Process, Preparation, and the Catholic Rigor of Art

In anticipation of the release of my new album, Late to Love, here is a very interesting conversation about art between two Catholics, Conan O'Brien and Jack White.*I would never presume to say that Catholics have some special ability to make art, but I will claim that Catholic art has something to it that is distinctly and darkly beautiful. I am one of the least rock-and-roll guitarists out there, but I've recently become very interested in Jack White's work.I must admit that I … [Read more...]

Phenomenology is in the Air!

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The manuscript that began as my doctoral dissertation was finally sent to my editor this morning around 5 am. It is not finished, but it's very close to being finished. The title of the work is Folk Phenomenology: Education, Study, and the Human Person, it will be published in early 2015 by Atropos Press.This brings me to a somewhat belated welcome--- am I late to love?---to two new additions at Patheos Catholic who are good friends of mine. Both who drink deeply at the well of … [Read more...]

Professor Robert George as a Model of Interfaith Engagement

In the recent weeks of the atrocities in Iraq, there have been few intellectual voices more prominent and wholly opposed to ISIS than Professor Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University.He initiated iraqrescue.org, and has been outspoken in various ways. Professor George is Catholic and it shows in the measure of his response: a classic both/and. George models the ability to both be appalled by ISIS and have deep respect for Islam.This past Friday he … [Read more...]

Pope Francis to Muslims, Jews, and Christians: “We have the same Father in heaven.”

After my post yesterday, the Patheos Muslim channel responded magnanimously in two posts: "Summer of Our Discontent," by Rabia Chaudry, and "I am Proud to be of Christian and Muslim Heritage," by Precious Rasheeda Muhhamad. I thank them for their attention and concern. Deacon Greg Kandra has added (and updated) a post of his own, with more links and information about the widespread ISIS condemnations from Muslims around the world.I would like add a slightly dated source: Pope Francis' ad … [Read more...]

7 Reasons Why Muslims Are Not Silent About ISIS

Before Christians (or anyone else) try to make the serious claim that Muslims are not against the barbaric atrocities of ISIS, I would ask them to Google "Muslims denounce ISIS" --- or learn Arabic and do more thorough research.I did the former. In what follows are some of the results I found on the first page.*First, a statement from a group of Imams of the UK:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bd0Y6qWmlA&feature=youtu.beSecond, Indonesia, home to the world's largest M … [Read more...]

Another Christian Case Against the Literal Reading of Scripture (feat. David Bentley Hart)

The first post I wrote against biblical literalism was  justly critiqued for being extremely narrow in scope. In other cases, people seemed to misunderstand what I meant by the term 'literal.' Overall, I was surprised that so many Catholics found it scandalous to read the story of the Garden of Eden or the Great Flood as allegories.It was consoling to find David Bentley Hart, a fine theologian, sharing an even more expansive version of my previous, albeit limited, critique of biblical lite … [Read more...]

A Paradox of Empire: Thoughts on Iraq 2014

On Thursday, President Obama authorized a limited re-entry into Iraq, making him the fourth consecutive US president to carry-out military action against Iraq, from the First Gulf War of Bush I, Clinton's bombing of Bagdad in 1998, Bush II's pre-emptive war of 2003, and now Obama's selective bombing of ISIS. This happens along with increased military conflict between Israel and Palestine and Russia's re-emergent threats, most of all against the Ukraine.Each side of the US establishment has t … [Read more...]

I Saw a Picture of a Beheaded Girl Today

I hold my daughter firmly, hands hooked under arms, fingers pressing tight but not too tight; I hold her out, away from my body, and she smiles at me, with her six little teeth. She must feel weightless, her legs kick and wiggle. I've never been in love like this before. She wears cute dresses, with chubby arms and legs that stick out like a plastic doll. Her hair curls and falls in her face, so I blow it away and she giggles. She is the most beautiful thing in my life. She will turn one this mo … [Read more...]

America Interviews Fr. Z

Sean Salai, S.J., a summer editorial intern at America, interviews Fr. John Zuhlsdorf on, among other things, Catholic blogging:Do you expect to continue blogging after you finish your doctoral dissertation and go back to full-time ministry? I don't accept your premise.  Work in the blogosphere is ministry. Nearly every day I get an email from someone who says that, because of something he read on my blog, he went to confession for the first time in years, or that she and her husband are ge … [Read more...]

Is Conservatism Worth Conserving?

Of course it is. Without question.The term 'conservative' can be understood in a variety of ways, but I am not interested in qualifying or justifying that here.The post I cited yesterday only told part of the story, because all stories are, ultimately, parts of a greater whole. What I didn't mention was my extended engagement with a conservatism that went far beyond the scope of Rush and the EIB network.Here is the excerpt on that, to balance the scales: My Conservatism does not co … [Read more...]


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