Art & Culture

old books

“The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.” Aristotle wrote this in the fourth century B.C. in a text called On the Heavens. Sixteen hundred years later Thomas Aquinas began his treatise On Being and Essence by paraphrasing Aristotle: “Because a small error in the beginning grows enormous at the end.…” [...]

“The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.” Aristotle wrote this in the fourth century B.C. in a text called On the Heavens. Sixteen hundred years later Thomas Aquinas began his treatise On Being and Essence by paraphrasing Aristotle: “Because a small error in the beginning grows enormous at the end.…” [...]

Over a quarter century ago, Richard John Neuhaus coined the phrase “the naked public square” to describe efforts to drive religiously influenced values and their adherents out of public life and policy making. Neuhaus foresaw the intolerance of the “tolerant” hanging out a “practicing Christians/Jews please check your values here” sign. He also rightly pointed [...]

Steve Weidenkopf, lecturer at Christendom College’s graduate program, has written a readable, story-like book that provides a blow-by-blow account of the Crusades that simultaneously counters many of the myths that have sprung up around them. Yet he does so without ignoring the crusaders’ missteps. In the process, he makes a major contribution to addressing the [...]

In one of Baudelaire’s spleen poems called “The Generous Gambler,” a boulevardier is steered by a “Mysterious Being” into a subterranean casino. There they drink and chat till dawn, gambling all the while. The Mysterious Being proves an urbane and chatty devil, old fashioned in manners, but progressive in philosophy. The only time he’d ever [...]

Some say the world has gone mad, others that it is only now becoming sane. The disagreement shows that people disagree on what it is to be rational. It also reflects a widespread and very basic change in how people think. Joe Bissonnette notes that the change is visible in IQ test results. For decades [...]

Surrogacy became mainstream when in the 4th season of the popular sitcom, Friends, the ever-spacey Phoebe became the surrogate mother of her brother's children, in the episode titled "The one with the embryos." The episode's writer noted this had never before been seen on television—the story arc was considered "risky" and writers were concerned that [...]

If you’re in need of some comic relief this week, check out this piece from The Atlantic on “the sexually conservative Millennial.” In it, writer Emma Green sets out to show that Millennials (the generation of Americans presently between 18 and 35) are in fact far less libertine than is widely supposed. They are, in [...]

Do You Believe? is now in movie theaters across America. Released on March 20, it has done well at the box office—debuting on the weekend chart at number six. So what? Well, it is also a film about Christians, made by Christians and being watched by Christians in droves. But do we believe it’s any [...]

We often hear that there is no sense of shame anymore. For decades, that has been evident about sexual matters. Sexual behaviors, even perversions, which were once not only unmentioned but even unthinkable are now in the mainstream. Not only this, but opposing thinking—such as the value of chastity and sound sexual ethics—is held to [...]

What if I told you that a new law labeled as anti-gay by the New York Times and CNN was going to take effect soon. What if I also told you that Apple CEO Tim Cook compares it to Jim Crow laws, that Connecticut’s Governor has issued an executive order banning state-paid travel to Indiana [...]

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” —Oscar Wilde As I walked down the street, I noticed in the window of a shop a decal advertising the so-called “Human Rights Campaign,” the organization agitating for a redefinition of marriage to include homosexual unions. I was [...]

When was the last time anyone heard a sermon that condemned the evils of fornication, or adultery, or cohabitation, or divorce, or bearing children outside wedlock (let alone homosexuality)? Controlling these sins is a core Christian value. At one time a preacher could be expected to devote extended attention to these sins. And he could [...]

During the journey from the place of his wedding to the place of his honeymoon, G.K. Chesterton made a couple of curious shopping stops. It is alleged against me, and with perfect truth, that I stopped on the way to drink a glass of milk in one shop and to buy a revolver with cartridges [...]

It seems that those responsible for the most recent criminal acts of violence in Ferguson have fallen into the all too familiar human mistake of substituting violence for justice. The aftermath of an initial act of violence (which appears to have been an act of legitimate self-defense) has bred more violence, as violence often does. [...]

A few years ago, when an undergraduate student research assistant of mine—a recent convert to Catholicism—told me that he was planning to meet with a well-known dissenting Catholic theology professor who was then ensconced in an endowed chair at a major metropolitan Catholic university, I told him: “Be careful, you might end up liking him [...]

Recently, whilst traveling through Ireland, I passed over a small bridge. The river was easily crossed but I was conscious that the waters below were those of the River Boyne, and that upon its banks had been fought a battle that was to prove calamitous for the Catholic faith in these islands. And yet, for [...]

It is often assumed that Norman Rockwell did not like “modern art.” This is definitely false. He liked it very much. On his studio wall, Rockwell had a print of a work by Picasso: on the bookshelves in his studio he had books on painters such as Roualt, Matisse, Munch, Seurat, Dali, Toulouse-Lautrec and other [...]

The Drop Box is a heart wrenching, yet, inspirational documentary about a selflessly heroic South Korean pastor, Lee Jong-rak, who is consumed by a compelling desire to love unconditionally abandoned and helpless newborn babies. The film opened at a limited number of Canadian theaters in early March. Yet, due to its popularity, movie goers in the United [...]

What does one do when faced with obvious and widespread wickedness? Are there protocols to consult that enable one precisely to know what ethical course of action to take? And how do these protocols work when so many of one’s own countrymen seem not to have noticed, or particularly to care, that awful things are [...]

Is it really only 10 years since the book named after a genius rose to the top of the bestseller lists—a name linked forever to that true genius, Leonardo De Vinci? The link with the painter, and what his art purportedly represented, was in theological terms to become, for some at least, akin to Darwin’s [...]

Confirmation bias is the tendency to ascribe greater significance to information that supports our pre-existing theories and lesser significance to information that contradicts those theories. We often do this subconsciously. For example you get a new car, and now you notice that same type of car on the road with a much greater frequency than [...]

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