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, 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...]

The July Experiment

During the month of July I will try to blog more and less: I will try to blog more frequently, perhaps even posting several posts in a day, but I will limit my posts to five-hundred words or less --- which is significantly less than the usual fare. (Yesterday's post doesn't count because I starting writing it in the wee hours of June.) If this "works" (whatever that means), I may halve the word count for August.The reasons behind this experiment are many, and teasing them all out would be … [Read more...]

Reading and Listening to Pope Francis: Priming the Heart and Mind

Reading and listening have become postmodern. The idea of reading with any sense of fidelity has been all but lost. In the news-cycle, we feed on half-digested items like a person who never listens, who only listens long enough to come up with a critical response. I often struggle with this in my own academic work, and also in my teaching. A student once asked me, "What do I read for?" --- my reply shocked him and even me: "Read for the truth, read for what is there."In the aftermath of Pope … [Read more...]

New Interview With Pope Francis!

  Pope Francis was interviewed, over the course of three meetings, in August. The translation from Italian to English is now published at America. Here is an excerpt from the full manuscript:“I see clearly,” the pope continues, “that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cho … [Read more...]

Airport Affectations

Over the past two months I've become an infrequent blogger.I once resisted that title."Blogger."I'm not sure what snobbery developed my absurd allergy to blogging as an identity.Today I see things differently; I guess I've realized that there is a difference between blogging in the abstract and the concrete reality of this blog, this virtual dwelling place.I've been busy, of course.I write to you from an airport terminal, so on and so forth.You?I've come to … [Read more...]

A Video for the Weekend

Here is the performative talk I gave at the University of Manitoba last weekend. It does not explicitly mention liturgy, but my interest in that and other things can all be readily found in it. The title is "Being and Meaning, Showing and Saying, Phenomenology and Folklore." The songs are all original compositions that will be on my next album. Enjoy! … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving as Forgiveness

"Thank you." --- "I'm sorry." A simple redemption lives in those utterances. There is grace there.During the hey-day of the charismatic renewal, at prayer meetings and Lord Day's, there was always a time of thanksgiving, usually during praise and worship. A guitar would strum a sustained chord and await prayers of thanksgiving to chime in aloud: "I want to thank you Lord for the gift of life..." "Thank you Jesus for healing my sister..." "Thank you for gathering us all together here … [Read more...]

20 No More…

It is 11:25 pm in Grand Forks, North Dakota. My folks are in town. Got here today, from Texas. I turn 30 in just over half an hour. Lame as it may seem to spend that time writing to a few friends and perfects strangers, I am writing to myself, mostly. Most of my writing is a confessional exercise, a form of vain, public therapy posing as public admonition and unpious piety.Everyone is asleep. My Dad and I went to the movies tonight. We both love the theatre and cinema, but there's no time to … [Read more...]

Mormons vs. Catholics: College Football Gets Religious

I played rugby at Franciscan University of Steubenville for four years. At the time, we were competing in the division II Allegheny conference. We played Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and even faced Penn State and Ohio State in tourneys or friendly matches. Since then FUS moved to division III, where it's become the premiere small college rugby football club in the nation.We weren't well-trained in the art of rugby, most of us had never played until college, but we were very well conditioned … [Read more...]