Look here everybody! (Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Faith or The Church Triumphant, 1665; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100)

Upward Trends: The State of Catholic Culture Report

The Republican dropping of abortion into the political dumpster put the failure of the Pro-Life movement's right of center strategy front and center.It seems the Republicans were only mirroring the Democrat Left at the Altar with a Right of the Altar of their own.If nothing else, the failed vote hopefully allowed some self-identifying "conservative Catholics" to kick back and enjoy the delicious humor of Obama ad lib ("I know, because I won them both") during the State of the Union … [Read More...]

Aquinas embedded in his totally chill Muslim context. (Giovanni di Paolo, Aquinas Confounding Averroes; Wikimedia Commons PD-old-100)

How is Aquinas so Premodern That He’s Postmodern?

If you hang around enough weird overeducated people, then you've probably heard the phrase "He's so premodern, he's postmodern." On the most basic level this means that postmodernity, in its opposition to the modern, brings recouperates salient elements of the premodern worldview. This is the main reason why you should not listen to your standard parish apocalyptic fear-mongerer when he (or she) tells you to be afraid of postmodernism.You might think "that's fine," but you'd like a more … [Read More...]

The West ignored his reports.

5 Facts Holocaust Remembrances Frequently Forget

The Holocaust is inextricably tied to memory through maxims such as: Emil Fackenheim's "Never forget" and George Santayana's "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."However, historical memory is fickle and influenced by present exigencies.Below you will find 5 facts generally not remembered about the Holocaust: 1. The Holocaust is not some metaphysically necessary event that dropped into the lap of history: The drive toward the total extermination of the Jews was … [Read More...]


Why Study Philosophy as a Spiritual Exercise?

As great as John Milbank is, there are plenty of other great things going on in Nottingham at the Centre of Theology and Philosophy.One of them is the "Why study?" series of interviews conducted by Tom O'Loughlin they post periodically to youtube.As it happens, one of their researchers, Philip Goodchild (best known for his tomes on Capitalism and Religion and the Theology of Money) recently published a book On Philosophy as a Spiritual Exercise the topic of my recent posts on Socrates … [Read More...]


St. Socrates: Philosophy’s Permanent Ties to Theology

Dominique Janicaud has spent the great part of his academic career attempting to somewhat belligerently keep phenomenology (the main current of continental philosophy) pure from contamination by theology.Trends in contemporary French phenomenology suggest he has completely failed.It was a gallant, but all too quixotic, battle.Janicaud should have been more Rabelaisian in his approach. He was always stuck rowing against the current of phenomenology's founding ties to theology.Not e … [Read More...]

She liked shouting. But did that make her any easier to hear?

#Roe42: Abortion, Cognitive Bias & the Problem of Representation

The problem of representation is one of the key issues of modern philosophy. It ranges all the way from the question of what can be represented all the way to what by definition cannot be represented. In fact, Descartes' search for ways to represent clearly and distinctly launched the modern philosophical project. Yet, by the 20th century Descartes' own French philosophical tradition was wholesale denigrating visual representation.I'm in the process of interviewing David Griffith, the … [Read More...]

The Middle East's ancient surviving religions provide hints to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim origins.

How Did Disappearing Middle Eastern Religions Survive in the First Place?

Gerard Russell's Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East should be on everyone's reading list. Its discussion of Islam's coexistence with ancient faiths gives us hints about our Jewish and Christian roots. It is a necessary corrective to the one-sided coverage of Islam in the media and among combox tyrants.Russell is a bit like the recently deceased Polish eyewitness journalist and (time-) travel writer Ryszard Kapuscinski, author of Shah of … [Read More...]

This picture is a little to the left.

A Breakdown of the Conservative Catholic Hermeneutic of Contiguity?

I did not expect that reposting "To What Degree is First Things Responsible for Iraq?" would cause a minor storm. The fact of the matter appears to be, according to Damon Linker, that First Things was giving an imprimatur to a fait accompli. The damage had already been done by the warmongering of the older NeoCon press. Not that the old guard NC's don't have Catholics on their boards.The lasting damage of all of these political engagements lies in American Catholics confusing their … [Read More...]

Deconstruction is dead, long live postmodernism!

I’m Not Well—The Voices are Back

No, this isn't about Stephen Herreid. He seems to have gone into writing exile after realizing how much he encouraged my freeloading.Instead I have something for those who are wondering, after reading yesterday's post (Beauty, Postmodernism, and Vodka), what Gregory Wolfe is doing to keep artists from starving in garrets.Besides publishing IMAGE Journal for over 25 years he also recently started the Slant imprint with my personal favorite: Wipf & Stock Publishers.So far Slant has … [Read More...]


Beauty, Postmodernism, and Vodka: Gregory Wolfe Interview Preview

Gregory Wolfe has spent half a lifetime saying "Beauty will save the world." Czeslaw Milosz once said "Heaven is the third vodka."==============================================================UPDATE: The complete Gregory Wolfe interview is now available on Ethika Politika!==============================================================See how these two things come together below.Cosmos the in Lost and its evil twin Rabelaisian Catholicism have frequently waded into the waters … [Read More...]