The Way of Beauty: From Aesthetics to Art

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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 pre … [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...]

CNN Exposes Socialist Catholic Archbishops

CNN's recent story about Catholic Archbishops is purportedly about their lavish homes, but in reality the story is about the sometimes lavish homes they live in, not the ones that they own. This distinction is a fine one, but it demonstrates what most Catholic clergy share in common: by and large they do not live in privately owned property. In many cases they take vows that absolutely disallow the ownership of private property.This exposes a pre-Marxist socialist principle, recalled this pas … [Read more...]

How Being a Poor Lay Catholic Missionary Changed My Politics

CNN just ran a rather unqualified story on the residences of Catholic Archbishops in the US. Joanne McPortland, Deacon Greg, and Jennifer Fitz cover it in rich and fair detail.The story affected me in a personal way. It pricked something in me that may serve to explain some my more deeply felt political intuitions.*I wish we would share how our lived experiences shape and form our politics. Behind every bumper sticker is a story. At least there should be.Being thoughtful and refle … [Read more...]

Agonism, Antagonism, and Attitudes About Certainty

I think PEG really hit one nail on the head in his last post of our ongoing discussion on education. He understands, and sympathizes, that social scientific research used to bolster policy and curriculum for schooling today is, mostly, garbage. This fact, he rightly intuits, forces me into a defensive attitude about any unqualified appeal to science. He goes on to present his most careful and thorough to date explanation of what he means by 'science' and shows that there is a tradition of … [Read more...]

Against Methods: The Arts of the Ordinary

This is another reply to Pascal Emanuel Gobry, in particular to his recent reply to me regarding the radical uniqueness of the Montessori curriculum. * I've recently posted a few sketched-out ideas about the absence of generosity, rooted in fear, that grips the public conversation, especially online. There is so much of it and, tragically, I often find myself in the middle of it. Outrage is a fickle and easy chemistry, one click away from explosion. This is one reason why this exchange with … [Read more...]

“Moronic Manhood” at Ethika Politika

My essay on manhood at Ethika Politika is something I've wanted to write for many, many years. In it, I try to expose what I find to be a rather clumsy and insulting (but sometimes hilarious) caricature of manhood that is very popular in some of the Catholic circles I run in.Here's an excerpt: Yes, I want to become a better father, son, husband, and friend, to man and woman alike, as the man that I am, but I’m not sure that I need to watch Braveheart on repeat to do it or keep up with the la … [Read more...]

“Musings” on LATE TO LOVE with Iguana

Almost two years ago, my good friend and fellow philosopher of education (at Hofstra University), Eduardo Duarte (a.k.a. "Professor Iguana," his radio deejay name), began "Musings," an experimental community radio project trying to think and talk about about the relationship between philosophy and music or even the idea of philosophy as music and vice versa.I've been the featured guest twice and today we recorded the first of an eventual trio of conversations focused on my forthcoming album, … [Read more...]

The Tree of Life: An Overview

   Characters: Father: Brad Pitt. Mother: Jessica Chastain. Adult Eldest Son: Sean Penn. Eldest Son (Jack): darker-haired, big eared, occasionally mean boy. Middle Son: dirty blonde, artist (guitar and painting), gentle boy. Youngest Son: sandy brown hair.   Scenes, in sequential order: The Two Ways: A prism flame in the darkness. Voice: “Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door.” The way of grace and the way of nature.Grief: Mother finds out that middle son has bee … [Read more...]

On Rigor

(The late David Foster Wallace's 2005 "This Is Water" Kenyon College commencement speech drones in my headphones and Rebel Without a Cause plays on mute in the corner; it is chilling to listen to DFW speak descriptively about suicide and I am arrogant to enough to find it all quite underwhelming, in a very comforting, soothing, and self-assuring way.)A young professor from Fordham showed up late to my talk in New York a month ago. He asked me a very serious question though, one of those … [Read more...]


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