I think Martin Luther correctly distinguished between what he called the magisterial and ministerial uses of reason. The magisterial use of reason occurs when reason stands over and above the gospel like a magistrate and judges it on the basis of argument and evidence. The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason submits to and serves the gospel... . Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter.
William Lane Craig
I have seen ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath in the courts of England; I have witnessed a congress in solemn session to give laws to nations;...but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains at midnight, in a dungeon, in an obscure village of Missouri.
Parley P. Pratt
In short, an astonishingly broad spectrum of theologies of justification existed in the later medieval period, encompassing practically every option that had not been specifically condemned as heretical by the Council of Carthage. In the absence of any definitive magisterial pronouncement concerning which of these options (or even what range of options) could be considered authentically catholic, it was left to each theologian to reach his own decision in this matter. A self-perpetuating doctrinal pluralism was thus an inevitability.
Alister E. McGrath
Like Richard Ellmann on James Joyce, Arnold Rampersad on Ralph Ellison is in a class of its own. His masterful and magisterial book is the most powerful and profound treatment of Ellison's undeniable artistic genius, deep personal flaws, and controversial political evolution. And he reveals an Ellison unbeknownst to all of us. From now on, all serious scholarship on Ellison must begin with Rampersad's instant and inimitable classic in literary biography.
All that the posture of skepticism accomplishes is to freeze the ego in an ignorantist poverty that never stretches or diversifies its resources of imagination or understanding. Any uncultured cretin can close his eyes and try to reduce the issues down to linear simplisms and say, "I am doubting, I am proving my magisterial or sovereign control over my own mind." Doubt is a useful and significant test of one's critical powers, but by itself it bears little if any significant cultural charge of enlightenment or satori; indeed it is the very opposite kind of thing.
As I search the archives of my memory I seem to discern six types or methods [of judicial writing] which divide themselves from one another with measurable distinctness. There is the type magisterial or imperative; the type laconic or sententious; the type conversational or homely; the type refined or artificial, smelling of the lamp, verging at times upon preciosity or euphuism; the demonstrative or persuasive; and finally the type tonsorial or agglutinative, so called from the shears and the pastepot which are its implements and emblem.
Angus Deaton has written a wonderful book, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality. . . . Deaton's book is a magisterial overview of health, income, and wealth from the industrial revolution to the present, taking in countries poor and rich. Not just jargon-free but equation-free, the book is written with a beautifully lucid style. . . . [P]owerfully argued and convincing.
Before the magisterial mess of Trevor Thomas's house, the orderly houses that most of us live in seem meagre and lifeless - as, in the same way, the narratives called biographies pale and shrink in the face of the disorderly actuality that is a life. The house also stirred my imagination as a metaphor for the problem of writing. Each person who sits down to write faces not a blank page but his own overfilled mind. The problem is to clear out most of what is in it... The goal is to make a space where a few ideas and images and feelings may be so arranged that a reader will want to linger awhile among them, rather than to flee, as I wanted to flee from Thomas's house.
As Elizabeth Blackmar and Ray Rosenzweig wrote in their magisterial history of [Central Park in NYC]: 'The issue of demoncratic access to the park has also been raised by the increasing number of homeless New Yorkers. Poor people-from the 'squatters' of the 1850s to the 'tramps' of the 1870s and 1890s to the Hooverville residents of the 1930s-have always turned to the park land for shelter... The growing visibility of homeless people in Central Park osed in the starkest terms the contradiction between Americans' commitment to democratic space and their acquiescence in vast disparities of wealth and power.
I have brought peace to this land, and security, " he began. "And what of your soul, when you use the cleverness of argument to cloak such acts? Do you think that the peace of a thousand cancels out the unjust death of one single person? It may be desirable, it may win you praise from those who have happily survived you and prospered from your deeds, but you have committed ignoble acts, and have been too proud to own them. I have waited patiently here, hoping that you would come to me, for if you understood, then some of your acts would be mitigated. But instead you send me this manuscript, proud, magisterial, and demonstrating only that you have understood nothing at all." "I returned to public life on your advice, madam, " he said stiffly. "Yes; I advised it. I said if learning must die it should do so with a friend by its bedside. Not an assassin.
The chief care of the legislators [in the colonies of New England] was the maintenance of orderly conduct and good morals in the community: thus they constantly invaded the domain of conscience, and there was scarcely a sin which was no subject to magisterial censure. The reader is aware of the rigor with which these laws punished rape and adultery; intercourse between unmarried persons was likewise severely repressed. The judge was empowered to inflict either a pecuniary penalty, a whipping, or marriage, on the misdemeanants; and if the records of the old courts of New Haven may be believed, prosecutions of this kind were not unfrequent. We find a sentence, bearing date the 1st of May, 1660, inflicting a fine and reprimand on a young woman who was accused of using improper language, and of allowing herself to be kissed. The Code of 1650 abounds in preventive measures. It punishes idleness and drunkenness with severity. Innkeepers were forbidden to furnish more than certain quantities of liquor to each customer; and simple lying, whenever it may be injurious, is checked by a fine or a flogging. In other places, the legislator, entirely forgetting the great principles of religious toleration which he had himself demanded in Europe, makes attendance on divine service compulsory, and goes so far as to visit with severe punishment, and even with death, Christians who choose to worship God according to a ritual differing from his own. Sometimes, indeed, the zeal for regulation induces him to descend to the most frivolous particulars: thus a law is to be found in the same code which prohibits the use of tobacco. It must not be forgotten that these fantastical and vexatious laws were not imposed by authority, but that they were freely voted by all the persons interested in them, and that the manners of the community were even more austere and puritanical than the laws... These errors are no doubt discreditable to human reason; they attest the inferiority of our nature, which is incapable of laying firm hold upon what is true and just, and is often reduced to the alternative of two excesses. In strict connection with this penal legislation, which bears such striking marks of a narrow, sectarian spirit, and of those religious passions which had been warmed by persecution and were still fermenting among the people, a body of political laws is to be found, which, though written two hundred years ago, is still in advance of the liberties of our own age.
Alexis de Tocqueville