December 17, 2018

I catch the train to work everyday, and being in Australia’s unofficial bible belt means that I pass by a number of churches on my way journey, including Catholic ones. In fact, now that I count them, I pass by at least four Catholic churches located along the train tracks. A Ukrainian Catholic church marks the quarter mark of my journey, two Roman Catholic Churches somewhere along the halfway point, and a parish of the Ordinariate of the Southern Cross… Read more

December 10, 2018

Introduction Most of the time, when Catholics use the term “Cultural Marxism” they mean to capture within it images of everything they don’t like. This is the mirror image, I suppose, of the equally unhelpful way progressives tend to use the term “neoconservatism.” But to so convert “Cultural Marxism” from a specific tradition of analysis of material processes underpinning consumer culture ― what the Frankfurt School called Kulturkritik ― to a worldwide conspiracy to destroy everything the West holds dear… Read more

December 4, 2018

Sunday marked the first day of Advent, the season of waiting for the coming of the Lord. On the day before, Pope Francis gave an address to visitors from the Italian dioceses of Ugento-Santa Maria di Leuca and Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi. In his speech (reported here in the Catholic Herald), the Pope spoke of Advent as the time of “consoling novelty and joyous waiting”, a season to turn away from fear to the consolation that God brings in the incarnate word. As… Read more

November 27, 2018

Over the weekend, we celebrated the Solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe, more commonly known as the Feast of Christ the King. This feast was introduced into the calendar by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in his encyclical Quas Primas (“In the First”). Though addressed to the universal church, the encyclical itself was partly a response to a number of local historical factors, which included the rise of fascism in Italy. As the title suggests, Christ was reasserted as… Read more

November 20, 2018

The devil is known by many names. The most common one, Satan, is often used, but only as a name. Like calling the one laying claim to soul “Alfie”. It is also used as a pejorative, a slightly sharper version of calling your own adversary “poopyhead”. With the frequency of this type of use, few remember the Hebrew roots of the name, which translates Satan to “The Accuser”. In a number of respects, as James Alison puts it in Raising… Read more

November 12, 2018

A diagnosis that is common to the thought of Nietzsche and Marx concerns the pacifying strength of fantasies. At the risk of oversimplification, we can say that for Marx, the fantasy concerns the artificial worth injected into things by capitalist modes of production, which for him religion played a part by redirecting the vision of the have-nots to a realm beyond things. For Nietzsche, meanwhile, the fantasy is one of an artificial morality imposed by the weak on the strong…. Read more

November 2, 2018

More than 20 years ago, the Icelandic singer Björk released the single “All is Full of Love” from her album Homogenic. The video for that single depicted two humanoid robots being manufactured by a series of robotic arms in a space age factory. As assembly by these arms begins, the first robot sings the first line of the song which goes You’ll be given love. You’ll be taken care of. You’ll be given love. You’ll have to trust it. When… Read more

October 20, 2018

Social media reminded me that, a year ago today, I wrote a post concerning the tragically poetic turn away from immortality to the glorious heft of earthly life (and promptly forgot I even wrote it). With allusions to Tolkien and the Goo Goo Dolls, I wrote there that “embodied existence, for all the awkwardness, breakage and loss, gives us a foretaste of eternity”. Fast forward a year, and I finally had the chance to crack open my recently acquired second… Read more

September 14, 2018

Wherein I get to talk about sloths! Oh… Readers in Sydney might be interested to know that the Parish of St Peter’s in Surry Hills have kindly invited me to give a short presentation on the vice of acedia, on 23 Sept at noon. I will be drawing on RJ Snell’s Acedia and its Discontents (which I discuss further here) and will go through a passage of the Praktikos by Evagrius of Pontus, and will discuss it through the lens… Read more

September 13, 2018

About a decade ago, Herve Juvin published The Coming of the Body, a magnificently frightening analysis on the arrival and implications of a technologically enhanced body. This new body not only lived longer, but was also detached from the obligations of community and disentangled from the machinations of the will. This new body was one completely beholden to the individual will, and no biological, physical or sexual limit the body exerted could ever encumber it. Among other diagnoses, I found Juvin’s… Read more

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