The Surprising Anti-Capitalist Logic Behind the Catholic Church’s Continued Ban of Gluten-Free Hosts

The continued ban of gluten-free hosts in the Catholic Church shows that the specificity of matter matters to the Catholic Church. It's capitalism that's spiritualistic.I'm not an expert on the gluten-free host micro-debates. I've been trying my hardest to stay out of flame wars until now. What got me was the typically Catholic anti-capitalist logic (in the most positive sense) behind the continuation of present practice. Even the Washington Post is aware that it's not a new ban, but a con … [Read More...]

What is the Source of Our Culture of Euphemism and Political Correctness?

The sources of euphemism and political correctness are too close to be seen.The Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski spent the better part of the 50's and 60's attempting to create a (Soviet Communist-) Socialism with a Human Face. Some of his more important attempts are collected in Toward a Marxist Humanism: Essays on the Left Today.  The failure to square the circle was one of the things that forced Kolakowski into exile in the West. His success in documenting the failure of real-existing … [Read More...]

Charlie Gard Is Going to Die

The position of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the attending physicians, arises out of and flows from their determination regarding the futility of (further) treatment.Charlie Gard is going to die.The attending physicians at GOSH hold the proposed treatment in the US so highly unlikely to produce any appreciable improvement in the patient's condition, that they refuse to participate on the grounds that they would be uselessly inflicting harm - in the form of pain, at least - on … [Read More...]

The Holy Family as an Icon of World Refugee Day?

I haven't had many opportunities to write lately because I am totally consumed translating Fr. Jozef Tischner's (a.k.a. The Chaplain of Solidarity) The Philosophy of Drama (Polish edition, French Translation). Any translation is a process of learning a new philosophical language. Fr. Tischner's phenomenology of the human drama develops Emmanuel Levinas's biblically inspired philosophy of welcoming the Other set down in two groundbreaking volumes Totality and Infinity and Otherwise Than Bein … [Read More...]

How is Classical Philosophy is Like War?

Emmanuel Levinas, the father of personalist-oriented phenomenology, reminds us that war is the model for classical philosophy since time immemorial.This is will be the jumping off point for this odd Memorial Day meditation on the biblical tradition.After all, one of the oldest statements in Western philosophy is the following from the Fragments of Heraclitus: War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free. The French-Jewish pheno … [Read More...]

Where Does the Body of Christ Go After the Ascension?

Jean-Luc Marion (don't miss the Cosmos exclusive interview) argues for a more profound and mundane post-Ascension destination than classical paintings, which usually show Christ taking an invisible elevator ride into the sky, leaving the sublunar world behind.But what about us? Where does that leave us?Jean-Luc Marion's Prolegomena to Charity, his most accessible work, is where he unpacks some of the central paradoxes of Christianity.Prolegomena to Charity argues that the  … [Read More...]

Why Does the World’s Leading Philosopher Remain a Catholic?

Catholic triumphalism isn't much in fashion these days (except on this blog), but Catholic phenomenologist, Jean-Luc Marion, bucks the trends.For him there is no option, but to give credit where credit is due.The "Why remain Catholic?" video interview series, in collaboration with Sam Sorich of Glass Darkly Films, was inaugurated with an interview of Irish philosopher Richard Kearney.It's taken nearly two years to run the next installment, but I think you'll agree it's been well … [Read More...]

Publicity Campaign Freudian Slip: Planned Parenthood Wants You to “Slay” With Them

Planned Parenthood committed a Freudian slip, with an assist from Joss Whedon, by inviting supporters to become like one of his violent film characters.Sigmund Freud, in his An Autobiographical Study, defines what later would come to be called as the "Freudian Slip" as follows: In the same way that psycho-analysis makes use of dream interpretation, it also profits by the study of the numerous little slips and mistakes which people make—symptomatic actions, as they are called . . . I have poi … [Read More...]

Biblical Authority After Babel Cannot Be Built Upon Mere Protestant Christianity

I recently finished reading Kevin J. Vanhoozer's, Biblical Authority after Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity. I have numerous complaints about his "mere Protestant Christianity" project.(1) Vanhoozer regularly says that the Church is a product of the Word, by which in context he evidently means the Scripture. But this is exactly the wrong order. The Church is produced by the Word, certainly, in the sense that the Logos Incarnate converted the apostles, … [Read More...]

Atheists Have “National Day of Reason,” But American Atheism is Irrational

Today is something called "National Reason Day," on the atheist calendar. The National Day of Reason committee describes their goals in this apocalyptic register: Now, more than ever, America needs a Day of Reason.With the religious right’s influence in Congress, and with the threat to our Judiciary looming large, there has never been as important a moment in which to affirm our commitment to the Constitutional separation of religion and government, and to celebrate Reason as the guiding pr … [Read More...]