Collapsing the Faith/non-Faith Dichotomy in Teaching

teacher owl flickr creative commons

The best teaching involves the whole person: their beliefs and views, their reasoning and arguments, their hopes and fears. For this reason, I propose that we re-frame our debate about teaching from a faith-based context. It is not a fundamental feature of faith that it must posit itself as the only point of view. Faith, as St. Anselm so pointedly reminds us, seeks understanding. I often encounter the misconception that a church's main role is to separate the world into the sacred and the … [Read more...]

Joyfully shipwrecked

heureux-naufrage

There once was a ship that travelled far and wide. Some said it was as old as time. It wasn’t necessarily  a majestic vessel, but it always remained an important part of the lives of people wherever it sailed. In the Canadian province of Quebec, the history and identity of French and English-speaking people were deeply intertwined with this ship’s long and illustrious journey. It was believed that the ship would endure forever. In many hearts, this journey continues today, but for the majority of … [Read more...]

“Truth Eventually Wins Out,” Which Is Why Franciscan Needs to Reconsider Hayden’s Honorary Degree

Hayden-at-FU

“Truth eventually wins out; facts are stubborn things.”  These were the words of General Michael Hayden when he gave the commencement speech at Franciscan University of Steubenville on May 12, 2012.  He continued: “stand your ground, don't forget the moral compass you have been given here at Franciscan University.”As a proud graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, I echo his sentiments.  The truth does eventually win out, and I was given a firm moral compass, a commitment to the tr … [Read more...]

In the Kingdom of the Enemy: Reading the Torture Report

torturereport

It’s been a struggle to figure out what is most disturbing in the executive summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on the CIA’s “detention and interrogation” — i.e., torture — program, but I got the list down to a top six:The sheer brutality of some of the “enhanced interrogation techniques;” The fact that the torture was mostly useless, if not actually counterproductive; The fact that we’re discussing torture and effectiveness as if utility could justify brutali … [Read more...]

On Not Bumping Into the Furniture: The Immaculate Conception and Cooperation with Grace

From the grotto at Lourdes Image: Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP / Flickr (Creative Commons)

The late great Avery Cardinal Dulles is reported by Schuyler Brown, a former student of his, to have once declared the doctrine of original sin “closed for repairs,” and there seem to be a whole lot of good reasons for that.  The doctrine of original sin has been attacked over the past couple centuries for a variety of reasons, too numerous to get into.  What matters is that the result has been a total obfuscation of the meaning of the doctrine itself.  I would not be surprised if most Cathol … [Read more...]

Physicist Stephen Barr discusses faith and science

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Dr. Stephen M. Barr, professor of physics at the University of Delaware, recently shared his thoughts with me on why science and the Catholic faith are "profoundly in harmony." His insights on the big bang and theory of evolution are worth reading. In our America magazine interview, he shared the following hope for his readers: I hope they come away with the realization that the church has never been an enemy of science, but rather a great patron and friend of science, and that scientific … [Read more...]


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