The front cover of Barth's Epistle to the Romans is fine if not breathtaking. It's the back cover that matters.

What’s the Most Epic Book Genre Mislabel in Publishing History?

Have you ever noticed how nearly every book you've ever picked up that's not self-published has a genre label in the upper corner of its back cover?Some books are notoriously difficult to label. I mean, what genre is Calasso's The Ruin of Kasch, Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, or Herman Broch's The Sleepwalkers? Are they fiction, history, philosophy, or something else altogether?So it's clear that there are books that break genre boundaries. But then there are book that … [Read More...]

New revelations about St. Maximilian Kolbe have come out in Poland (Maximilian Kolbe in 1936 in Japan; Source: Wikimedia Commons, Seibo no Kishi, Feature in Extra Issue of Jan. 1983, considered to be in public domain in Japan).

New Historical Mists Shower Auschwitz with Hope

By now you might be past your knee-jerk reactions to the "showers" (misters, to be precise) placed outside the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum during the latest heat wave in Poland. If you actually did your due diligence then you know the analogy between what the Germans did and the mist "showers" is mostly bunk. Perhaps you've even read the Museum's social media statement on the controversy:And one more thing. It is really hard for us to comment on some suggested historical references since … [Read More...]

God: Interrupted (Conegliano, God the Father, c. 1515; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

God? Not Available Right Now!

I think I first heard about the poet Anne Carson in Minding the Modern (read Part 1 and Part 2 of my interview with the author) where Eros the Bittersweet (listed by the Modern Library as one of the TOP100 non-fiction books of all time) is mentioned. Since then I found out Carson also wrote a book of poetry dedicated to theological reflection. But the Amazon reviews for Glass, Irony, and God, have been lukewarm at best or perhaps bittersweet? Some of the reviewers were especially down on her … [Read More...]

(Jean-Louis David, The Death of Socrates, 1787; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Negative Certainties Trump Scientific Facts Daily

It is easy enough to debunk the mythical origins of science in the Greek and Roman world. That much is obvious.The idolization of "scientific facts" is a little bit more difficult. Modern philosophy and science tend to privilege positive and predicative knowledge as if it is the only type of certain knowledge available to us.Earlier epochs were much more appreciative of the plurality of knowledge than we.However, a forthcoming book from the University of Chicago Press is about to … [Read More...]

The book The Shroud of Turin: First Century After Christ! adds color to controversies surrounding the Shroud (Haarlem Woodcutter, The Entombment, 1487; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

The Newest News on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin

 USA Today reports that new testing has pushed the Shroud of Turin back to Christ's time: Many experts have stood by a 1988 carbon-14 dating of scraps of the cloth carried out by labs in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona that dated it from 1260 to 1390, which, of course, would rule out its used during the time of Christ.The new test, by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy, used the same fibers from the 1988 tests but disputes the findings. The new examination dates … [Read More...]

Persons are immeasurable (Leonardo da Vinci, Vitruvian Man, 1490; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

No Theology, No Phenomenology of the Person?

Thomas Pfau is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English and professor of German at Duke University, with a secondary appointment on the Duke Divinity School faculty. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy, 1790–1840 and Wordsworth’s Profession. This is the first part of an interview centered around his most recent, much discussed, book Minding the Modern.The first part of the interview, "Threatening Naturalism’s Unive … [Read More...]

Monocausal explanations leave you staring into the void.

Threatening Naturalism’s Universal Authority

Thomas Pfau is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English and professor of German at Duke University, with a secondary appointment on the Duke Divinity School faculty. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy, 1790–1840 and Wordsworth’s Profession.This is the first part of my interview with him on his most recent and much discussed book Minding the Modern. The second part is now up online (No Theology, No Phenomenology of th … [Read More...]

Comrade Francis to follow in the footsteps of Comrade Lenin? (Soviet Stamp, not subject to copyright; Source: Wikimedia Commons).

Pope Francis Gets Boost from Leading Cultural Marxist Publisher!

If you're one of those people who wastes time railing against entities belonging to a vague entity known as Cultural Marxism, which is supposedly taking over higher education, then you might have something to worry about.Even though I spent a good decade or so in a Public Ivy, the University of Washington, earning my doctorate in Comparative Literature, I can honestly say I never saw this tribe conspiring to corrupt the youth of Seattle.You might be too busy joining up with Catholics … [Read More...]

The ambiguity of representation: An evil guy is dead, yet it is still a murdered human being (Jacques-Louis David, Death of Marat, 1793; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Dave Griffith: The Violent Bare It Away and Away and Away

Dave Griffith is the author of A Good War Is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America and is the director of the creative writing program at Interlochen Center for the Arts. His essays and reviews have appeared in the Utne Reader, IMAGE Journal, Creative Nonfiction, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Paris Review online, among others. He has just finished a two-year stint as a Mullin Fellow at the University of Southern California's Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies where he … [Read More...]

apophaticgod_large

U Mad (Papist) Bro?

Even though he didn't invent it, the Seattle Seahawks Stanford-educated cornerback, Richard Sherman, smartly pwnd the phrased "U Mad Bro?" against Tom Brady.Unfortunately Brady learned his lesson and didn't throw at Sherman during the Superbowl. I know, it was a little bit deflating.However, in Catholic circles there's something new on the rise. It's a webpage called The Mad Papist. Here's how it bills itself:Welcome to The Mad Papist: mankind's #1 source for Catholic and … [Read More...]


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