Two Sides of Paradise

If one were to construct a spectrum of contemporary filmmakers, ranging from the minimalist to the fantastic, one would find Baz Luhrmann and Terrence Malick on very opposite ends of the spectrum. Where the former is loud, explosive, and flashy, the other is introspective, discreet, and nuanced to a fault. And yet, the two movies they had in theaters this summer (The Great Gatsby and To the Wonder, respectively) revolve around the same dynamic tension. In some prior reverie, a man and a woman f … [Read more...]

What We Are: Mind, Body, and the Dangers of Dualism

This is the first article from our summer issue. The whole issue will be released gradually over the next several weeks.  According to traditional Christian metaphysics, the human has a body and a soul. But these two things aren’t entirely separate substances, as if the soul was “located” in some part of the body and floats away out of the body like ectoplasma when an individual dies. Rather, the soul and the body form a substantial unity: a human being is both body and soul, and the two are ent … [Read more...]

Ask Aquinas Anything: Divine Perfection in the Face of Evil

Dear Thomas, My niece, who takes a daily two-minute break from facebook, sent me a message to ask: (1) how God, who knows everything, can know evil and still remain 100% actualized goodness; and (2) how God’s will can always be fulfilled given that there is evil in the world.  I'd be grateful for your advice.  Sincerely, Questioning in Quinnipiac.1.  The most important point here is to establish the difference between "good" and "evil".  Good is a transcendental quality of all being.  T … [Read more...]

Confronting Our Finitude in Boston

It's hard to believe that barely three weeks have passed since the Boston Marathon was bombed. The (still)-evolving media frenzy around the attacks and subsequent manhunt stretched into what felt like months for us Bostonians. Glued to the news and stuck in our homes, the events shook all of us out of the fog of our routines and mundane preoccupations. Boston is a small city. Nearly everyone living here is just a few degrees of separation from the victims of the bombing, or has another personal … [Read more...]

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Everything happens for a reason.  Some things are meant to be.  These well-worn clichés are bandied about by religious and non-religious alike, and the romantics among us can’t help but believe they conceal something true.  Especially when we fall in love, the beloved appears as uniquely “for me.”Does this sense of necessity belong only to poetry and fairy tales, though? Human beings are not the center of the universe, especially not you, or me.  Nor are we in control of our lives. If everyth … [Read more...]