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January 23, 2015

As frequent readers will know, I’m often wary of drawing facile antinomies between “Modernity” and “Christianity” but here I will indulge just a little bit. One frequent theme you will read about in the history of philosophy is Kant’s supposed “Copernician revolution”: capital-T universal “Truth” is not a thing “out there” that objectively exists independently of us and that we grope our way towards; we only experience the “noumenal” through the “phenomenal” and so the only thing we can say about the… Read more

January 22, 2015

The common misconception about the doctrine of Papal infallibility is that the Pope can say whatever he wants and Catholics have to believe it. Actually, the effect of Papal infallibility works in the opposite direction, restraining the Pope; as Ross Douthat explained in a column relating to the latest Synod: On paper, that doctrine seems to grant extraordinary power to the pope […] In practice, though, it places profound effective limits on his power. Those limits are set, in part, by… Read more

January 21, 2015

Over the Christmas break, I read C.S. Lewis’s The Allegory of Love (my first Lewis book! I enjoyed it!), a wonderful book of literary history and criticism, which looks at the invention of the poetry genre of “courtly love”, which is really the invention of what we would today call romantic love, period. One of the things Lewis is at pains to stress in his book is that the very notion of romantic, or passionate, love, or however you want to… Read more

January 15, 2015

We can debate the filioque and the Quartodeciman Controversy all day. What are some specific proposals for unity between the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy? Let’s meet rubber and road. John Paul II’s challenge of Ut Unum Sint, mostly ignored by the Eastern Orthodox Church, has been at least answered by the Eastern Catholic theologian Adam DeVille, who wrote a book outlining precisely such a plan. I haven’t read the book (yet) but here is an apt summary. DeVille proposes to essentially separate the… Read more

January 15, 2015

When I did was invited to the Theologues podcast on the New Atheism, I was asked what was “new” about the New Atheism, and I answered: they are new in stupidity. This is obviously a polemical assertion that demands justifying, and I think one of the best ways to understand what is so lacking about the New Atheism is to compare them to their philosophical atheist forebears, and among them the figure of David Hume obviously towers. David Hume is often… Read more

January 14, 2015

My old pal David Sessions, who was raised in a fundamentalist Christian household and is now an atheist leftist academic, has written an interesting blog post where he argues that if you were raised Catholic and no longer believe in the faith, you should still go to church, lol, because even though there is no God, the Catholic Church, what with all its deep institutional, philosophical and cultural resources, can still be a source of positive political change, something which he apparently feels… Read more

January 14, 2015

One theme in Meister Eckhart’s writings is the noble man as the figure of the ideal Christian. At first blush, this seems strange. Didn’t Christ establish the radical equality of all men as children of God? Didn’t he come to exalt the lowly and bring down the mighty? Yes, yes. But… Here are some reasons why I think the idea of the noble man might be useful to us these days. The noble man did not earn his station. We… Read more

January 14, 2015

I wanted to write this earlier in the week but the Charlie Hebdo events have made it harder for me to write… It’s still the week of the Baptism of our Lord so it’s okay! According to Hans Urs von Balthasar, who Karl Barth thought was the theologian who best understood him, Barth’s objection to Catholicism can be summed up like this: Catholicism, through its claims of infallibility, through the ex opere operato working of the sacraments, through the analogia Entis, represents an attempt… Read more

January 13, 2015

You know Leah Libresco is awesome, right? Right. Well, now she has a radio show, “Fights in Good Faith.” The first episode is online. And it’s as good as you’d imagine. I love this ongoing project by Leah to get us to have better fights. It’s amazing that we live in a world where such a nerdy, idiosyncratic show can exist. Stay tuned until next week, when this blog becomes “PEG Picks Fights In Bad Faith.”   Read more

January 9, 2015

Welcome to my (somewhat) weekly roundup of my writing outside Patheos. Remember that if you want to follow all my English-language writing you should like my Facebook Page. My Favorite Things I Wrote In 2014, Forbes. Inception! In this roundup of links to my writing, a link to a roundup of links to my writing. What Christmas means to Christians, The Week. Trying to unpack the meaning of Christmas for a secular audience. How I Did In My 2014 Predictions, Forbes. To my… Read more


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