Art & Culture

Rowland

The annual Cardinal Winning Lecture on Catholic Education, sponsored by the St. Andrew’s Foundation, was delivered on February 6, 2016, at the University of Glasgow in Scotland by Tracey Rowland, the Australian theologian and Director of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. Rowland is the author of two books on Benedict XVI and of [...]

The annual Cardinal Winning Lecture on Catholic Education, sponsored by the St. Andrew’s Foundation, was delivered on February 6, 2016, at the University of Glasgow in Scotland by Tracey Rowland, the Australian theologian and Director of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. Rowland is the author of two books on Benedict XVI and of [...]

“Are you planning to debate abortion in class?” asked our new principal. We were standing in the hallway near my classroom. “Yes,” I said. “Don’t,” she said. “Why not?” “Because…” She paused, seeming surprised that I would question her. “Because eighth graders are too young to discuss it.” “But we’ve debated it several times the [...]

In the twenty years since the publication of Deal Hudson’s marvelous book Happiness and the Limits of Satisfaction, the eclipse of Greek and Christian ideas about happiness by the pursuit of pleasure, of “well-feeling” rather than “well-being,” has only advanced. This movement has been deepened and accelerated by my colleagues in the social and behavioral [...]

On Going to Gaming

When I was a graduate student at the Angelicum back in the 1980s, I sat at the feet of learned and clever Dominicans who were determined to teach me theology. It was a heady experience and to help pay for it, along with providing support for the young family I brought with me to Rome, [...]

In The Merchant of Venice, Portia famously describes and praises the quality of mercy. I probably recall this monologue readily because I had to commit it to memory for recitation when I was a freshman in high school. Forty nine years after my entry into high school and three-hundred-ninety-four years after the death of Shakespeare, [...]

In an attempt to help their highly ranked—yet financially struggling—Catholic university, the Board of Trustees at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, MD, hired Simon Newman, a Los Angeles private equity and strategic planning leader to be its new president in 2014. A year later, Newman found himself at the center of a faculty-led firestorm over [...]

Catholic intelligence is not ordinarily focused on what a given pope might think, affirm, or write, however wise this source may prove to be. Catholicism has a many-faceted tradition that includes what is true while it carefully wrestles with what is not true. During the more recent pontificates of Popes Wojtyla and Ratzinger in particular, [...]

It is clear from their relatively tiny numbers—only a few million in a total population of 318,000,000—that men who have sex with men (MSM)* are not “everywhere” as MSM insist they are. It is also clear from their sexual activities, particularly related to anal sex, that their sexual practices also set them apart from the [...]

Last month we examined the current state of the humanities in universities as an example of what happens when an institution attempts to “evolve” in order to maintain its place of prestige in the world. Too often, the disciplines of the humane letters have abandoned their own characteristic modes and methods of examining reality and [...]

I would like to weigh in on Ross Douthat’s on-going dialogue with theologians employed at nominally Catholic institutions. Like Douthat, I am not a theologian. However, we don’t have to be theologians in order to be good Catholics or people of good sense. I think us “amateurs” can contribute two very solid points that the [...]

The world is not good enough. It could be better. We all agree about that. There are disagreements over how bad it is, and what causes this inadequacy. A popular explanation is that all of the world’s problems are caused by oppression, the process by which the powerful exercise their supremacy over the weak. It [...]

Those religious who governed the West’s seminaries and monasteries before Vatican II stressed—whether specifically as part of their order's constitution, or on a broader basis—the dangers involved with “particular friendships.” Contrary to what is often supposed, these dangers did not exclusively concern homoerotic attraction, never mind outright homosexual affairs. Nor were such cautions made in [...]

If every poem has a past, then the strands of my own past are laced with lines of the loveliest lyric, forged a century or more ago by Gerard Manley Hopkins, an obscure Jesuit priest whose sonnet, “God’s Grandeur,” I elatedly discovered while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. His was the opening [...]

Saint or psycho? The Holy Fool is a man or woman perceived as foolish in the eyes of the world but who is, nevertheless, an unnerving presence. Both in the Christian East and West, there is a long tradition of such individuals who witness to a spiritual reality beyond this world. Periodically, they appear on [...]

In a recent essay in Partisan Magazine, Daniel Brown argues that the decline of the humane disciplines has come about through an envy of the physical sciences and, in particular, the impossible desire to replicate the kind of revolutionary insights that have given those sciences their prestige in the modern age. Brown accounts for this [...]

Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina doesn’t end with the suicide of Anna. Its final section concludes the story of its other primary character, Constantin Levin. Levin’s situation is very different from Anna’s. He is married to the woman he loves, who has recently given birth to their first child, a healthy son. They live on a farm [...]

In proof of Chesterton’s dictum that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly, I pound away at the piano playing the easier Chopin Nocturnes and I grind on my violin with a confidence only an amateur can flaunt. So I am not innocent of music.  I appreciate the emotive post-war French [...]

If you haven’t yet read The Divine Comedy, the Year of Mercy is the time to do it. Named by Pope Francis as one of his favorite books, this narrative poem by the fourteenth-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri is widely considered to be the most preeminent work of Italian literature, as well as one of the greatest poems ever written. [...]

Ever since Michael Brown was felled by a white police officer, activists and the media have made the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement the cause célèbre. Yet, in the year following the Brown shooting, 29 unarmed black men were killed by police versus 2205 blacks killed by other blacks (76 [...]

“Do you take milk or cream in your coffee, Anna? I'm so forgetful these days.” “Neither, dear. Don't fret about it.” Anna gave a little sigh and passed the cup to her friend Liz. Then they sat quietly for a moment at the table, Anna stirring the sugar in her cup and clinking the spoon [...]

We cannot grasp music intellectually, but we can let ourselves be touched by it.  ~ David Steindl-Rast, OSB And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart (Lk 2.19). HELP WANTED: Cello player. Viola would suffice, but I’d prefer a cello—doesn’t it have a more mellow, deeper tone? Plus, I like how the cello [...]

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