And We Behold His Glory

Most major mythologies say that humanity will end up in either a hades or a heaven. Their destination might be based on merit, usually on wealth, sometimes on whim. But there they go, either through a series of perfection or an interrupting rapture. It’s hard to imagine an ending to the world other than one or the other. This cosmic threshing remains a philosophical option. The mythology lives on.Take, for instance, the first season of HBO’s “True Detective.” Much has been written about the s … [Read more...]

Why You Must Read Shakespeare to Understand OITNB’s Second Season

Orange

 In its first season, Orange is the New Black (OITNB) was a show about a motley crew of women prisoners premised on the fact that these women were much more than criminals. They were mothers, wisecracks, lovers, entrepreneurs, dreamers and, most of all, friends (albeit among racial lines). It was also, on the other hand, a show about how there are “criminal” desires in all of us, even in bourgeois, educated people like Piper, the protagonist in the first season, who finds herself mal … [Read more...]

Five Books to Read in College

This is a list of five amazing books. They come representing five noble genres: the novel, the memoir, poetry, the short story, and the essay. How good are they? This good: as I read, I often had to pause, put the book down, breathe or sigh or shake, and look around to see if the world was still there. It was – but each time, the way I viewed it had changed.This list is particular, not comprehensive. I did not assemble it from other people’s recommendations, I did not poll anybody; between th … [Read more...]

“Didactic Paragraph-Pomposity” and the Pursuit of Truth

In one of my first encounters with Søren Kierkegaard, I distinctively remember hearing the term “Gobbler of Paragraphs.” My professor stated that this term, originally taken from some margin notes to Fear and Trembling, would inform the way our seminar would proceed. He wanted to ensure, as we students were reading Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Fragments, that we were taking time to inwardly digest the assigned material.As we worked our way through the Fragments, Kierkegaard began to urge us to … [Read more...]

The Language of Narrative and the Recovery of Metanarrative: Part Two

What is truth? This, of course, is an ancient question.  Pilate’s response to Jesus doesn’t present us with an isolated instance of a doubtful mind, but rather it unearths the perennial condition of Man’s mind.  We are creatures capable of introducing doubt into any system of thought.  As a result, our late-modern culture may be accurately described as a culture that has embraced the idea that because everything can be doubted, nothing can be known.  This characterization of our culture began to … [Read more...]

Epic Mentality

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 In my house, my wife Katie and I are hoping that using consistent, relaxing music around bedtime will help to create a sleepy routine for our seven-month-old daughter. You may be surprised to learn that current music of choice is a playlist of peaceful tracks from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. No, we don’t think little Teresa is learning anything from “Into the West.”  (Our parental delusions aren’t that acute.)  But as I listen to the music and recall the stories told by Tol … [Read more...]

Literature and the Moral Life

books

During a class discussion in college, I recall one of my English professors off-handedly commenting, “Well, we study literature to become better people, right?” The question struck me as odd then, as it does now. Certainly reading classic works can improve a reader’s analytical skills; perhaps it also aids intellectual and personal development.  But that doesn’t mean it always makes us more moral. I was a physics major in college, and this point seemed clear-cut to me at the time. I could learn t … [Read more...]


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