Art & Culture

benhur

The story of Judah Ben Hur a wealthy, influential Jewish prince betrayed by his friend Massala as he seeks to climb the ranks of Roman power, first appeared as a best-selling novel in 1880 penned by an unlikely writer, retired Civil War general Lew Wallace and was subtitled “A Tale of the Christ.” And the [...]

The story of Judah Ben Hur a wealthy, influential Jewish prince betrayed by his friend Massala as he seeks to climb the ranks of Roman power, first appeared as a best-selling novel in 1880 penned by an unlikely writer, retired Civil War general Lew Wallace and was subtitled “A Tale of the Christ.” And the [...]

Just before the 2016 Olympic Games began in Rio, Cardinal Orani Tempesta blessed the Olympic torch at the feet of the Statue of Christ the Redeemer. Images of Jesus with arms extended were beamed into homes around the world. This was not supposed to happen but there it was. Father Omar Raposo, rector at the [...]

“It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man can organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can ultimately only organize it against man. Exclusive humanism is inhuman humanism.”   ∼ Henri de Lubac, The Drama of Atheist Humanism “If God does not exist … everything is permitted.”   ∼ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, [...]

The much-awaited Olympics is now upon us in Rio, a city in a country in a continent mired in unmanageable debt and corruption. Surrounded by poverty-stricken favelas, the city has poured billions into Olympic venues, security, advertising, all to watch a few thousand overhyped young athletes strive to excel at their chosen sport. Don't get me [...]

The age of the "body beautiful" will now become the age of the Assumption.  ∼ Ven. Fulton Sheen “I am empowered by my body,” Kim Kardashian declared back on International Women’s Day, voicing triumph in an infamous nude selfie. In a society that worships the brazen sensuality of the body beautiful while eviscerating any link between [...]

A colleague recently asked me to write for our students about what is euphemistically, and rather incorrectly, known as “swearing.”  We have all perhaps heard our younger siblings yell, "Muuuum! Jimmy swore!" Yet Jimmy did not really “swear,” unless he is beyond his years, or brought into a court of law.  Swearing literally is taking [...]

If the demon you know really is better than the demon you don’t, we might expect on abundant evidence that societal intimacy with lust, pride, greed, envy, wrath, and gluttony would yield some positive results. This is not the case. For we seem only to know the vices, not the virtues. What’s more, we know [...]

The very first lesson that I can recall in my undergraduate degree was on Plato’s Cave. The full meaning and depth of it barely penetrated my consciousness and as soon as I realized it was not "assessable" knowledge, I disregarded what little had sunk in. I lay part of the blame of this apathy on [...]

In public discussion today, expertise has acquired the authority once held by good sense. The change reflects a change in attitudes toward society and politics. Educated, influential, and well-placed people now want a society run by global markets, financial institutions, and public administration based on supposedly neutral expertise. As such people's response to Brexit shows, [...]

For decades, now, Christians have worried about the progressive push to strip naked the public square by forcing religion into the shadows of a private sphere. Recent events have made clear that this is not the case. Everything is public and political to the secular left. All aspects of our lives are fair game in [...]

What’s happened to the world? Even a quick glance at the newsfeeds will confirm it: times are dark, full of spiritual confusions and physical dangers. Sweeping judicial fiats have redefined the nature of human relationships with a speed, boldness, and radicalness that even Comrade O’Brien might find injudicious; educational revisionists now baldly proclaim their utilitarian [...]

“What are we going to do?” asked the Professor. “At this moment,” said Syme, with a scientific detachment, “I think we are going to smash into a lamppost.” ~ G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare By all accounts, this has been a strange campaign season, and it’s only going to get stranger, so [...]

With personal endorsements from Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington and Melinda Gates, the Princeton professor, Anne-Marie Slaughter, is well-connected. With reviews of her recent book Unfinished Business in The Financial Times, The Observer, The Economist, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Slate, The Telegraph and The Guardian, she must be saying something interesting. She is a professor [...]

When we look back on the Third Crusade (1189-1192) it is all but impossible not to be struck by how close King Richard and the Christian host came to decisively defeating Saladin and re-taking Jerusalem. Twice during the campaign—in January 1192 and again in July 1192—the crusaders advanced to within a dozen or so miles [...]

Every year, pornography tangles up millions of people in its sticky spider webs. It rolls them up like hapless flies, and sucks out their brains until they are pretty much the walking dead. Christians are not exempt. And we are finally starting to admit it and talk about it. But there is still something missing [...]

A story in Florence, Italy recently caught the attention of many around the world. It was big news when public outcry caused Florentine city officials to backtrack from an agreement to let a McDonald’s open in the historic Piazza del Duomo, not far from Florence’s historic fifteenth-century cathedral. It would harm the identity of the [...]

In a recent column I noted that tradition is not self-contained or absolute. It's complex, so that superior, subordinate, and parallel traditions often come into conflict. Local tradition may say one thing, Church or national tradition quite another. Also, tradition is not about itself but about goods toward which it's oriented, so it's relative to something [...]

In his new book The Fractured Republic, Yuval Levin writes about how both the Right and the Left are waxing nostalgic—the Left, for the Camelot of the 1960s; the Right, for the Reagan Ranch of the 1980s. He may very well have a point—this explains the plethora of “Reagan Bush 1984” bumper stickers and t-shirts [...]

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.  ∼ Charles Peguy It is not widely known among those who mourned the passing of Elie Wiesel, the world’s most famous Holocaust survivor who died July 2nd at age 87, [...]

Australia has a program in its schools that, at first glance, you’d have to be crazy to be against. It’s called Safe Schools, and it is an anti-bullying campaign. Well, at least that’s how it has been promoted. In reality, Safe Schools has become a pro-LGBTQI indoctrination system designed by one academic Marxist with hopes [...]

“The Church has need especially of those who can do this [communicate the message] on the literary and figurative level, using the endless possibilities of images and their symbolic force. Christ Himself made extensive use of images in His preaching, fully in keeping with His willingness to become, in the Incarnation, the icon of the [...]

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