Oh my!

God, Interviewed!

I've had some fun doing interviews for Cosmos and at Ethika Politika. Below is something no interviewer should go through.I ran across this video on the wall of a friend who is the author of a highly praised book on the divine names (can't help plugging him). He knows a thing or two about this stuff and, according to him, this clip is mostly theologically accurate.Enjoy this as I begin contemplating packing ahead of our big move. If you're in the Seattle area get a hold of me. I have … [Read More...]


Guest Post: An Ignatian Meditation on why Artur Rosman was Defamed

This is a guest post by Dr. Justin Tse of the University of Washington.==================================================On October 24, 2014, a politically conservative blogger, Stephen Herreid, performed an Internet hit job on my friend and colleague, Dr. Artur Rosman. He might as well have tried to character assassinate Rabelais himself. While taken to task by both Patheos Catholic's Sam Rocha, the Mitralleuse's J. Arthur Bloom (as quoted in Herreid's response), and Rosman himself, … [Read More...]


Enter Another Dimension: All Souls and All Saints in Poland

I've been going through some old writings in preparation for a conference I'll participate in next week at Villanova. My paper will discuss the theological significance of Czeslaw Milosz's poetry. One passage from a Milosz's ABC's stood out in relation to last week's major feast: In Protestant Christianity, there is no place for them [the departed, their presence, their examples], and no one turns to the dead with a plea for intervention. Catholicism, however, by introducing the intercession of … [Read More...]

The most tempting solutions frequently mask possibilities. Magritte, The Son of Man, 1964.

Girard: Assisted Suicide and the Further Intensification of Problems

My colleague Kathy Schiffer followed the Brittany Maynard assisted suicide case closely on her blog. There was a moment when it seemed Maynard had changed her mind. But it was not to be. Her solution was a result of her terminal cancer combined with a fear of dependency.Right around the same time I ran across a quote from the Rene Girard Reader on John Medaille's wall. Here is what Girard says about assisted suicide as a solution: The experience of death is going to get more and more … [Read More...]

Sometimes you peer into the waste disposal of society and  see your face reflected. (Stig Helmer in von Trier's mordantly funny series Kingdom).

Blessed Are the Freeloaders: On the Face of the Poor

When I started writing my latest series of posts I knew I was sticking my head out. But I assumed the best about people. I could not bring myself to write about anything else, because weakness, financial hardships tied to unemployment, childcare, are eating away at me. I figured writing about them would give me some sort of temporary release.When life hits you with body shots like this you not only feel your stomach muscles shrinking from the pain but the rest of your being and thinking … [Read More...]

Blake's Newton (1795). Note the intended similarities with Michelangelo's Louvre slaves.

MacIntyre: What the Natural Sciences Do Not Explain

I am going through a bit of a MacIntyre renaissance of late. I've realized the range of topics he has addresses in his writings goes far beyond the discussions of tradition and virtue in Whose Justice? Which Rationality? and After Virtue.As you may remember reading Dependent Rational Animals was something of a revelation for me.The following video, which obliquely picks up on themes of authority from yesterday's post on the Reformation, might stretch your thinking to its limits as … [Read More...]


Reformation Day is an Oops?

Another day, another year, another Halloween, and yet another Reformation Day. Today some of us remember the deeds of Martin Luther.I like to harp on this, because it never really registers: Luther never meant to break away from the Catholic Church.The act of nailing the 95 theses was not an unusually dramatic gesture. It was a traditional medieval practice to nail theological conundrums to cathedral doors in order to declare an open debate about them. The tradition was part of the … [Read More...]

What if not being dour and serious about religion is the more serious option?

Doubt Douthat’s Donatist Precipice

Ross Douthat's "The Pope and Precipice" has received plenty of attention of late. Rod Dreher presents it as an insightful piece and even invents a pithy Galatians 2 tag for it: resisting the pope to his face (while ignoring how Paul got into Peter's face to argue for doctrinal development, or, even a break with the past practice of excluding Gentiles).What I see in Douthat's article instead is the specter of a shapeless, because baseless, fear.First of all, nothing was decided at the … [Read More...]

Closeup of Chinese chess pieces.

The Church’s Geopolitical Chess Strategy

Today I conclude my interview on the Church and Hong Kong with Dr. Justin Tse of the University of Washington Comparative Religion department. The conversation moves mainland:Artur Rosman: Are the dynamics on the mainland similar to those in Hong Kong? What is the Catholic strategy there, if any?Justin Tse: This is a brilliant question because it gets right to the heart of Cardinal Zen’s real agenda: Sino-Vatican relations. In 2011, Cardinal Zen said in a press conference that without t … [Read More...]

Tarkovsky's Nostalghia features a stunning scene on spirituality and motherhood. Scroll down below to watch it.

The Consequences of God’s Maternal Thinking for Theology

The feminist Sara Ruddick must be doing something right if both Alasdair MacIntyre and Janet Martin Soskice cite her as an influence. MacIntyre credits the feminist philosopher's work in the field of disability studies at the start of Dependent Rational Animals. Soskice borrows Ruddick's phenomenology of the parental gaze in Maternal Thinking for her writings on parenting and spirituality in The Kindness of God.Here Soskice adopts Ruddick's phenomenology of the parent's gaze in order to make … [Read More...]