“Unmaker’s Mark”: I review “What Happened to Sophie Wilder”

at AmCon: ...There’s a lot going on here. There’s Sophie’s quest for identity (she has three different surnames throughout the novel), a quest she seems to be trying to escape—she wants to surrender to an identity, sink into it, rather than having to go out and conquer and defend it. She doesn’t want her conversion and subsequent changed life to be about her search for self, but about her encounter with God.There’s a grim consideration of suffering and how it resists narrative. If you demand … [Read more...]

“Holy Agony”: I’m at Commonweal

reviewing the Met's recent Dialogues of the Carmelites:The Metropolitan Opera’s recent production of Dialogues of the Carmelites opens with a group of habited women prostrating themselves on the floor with their arms spread. Their bodies are individual crosses that make up one big cross. This opening for Francis Poulenc’s 1956 opera, adapted from a play by Georges Bernanos and based on a real incident during the French Revolution, seems to subsume the women into a collective identity: the … [Read more...]

Tom Waits Cookie Monster.

It happened. It's so much better than you think it will be.via IP … [Read more...]

“The Prayer of Honest Desire”: This is super-great

And it is here within his conception of moral practice as desire-discovery—or as he calls it, “practical wisdom”—that for Thomas a principal means of tracing the way back to what we really want, is prayer, oratio. And our only available starting point for that practice of self-discovery is our wants and desires as we actually experience them. Therefore, Thomas says, we ought to pray for what we think we want regardless. For prayer is “in a certain manner a hermeneutic of the human will,” so that … [Read more...]

So Many Steps to Death: Revisiting “Brideshead Revisited”

Hey, so I read Brideshead Revisited again. I was in college the first time. Probably read the entire book drunk. Can't think of a better introduction to it! Anyway, here are some scattered thoughts on re-reading it, all of which are ridiculously spoilerous. Seriously, if you haven't read it, SKIP THIS POST and just go read it. It's short! It's phenomenal. I loved it even more the second time. You'll like it more if you don't know what's coming.* The contrast between the "heavy," plodding … [Read more...]

And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly…

In the continuing saga of my criticism of critical thinking.... An astute reader pointed out that some people give their hearts and trust too easily. That's definitely true, and in fact I suspect one reason I'm so quick to wave the pom-poms for trust and the leap of faith is precisely that I'm a trust-and-leap kind of person. I realize that when I criticize the hypercautious, "every doubt is a reason to say no, every answer is just another more troubling question" approach I'm also offering a … [Read more...]

“Believe” is a transitive verb, and other good points against me

Christian H at The Thinking Grounds makes an attempt to figure out why on earth I'm against critical thinking and what I even mean by saying that. We're pretty clearly talking past each other to some extent, but he does give me an excuse to extend, qualify, and generally shake the kaleidoscope of my AmCon post to see how it rearranges itself. Here are some scattered shards.I. Where I'm coming from: I wrote the post because I have talked with so many people who perceive themselves to be … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X