Why Don’t We Talk About Friendship More?

This weekend, I was blessed to have the opportunity to hear Wesley Hill, the author of Washed and Waiting, speak at Harvard on spiritual friendship and sexuality. One of the challenges he posed sprung from his reading of St. Aelred of Rievaulx's reflection Spiritual Friendship. He noted, "there aren't a lot of similar treatises [on friendship] that we could point to in today's church. Why is that? Could we be part of rewriting them ourselves? Could we be part of living into them ourselves and rec … [Read more...]

The Decline of Dawkins and the Dawn of Deliberative Doubt

In March 2012, a crowd of atheists flocked to the National Mall in Washington, DC for the first “Reason Rally.” Billed as the “Woodstock for atheists and skeptics,” the rally, headlined by Richard Dawkins, seemed to signal a new resurgence of popularity and influence for the New Atheism.But while atheism is still strong, the New Atheism is rapidly becoming the Old Atheism, and Richard Dawkins is in danger of becoming irrelevant. So argues Theo Hobson in an article this week in the UK’s Specta … [Read more...]

Art and Friendship

When one thinks of art and its relation to ethics, one of the first things to come to mind is Plato’s treatment of poets and painters in the Republic.  Neither group is beloved of the philosopher: the poets do too much to lead the passions astray and create false notions of divinity and the afterlife; the painters create objects which form the lowest rung on the Platonic chain of being.  For Plato, immaterial forms are the untainted essences of things, while material instantiations of those forms … [Read more...]