Art & Culture

the-mighty-king-of-chivalry-richard-the-lionheart-fortunino-matania (1881-1963)

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 [...]

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 [...]

When I was a lad of about six in the early 1960s, I went with my father to see my beloved Philadelphia Phillies play. At the time, my baseball hero was center fielder Tony Gonzales. Thrilled when he hit a home run to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, I could [...]

Another day, and more mayhem, with no end in sight. Five police officers assassinated, others wounded, by snipers at a Black Lives Matter protest, after two black men were killed recently in dubious circumstances by (white) police officers. And, of course, dozens have been killed by bombings in the Middle East, Sunni versus Shiite, and [...]

In his extraordinary book Leftism, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, by way of showing that indeed all cultures are not equal and that colonialism was far from the unmitigated evil that students are now taught that it was, describes a peculiar custom practiced by the women of a tribe in southeast Asia. When a woman gives birth [...]

When Bill Gates announced his 2016 summer reading list, geeks rejoiced. As in previous years, it’s a stack of books full of a lot of long words and sentences. No James Patterson or Stephen King for him; certainly no Austen or Dickens. To his credit, there is a novel, a sci-fi one that does look [...]

We live in times of radical change, so if we want to understand what's going on why not start with the sayings of revolutionaries? In the most basic of modern revolutionary texts, the Communist Manifesto (1848), Marx and Engels tell us that in modern industrial society “all that is solid melts into air, all that [...]

There once was an excellent Jesuit boarding school in England by the name of Beaumont, which began admitting boys back in the mid 1800s. Soon after opening its doors, it decided to challenge a neighboring school to a game of soccer. And so the headmaster sent his counterpart at nearby Eton a letter suggesting a [...]

In Philadelphia, in what now is called Independence Hall, is preserved a Chippendale style chair crafted in 1779 by the cabinetmaker John Folwell, with a sun on the horizon carved at the top. For nearly three months in 1787, George Washington used this chair during the sessions of the Federal Convention. According to James Madison, [...]

One of the great legacies of Union victory in the Civil War was the preservation of “these United States.” Historian Shelby Foote noted in the Ken Burns PBS documentary The Civil War, “Before the war, it was said, ‘the United States are…’. Grammatically, it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of [...]

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” True in Thoreau’s age, perhaps, not so much in ours. It seems the decibels of desperation have increased since Henry David’s days near Walden Pond. And not decibels only, but desperation. Nowadays we take our desperation at alarmingly acceptable rates. How often we merely “consume” media [...]

In responding to the Orlando massacre at a same-sex nightclub, Bishop Robert Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg found religion, including Catholicism, responsible for the slaughter. He wrote, “sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people.” And he is right [...]

In 1967, the 39th Academy Awards were dominated by one film: A Man for All Seasons (1966). It was nominated for ten Oscars; in the end, it won six. By any measure that was a phenomenal haul, adding to its already existing international awards and the commercial success then being enjoyed worldwide. That the film’s [...]

Millennials—who most researchers and commentators identify as that generation born from the early 1980s to 2000—may grow weary of hearing their parents and grandparents say, “Young people today seem more self-centered than in my day,” but their forebears are right. Their narcissism, in comparison to past generations, has been empirically verified in the work of [...]

At the end of a class in early March, one of my students raised his hand and asked if there was any homework in ethics class. I was somewhat confused by the inquiry, since the student was currently not taking ethics. When he saw the expression of confusion on my face, he responded, “You know, [...]

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