Secular Isaac Robs Religious Esau by Praying “LORD, deliver us from salvation!”

Have you heard the one about the atheist arguing that atheists are more moral than Christians by the standards of Christianity morality?According to this precooked narrative the atheists do all the good works Christians should, plus, to ratchet up the degree of difficulty, they defend things outside the Christian canon--like gay marriage and abortion.  More often than not, these atheists dogmatically believe in liberal democracy to the point where they are willing to defend it by torture, … [Read More...]

The bird.

The Spell of Sensuous Silence: A TOP10 Book List of the Divine Sense

The interviews are coming. The interviews are coming! Shh . . .Thursday this week will feature an interview with Damon Linker of The Week Magazine talking about political theory and his conversion to Catholicism.Tuesday next week will feature Kevin M. Johnson of Daily Theology and The Inner Room talking about practices of silence and their fundamental importance for maintaining our sanity and our connection to God. What follows is a sneak peek of the Johnson interview by way of some of … [Read More...]

Radical traditionalism = traditional radicalism.

May Day — Dorothy Day: Political Radicalism & Liturgical Conservatism Feed off Each Other?

Despite popular prejudices I am no enemy of RadTrads. For example, I've come to appreciate Rorate Caeli's recent post-colonial turn.What seems clear is that political radicalism and liturgical traditionalism can, and frequently do, feed off of each other.Take, for example, the May Day episode from this Dorothy Day obituary: She herself always said Peter Maurin was the real founder. He was a Frenchman, an old supporter of Le Sillon, who combined an untroubled adherence to Catholic … [Read More...]


Stanley Hauerwas Contra the Bad Idea of Religious Toleration

As Americans we are enjoined to religious tolerance as if it were the 11th commandment. Catholic arguments against changing the definition of marriage sometimes use religious tolerance to argue for retaining distinctively Christian practices of marriage as the law of the land. But is this an effective strategy?If we’re not tolerant, then we’re not playing nice. However, nice is not a theological category. What’s really hiding behind this American commandment? In the video below Hauerwas … [Read More...]

hauerwas reader

Before Marriage: Gays (As a Group) Are Morally Superior to Christians (As a Group)

Stanley Hauerwas is America's theological gadfly. Short is the list of people who have not been offended by something said by  the Socrates of Durham (North Carolina). There is the infamous example of Hauerwas trying to find the library: Stanley Hauerwas was at Harvard to deliver a lecture and, being there early and still needing to do some preparation, he set out to find the library. Not finding it, he stopped a student and asked him, “Excuse me, where’s the library at?”Incredulous, the stu … [Read More...]

A._Picchi_-_Incendiodinotte (1)

Nietzsche’s Flame of Eternity: It’s Not a Wonderful Philosophy Nor Life

 Leszek Kolakowski, author of philosophical barnburners such as Metaphysical Horror and Religion: If There Is No God-- : On God, the Devil, Sin, and Other Worries of the So-Called Philosophy of Religion, said the following about the book I would like to start discussing today: There are many books on Nietzsche. Some of them are distinguished by their learning and analytical power, some by their beauty. Very rarely can we find a book that combines both: learning and beauty. We see … [Read More...]

This book seems like a real non-fiction page turner.

Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide

I found something truly unusual while doing research for my piece On the Polish Origins of the Concept of Genocide and Its Armenian Roots. There is a book (of course). What it describes seems as outrageous as anything you might see in Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. The thing is, Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide, is not fiction: In 1921, a tightly knit band of killers set out to avenge the deaths of almost one million victims of the Armenian … [Read More...]

The previously unpublished autobiography of an immeasurably influential thinker who died totally forgotten.

On the Polish Origins of the Concept of Genocide & Its Armenian Roots

The term genocide seems ancient. It is actually a clumsy Greek-Latin hybrid coined by a Polish Jew  between 1943 and 1944 when Polish gentiles were reporting about the Holocaust to Roosevelt who merely shrugged his shoulders. Genocide's "creator," Raphael Lemkin used the Armenian Genocide as the baseline for describing the Holocaust.The first published instance of the term is probably his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. The history of the Armenian Genocide, so important to Lemkin's th … [Read More...]

What has Brooks done for us lately? At least the splashy convert Queen Christina killed off the father of modern philosophy, Descartes. (Sebastien Bourdon, Christina of Sweden, 1653; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100).

Famous Atheists Who Aren’t Atheist: Hold off on Papism David Brooks!

Did you know that Sartre was a Jew, Camus intended to become a Protestant, Warhol was a practicing Byzantine, and Hitchcock was a Papist?You can read all about these famous figures in my "Famous Atheists Who Weren't Atheist" series. Its aim is to out the religious affiliations of famous people erroneously associated in the popular imagination with non-belief or even militant atheism.News trends dictate that this week it's time to turn to David Brooks. I promise it won't be for … [Read More...]

Christ: Fully human therefore divine.

Fr. John Behr: Marriage is a Form of Martyrdom

After dealing with controversial topics such as the sexual orientation of monasticism, the Catholic background of mainstreaming gay marriage, and the malicious historical ignorance of the head of the FBI I'd like to kick back a bit and do something on Orthodox theology rather than history.This is also a way of checking whether my wife actually reads this blog. If she does, I might be sleeping on the couch.Fr. John Behr is dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary and author of Becoming Human, The … [Read More...]