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

In the closing chapter of C.S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet, (the story of Dr. Ransom’s adventure in Mars) the narrator explains that it was Dr. Ransom's idea, instead of publicizing this adventure in terms of fact, to relate it in the form of fiction: "It was Dr. Ransom who first saw that our only chance was to publish in the form of fiction what would certainly not be listened to as fact."The narrator goes on to quote Dr. Ransom: "...what we need for the moment is not so much a body of … [Read more...]

Religion, Intelligence, and Socialization

science and religion

The Independent just reported that “religious people are less intelligent.” Whatever remains of the “new atheist” crowd will argue that this study proves that education causes one to reject religion. Atheism is academic. Being enlightened or “bright” means you reject that dim-witted dogmatism of your fathers.The problem is, of course, that secularism has long been dominant in the academy. Take a group of impressionable young students— selected specifically for their intelligence—who care very … [Read more...]

Lumen Fidei: FF Writers React

Pope_Francis

Michael Hannon:Lumen Fidei is a fine title for Pope Francis’ first encyclical, but I can’t help but think that After Faith might have been even more apropos.  For in this letter to the Christian faithful, the Holy Father does for doctrinal enquiry what Alasdair MacIntyre did for ethical inquiry more than thirty years ago in After Virtue.  With a nod to Nietzsche, Pope Francis—primarily through the pen of his predecessor—begins by noting the sterile nature of contemporary understandings of fai … [Read more...]

Faith, Fiction, and Reason

narnia

T.M. Luhrmann is a Stanford anthropologist famous for her research on evangelical devotional life, studying the mechanics of God's presence in their lives. A few days ago, in a NY Times article, she asked and answered the following question: "Why is C.S. still a rock star for evangelicals?"  In her view, it boils down to his fiction, particularly his Narnia series, which paints a complex picture of God that is "insulated from human doubt about religion." The series, she argues, "helps us to … [Read more...]

What Do We Do When We Run Out of Empathy?

pesant family

In a recent New Yorker article “The Case Against Empathy,” Paul Bloom warns us against using empathy – the act of putting oneself in another’s shoes – as our primary moral guide. Empathy indeed aids us in our personal relationships and in cases, such as the Newtown shootings, where there is an identifiable victim, but it does not help us to respond to other situations where victims are unidentifiable (e.g. tax evasion), or when temporarily shelving our empathy is necessary (e.g. disciplining chil … [Read more...]


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