Art & Culture

léon-bloy

The world in which Raïssa Oumançoff and Jacques Maritain began life at the university was a spiritual desert. In a horrifying pact, they swore together to give themselves one more year to find some meaning in life. If that search failed, they promised to commit suicide together. The Maritains seem to have argued themselves into [...]

The world in which Raïssa Oumançoff and Jacques Maritain began life at the university was a spiritual desert. In a horrifying pact, they swore together to give themselves one more year to find some meaning in life. If that search failed, they promised to commit suicide together. The Maritains seem to have argued themselves into [...]

At a certain point in modern times, it was decided that God, the Creator of heaven and earth, should stay out of the business of running the world he created. Supposedly, men could do it much better without him. All this was done, mind you, with a certain amount of tact and propriety so as [...]

There is a class that most college students will take at one point in their academic career. It is the course on Western Civilization—“Western Civ” for short. It is a feeble attempt to supplement the modern college curriculum (typically in two freshman-level courses) with what used to be the very backbone of a liberal education. [...]

The name of Brendan Behan—rebel, hell-raiser, and writer—is rarely linked with the word "Catholic." This is an oversight, for he was by birth and upbringing very much a Catholic writer, if that is to be judged by his culture and social background. Nevertheless, it was more than just that. Its omission, or deliberate negation, is [...]

Why not celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day with something enlightening instead of inebriating—an Irish classic, The Aran Islands by John M. Synge? The Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway in the west of Ireland, are the cultural heart and soul of Ireland. The area is known as the Gaeltacht; translated into English it means "Irish [...]

According to the German Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper, the "wisdom of the West" expresses the sum total of what man “ought to” be. This wisdom was then discredited and rejected in the Modern era, and so is largely unavailable to post-modern man, who bobs along in the wake of Modernism, which has largely discredited itself. Here [...]

Madonna's Rebel Heart tour has come and gone from Singapore, but in her wake she left a hanging question not only about the responsibility of artists in today's culture, but also the responsibility of those who patronize the arts. Fans in Singapore paid anywhere from $150 to $1784 U.S. dollars for the opportunity to see [...]

The story of euthanasia in Canada officially began a year ago this February 6th, when the Supreme Court of Canada decreed that the laws forbidding murder-suicide for compassionate reasons were “unconstitutional,” and commanded the Parliament of Canada to frame a law legalizing such physician-assisted suicide. Now, for all of you constitutionally-minded readers out there, this [...]

Marley Dias is the new media darling. She is an articulate 11-year-old in sixth grade in Orange, NJ. Miss Dias has gained attention because of a book drive she launched, #1000blackgirlbooks, by which she hoped to collect 1000 kids’ books with a black girl as the protagonist. Miss Dias was annoyed that her teacher never [...]

What if embryonic DNA could be extracted from amniotic fluid and information from that DNA could be used to build a high probability composite of what the embryo will look like as a 2-year-old, a 6-year-old and beyond? DNA phenotyping, also known as molecular photofitting, is a process of predictive modelling linking genetic traits and [...]

Catholics who concern themselves with political and social issues, and non-Catholics who believe in a social order that takes natural law and human nature seriously, face trends that seem overwhelming and point toward a social order with no concern for most of what makes us human. Hence the talk about the “Benedict option,“ which seems [...]

When the press falsely quoted Cardinal Raymond Burke last May as stating that the Irish were “worse” than the pagans for having passed a referendum recognizing same-sex “marriage,” they missed an opportunity to offer a valuable lesson in history. What His Eminence actually said—namely, that while the “pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviors, they never [...]

Last week at Providence College, a group of students occupied the office of the president, Father Brian Shanley, for thirteen hours, presenting him with a list of demands toward making the school a more “inclusive” place for students of various racial and ethnic backgrounds. (I use the scare quotes not to criticize the students, but [...]

We live in the age of conspiracies. What, if anything, do they tell us about the world we live in today? And, what if, behind all these theories, there is indeed one monumental conspiracy? On December 10, 2015, a video purporting to be film of Stanley Kubrick appeared on the internet. Allegedly the work of [...]

I have to admit that when I know a movie was produced by bible-believing Christians I don’t expect much. Such was the case with films like October Baby, Gimme Shelter, Son of God and Old Fashioned. I am not saying that these are horrible films—they are just not very good films—and certainly nowhere near great [...]

The controversy over a Super Bowl ad for a snack chip that allegedly “humanized,” of all things, a pre-born human being highlights the deliberate rejection of reality of the “abortion rights” objectors. On its face, as others have noted, the controversy exposes the pernicious obfuscation that a fetus is nothing more than a “meaningless blob [...]

What is the worst thing about living near an open sewer? It is not that you sicken at the stench of it every time you leave your front door. It is that the noisome vapors are so pervasive, and you have lived with them so long, you no longer notice it. What is the worst [...]

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, [...]

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