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...]


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...]

Meditation is something we usually associate with religion rather than philosophy, but that is a false modern dichotomy (Rembrandt, Philosopher in Meditation, 1632).

The Subjectivism of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

Yesterday we placed the ancient philosophical analogue, not to be confused with an "equivalent," of modern science in its proper historical perspective with the help of Peter Harrison's The Territories of Science and Religion. Natural science in the ancient Greek and Roman sense was not really science in our modern understanding, nor was it primarily concerned with the natural world.  Science was always conceived and practiced in the context of what was called the art of living or philosophy as … [Read More...]


The Mythical Origins of Science

One of the pillars of Enlightenment, scientific, and New Atheist (not to be confused with the other two) lore is the tall tale that Christianity came like some prehistoric meteor and wiped out the advanced science of the ancients.Hypatia of Alexandria is frequently used in this narrative as martyred by bloodthirsty ancient Christian fundamentalists. On this story, the fog of ignorance spread by the Roman Catholic Bible Belt's dogma-machine was so powerful that it took science over a … [Read More...]