Crucifixion of St. Peter in the Church of St. Peter in Cologne. Guido Schlimbach has written an extensive commentary on both the concept of the intervention and the individual realisations, especially for this issue of Salve.