Fingerprints of Robert Farrar Capon

Fingerprints of Robert Farrar Capon

May he rest in peace, and rise in glory

I just heard the news that the theologian and writer Robert Farrar Capon died at 3pm on Thursday September 5, 2013. As anyone who has spent much time at saint benedict’s table will know, Robert had an enormous impact on me. He’s one of the writers I consistently return to for inspiration, but on a personal level he was the person who provided me with the framework by which to wrestle through the grief of a divorce and the possibility of remarriage. His almost painfully honest (yet still predictably witty) book A Second Day: Reflections on Remarriage needs to be brought back into print, if only so I can buy a copy to replace the missing one I loaned out to someone who must have needed it more than I did.

In the fall of 2000, my wife Catherine and I visited Shelter Island, New York to spend two days with Robert and Valerie Capon, talking about life and faith, and sharing great food and a bottle or three of good wine. It was in many respects a pilgrimage, which gave me the opportunity to thank Robert for helping me to find the courage to launch out on my marriage to Catherine. Having now marked our 15th anniversary, I’m even more thankful for his influence.

What follows here is the one hour in those two days which we committed to tape… the interviewer is admittedly a bit stiff, but Robert is in fine form.

There are two ways to hear this interview (runs 44:58):

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“Theology, Capon says, is a word game, the most serious word game of all, and he plays it very well indeed.” – The New York Times Book Review

“A joyfully outrageous Christian teacher” –  The Living Church

“Heaven is populated entirely by forgiven sinners” – Robert Farrar Capon (1925-2013)


9 Responses to Fingerprints of Robert Farrar Capon

  1. Toby says:

    Are there any other audio recordings of Capon messages out there that you know of?

  2. Randi says:

    Hey Jamie, thanks for posting this – great stuff. It’s always an honor to hear the audio of Capon’s interviews.

    I am in the middle of a research project and would love to hear more about your time with the Capons. Do you have an email that I could use to contact you directly?

  3. leonard says:

    Jamie Yes!
    Surrender is the key, In fact it continues- when this is done the righteousness of the law is actualized in us who do so(Fullfilled=Satisfied-KJ)

  4. leonard says:

    “There is no condemnation to them who are in christ jesus…who walk not after the flesh but the spirit.”Rm:8:1. I am still waiting for him to explain the full text.or is this another 500 lb elephant.?
    p.s I enjoy all of his books-Yet!

    • Jamie says:

      Glad you like Capon’s stuff, regardless of hitting these points of wanting to challenge him. I think he does need to be challenge, much in the same way his thought challenges those who tend to be quick with the condemnation switch. I also think that Capon would say that to walk “not after the flesh but the spirit” has nothing to do with moralism or even with behavior and everything to do with surrender.

  5. joe says:

    thanks for posting this, jamie…

  6. Joe Manafo said you had these tapes, I’m thrilled that you posted them. Capon has rocked my world book after book and I think I owe that to you because you mentioned it to Joe about Hunting the Divine Fox, and from there we jumped into his book on the parables and my faith as I knew it took on new life.

    So thanks!

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