Art & Culture

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe 1914

IN CONGRESS November 1, 1777 FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, [...]

IN CONGRESS November 1, 1777 FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, [...]

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.” This dialogue sums up the primary lesson of the film Spotlight, currently playing in a major nationwide release. The movie, “based on actual events” and starring Michael Keaton, chronicles a Boston Globe four-person investigative team's discovery of Cardinal Bernard [...]

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror is the earliest adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula coming as it did just over 20 years after the novel’s publication in 1897. In some ways, however, that’s where any similarity ends. Book and subsequent film emerge from different worlds and through different mediums. In both good appears to triumph, and [...]

I had thought Jennifer Roback Morse was getting to the heart of the matter when she pivoted to a focus on the victims of the Sexual Revolution. Her undoubtedly correct view is that gay so-called “marriage” did not start with the gays; rather, the Sexual Revolution prepared the ground beginning in the 1960s. In The [...]

During the debates leading up to the 1983 pastoral letter of the bishops of the United States on nuclear weapons, “The Challenge of Peace,” the great churchman Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Orleans said that many of the bishops were uninformed. I paraphrase, because the archbishop himself used much more colorful language, honed by years of [...]

As the recent Starbucks red cup dustup shows, boycotts and rumors of boycotts will always be with us.  It seems like there never really was any active Starbucks boycott over the cups, and one wonders if the whole thing was simply a public relations ploy. However, there are many actual current boycotts. A quick search [...]

Since the release of a Pew Research Center report last spring on the “Changing Religious Landscape,” media outlets have suggested that the declines in Church affiliation indicate that the United States is becoming a nation that has given up on God.  NPR claims that Americans—especially young Americans—have lost their faith.  Now, a study reported in [...]

While students have caused a ruckus on several campuses in recent days, one particularly noisy and increasingly popular student coalition has made itself heard locally and nationally.  Collectively called The University of Missouri’s “Student 1950,” they bear a name meant to commemorate the year the first black students were admitted to MU. While all of the [...]

Events of recent memory have left my head spinning in disbelief—“Caitlyn," same-sex so-called "marriage," three women "marrying" in South America, and, yes, "gay Catholics" and "chaste gay couples." With me, you may wonder how all this has emerged in a short few decades of social upheaval. I may have an answer: Society has constructed an [...]

The Canadian painter Alex Colville (1920-2013) was that most curious of artistic hybrids, both a realist and a modernist. Art critic Jeffrey Myers, in an article entitled “Dangerously Real,” called Colville “one of the greatest modern realist painters.” Colville’s paintings reproduce ordinary objects, people, scenes—indeed the more ordinary, the better—with near-photographic realism. Each of his [...]

“The essential architecture, if you will, of the struggle between good and evil in our times has grown ever more intense, and the warnings I sought to convey through the novel remain no less urgent.”  ∼ Michael O’Brien, Preface, Elijah in Jerusalem “Do you remember what happened to Elijah?... On Horeb, he (Elijah) would get [...]

By the time Chris Harper-Mercer killed himself on October 1, he had already killed and wounded a number of people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and sent the rest of the nation reeling in shock after yet another shooting spree. I will never forget the first time I ever heard of a public [...]

I recently stumbled upon a rare treasure: the Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers, France. Displayed in a special wing of a local chateau, the 400 foot long, double-wide fourteenth-century tapestry depicts more than 70 scenes from the Book of Revelation, the New Testament’s last book. Comprehensive depictions of the Apocalypse are not too common, so I [...]

Like many bright but impressionable youngsters I was greatly taken-in by the charisma and bravura bombast of the late Christopher Hitchens. In fact, I became a Hitchens groupie. I even own a t-shirt with his likeness on it. His was the first book on atheism I ever read, after losing my fragile faith watching Dawkins [...]

During my late teens and early twenties I underwent the customary intellectual awakening. On the advice of a very sophisticated classmate, I read Meiklejohn’s translation of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and began to demand empirical evidence for the existence of everything, including God. Inevitably, this led me to a crisis of faith which left [...]

Don Giovanni—Mozart’s masterpiece opera about the intoxicating power of deceitful sensuality and its attendant temptation to reject redemption—has suffered some particularly ill-conceived productions as of late. That artistic directors have begun to remake the classic spiritual tragicomedy into their own secular morality tales bespeaks not only an anemic aesthetic vision, but a culture tearing down [...]

The title of this essay asks a question drawn from the literature of a recently concluded conference in Rome. This conference—entitled “Living the Truth in Love”—intended to probe “the complex reality of homosexual tendencies.” The conference was sponsored by Ignatius Press and Courage, an international organization that offers spiritual support to persons with homosexual tendencies. [...]

In 1886 a terrible drought turned the plains of Texas to a vast expanse of dust. The United States Congress responded by appropriating $10,000 for seed for Texas farmers, who were in dire straits. This proposal was not folded into some enormous all-or-nothing bill, but was its own thing, to be voted for or against, [...]

I am here now, in your room, your last room… It was here the doors were opened and He came in person to meet you… So starts a quite remarkable book: Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy by Simone Troisi & Cristiana Paccini, just translated into English and published by Sophia Institute Press. Indeed, the publishers [...]

This semester I am teaching a basic undergraduate class in social theory, and the text we use (Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots, The Basics, Ritzer and Stepinsky) presents many “key concepts” in the field. The “definition of the situation,” is one such concept. This idea comes to us via American Pragmatism, and means [...]

When the church historian Owen Chadwick died last July at the age of 99, still writing almost to the end, still with ideas to share, still pondering the historical and moral lessons of a lifetime, he seemed a figure from an earlier, more heroic age of Christian scholarship. His life had been laden with honors—at various [...]