Gradualism and the Aesthetics of Communication

I've stayed away from the Synod news. I'll read the documents in due time, but I have no journalistic interests to hasten me. Two small impressions have occurred to me, which I offer below in limited relation to the actual Synod event. These are speculative remarks, made in response to the always unreliable informant that is my Twitter feed and Facebook wall. Feel free to ignore them or to apply them where they might fit in that discussion, but do keep in mind that this is not really about the b … [Read more...]

A Soap Box Interview at Solidarity Hall

Solidarity Hall has a thing for lefty Catholic native Texans. Their Soap Box interview series began with Elizabeth Stoker-Bruenig and was followed by Hunter Sharpless, both originally from the Republic of Texas. I am now their third. We talked about my review of God's Not Dead, the Christian film that came out this summer.Read the write-up that goes along with the recorded interview. … [Read more...]

Vaccines and Ideological Delusions

Every few weeks my Facebook feed revisits another report from a nutty niche website of a study that definitively proves the debilitating evils of infant, child, and pregnant mother vaccinations. The studies cited are usually recycled from the previous unpersuasive iteration, and Simcha Fisher is usually a reliable antidote to them. The issue usually then boils down to journalistic self-reporting by parents who reject vaccinations, which too often is given a polite pass.*I'm very sad to report t … [Read more...]

Another Late to Love Round-Up!

(Read the first round-up, including links to 11 reviews.)*Late to Love has been out for almost two weeks now and has received quite a few mentions and reviews. Here they are, counting off from 11, where the last round-up ended:12. Pia de Solenni includes Late to Love among art that shows "Why We Don’t Need Catholic/Christian Writers, Artists, etc."13. Korrectiv Press gives its literary cousin, Wiseblood, a shout out.14. Tom Zampino writes "Of Pears, And Lusts, And Conversions, And Musi … [Read more...]

Black United Students at Kent State University Stage a “Die In”

Today at 1 pm EST, Black United Students organized and staged a "die in" at Kent State University in response to continuing violence against African Americans and other -- often young and male -- people of colour. Photos and video taken by Walter Gershon.  #‎kentstatediein   … [Read more...]

The Way of Beauty: From Aesthetics to Art

A great deal of ink has been spilled lately about the need to appreciate what Pope Francis recently referred to in Evangelii Gaudium as the via pulchritudinis, the way of beauty. The term 'aesthetics' is in vogue, so it seems, and it appears to be having some positive effects, in small but serious ways, on contemporary religious artists---they are out there, and perhaps always have been, but are getting more attention and reception.Nonetheless, aesthetics is not art. The former presupposes t … [Read more...]

Phenomenology is in the Air!

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 phenomenology, … [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 Muslim p … [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...]


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