Art & Culture

The creation and the Expulsion from the Paradise (1445) by Giovanni Di Paolo

In spite of themselves, atheists can help to remind us of an important truth about God, that is, that he radically transcends the universe. It is God’s very transcendence that makes atheism possible, or at least more likely. If God were an item in the universe open to empirical investigation, presumably, there would be far [...]

In spite of themselves, atheists can help to remind us of an important truth about God, that is, that he radically transcends the universe. It is God’s very transcendence that makes atheism possible, or at least more likely. If God were an item in the universe open to empirical investigation, presumably, there would be far [...]

Although the recent book by Fr. Maciej Zieba is titled Papal Economics: The Catholic Church on Democratic Capitalism, from Rerum Novarum to Caritas in Veritate, it is really not so much about papal economics as it is about papal political philosophy. Further, it is not about the Catholic Church’s teaching on democratic capitalism broadly speaking [...]

These days I spend a good deal of my time in the university talking with students who are both philosophical skeptics and advocates for “social justice.” As a teacher, I feel compelled to try to explain how the first commitment undermines the second. Though my contribution is not always welcome, I foolishly persist in making [...]

Somewhere along the line of modern history, the idea has taken root, spread, and become commonly held among seculars that religious people hold to a Faith that is separate from, and at odds with, natural reason. Modern science, following the lead of modern philosophy and modern secularized religion, has fallen for the heretical notion that [...]

There are lots of atheists out there, but when Stephen Hawking denies the existence of God, headlines ensue and people take notice. They shouldn’t. The theological beliefs of leading scientists vary over time. Aristotle was a polytheist, Newton a monotheist and now, it seems, Stephen Hawking advocates for atheism. But this means nothing. To assume [...]

It began with an email. A friend had been to London’s West End to see a play called Wolf Hall, a new production by the Royal Shakespeare Company; he asked if I had heard of it? Heard of it? I was tired hearing of it. Let me explain: Wolf Hall is a novel set in [...]

We live in an age of bad leadership. To judge by appearances, politicians today are mostly driven by partisanship and personal advantage. Business leaders are rapacious and indifferent to the welfare of their employees and customers, and to the value of their products. Artists, intellectuals, scholars, and journalists are more concerned with career and ideology [...]

Death and sex for kids—Halloween is scarier than ever. Given the trends, there is little wonder why many Catholics hold Halloween as more trick than treat nowadays. One of the wildest perversions of the Christian calendar is that the holy day before All Saints Day, All Hallows' Eve, is now an unholy day of fear [...]

This past summer my junior honors theology students read The Hobbit in preparation for their morality class this fall. While reading, I discovered why so many enjoy The Hobbit. We can connect so well with Bilbo Baggins and the other characters because they are so real, so like us. One can also find many "hidden" [...]

The Sarcastic Soul

Every era has its own brand of humor. Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operas were the toast of Victorian London; the Marx Brothers’ buffoonery left 1930s audiences roaring with laughter in their theater seats, and Brian Regan’s honest, contagious humor has entertained us for nearly two decades. Satire, that darker strain of humor, is almost always [...]

Social liberals consider traditional moral restrictions cruel in their very essence. Each of us, they believe, should be as free as possible to pursue his happiness as he sees it, consistent with the equal ability of others to do the same. To reject that position, as Catholics and other moral traditionalists do, is either intentionally [...]

In Empire of Souls, Stefania Tutino offers a fresh perspective on the central role Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) played in the development of post-Reformation Catholicism, and its relationship to the early modern state. Tutino complements her study with a newly published collection of writings, never before translated into English, that she believes best represents Bellarmine’s political [...]

Remembering the Great War

Never such innocence again. — Philip Larkin, MCMXIV By the time the Armistice ending the Great War was signed 11 November 1918—the Guns of August having at last fallen silent—four bloody years of lethal destruction had elapsed, leaving the Old European Order in ruins, its pretensions shattered beyond recall. In the bitter aftermath of disillusion [...]

We have all heard what has come to be a liberal dictum, that the State must remain neutral as regards religion or irreligion. One can show fairly easily that the men who wrote our constitution had no such neutrality in mind, given the laws that they and their fellows subsequently passed, their habits of public prayer at [...]

Two stories last week (one amusing and one sobering) provided material for (gloomy) reflection on love and marriage in the modern world. The first came from Auckland, New Zealand, where heterosexual best friends Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick celebrated their nuptials this last Friday. A radio station competition provided the motivation for their decision to [...]

In legal scholarship, as in any literature, style matters as much as content. The subjects authors explore, their manners and patterns of thought, the metaphors and idioms they select, the grace with which they address the audience and carry it along—in sum, the personal qualities that emerge in the telling of the tale—are remembered long [...]

Contrary to a widespread misconception, Norman Rockwell was not a conventionally religious man. He was raised Episcopalian and spent many boyhood hours in church serving in the choir. But as an adult, Rockwell did not belong to a church at all, and seems to have entirely walked away from any kind of regular religious devotion. [...]

You have opened this page on your web browser. Now you’ve got to close it. Find your shoelaces and start untying. I want you to take off your shoes. Moses approached the burning bush, the bush ablaze with God, and he took off his sandals. For St. Francis, the whole world was a burning bush [...]

"When will the Catholic Church come into the twenty-first century?" As a Catholic theologian, I often hear this question posed by non-Catholics and Catholics alike. One of the most important questions facing the Church today, it implies a set of issues that are known to all: same-sex “marriage,” contraception, and divorce (to name only a [...]

"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent."   — from A Case of Identity Recently I came across a headline—the US Supreme Court rules against the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: no longer able to control the author’s most famous character, Sherlock Holmes is finally free! As well [...]

The ALS Association’s viral “ice bucket challenge” has been successful in raising over $90 million dollars to fund research for the prevention, treatment and eventual cure of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The entertaining viral videos of celebrities and “regular” people successfully and sometimes not so successfully dumping full buckets of ice water over their heads [...]

MENU