07/01/1989

As part of today's religious revival, a so-called "New Age" movement is flourishing at the point where superstition, pop-psychology, and scientific speculation intersect. Factual reports about it tend to sound exaggerated if not apocalyptic. Evangelical Christian critics like Constance Cumbey and Dave Hunt think it signals the coming of the Anti-Christ. Carl Raschke of the [...]

As part of today's religious revival, a so-called "New Age" movement is flourishing at the point where superstition, pop-psychology, and scientific speculation intersect. Factual reports about it tend to sound exaggerated if not apocalyptic. Evangelical Christian critics like Constance Cumbey and Dave Hunt think it signals the coming of the Anti-Christ. Carl Raschke of the [...]

Conversions have figured prominently in Walker Percy's life. He trained as a physician, but contracted tuberculosis during his internship and found himself confined him to bed for three years. While convalescing, he read widely and, as his friend and admirer Flannery O'Connor put it, "he and St. Thomas became friends." His reading converted him first [...]

Poverty may be our age's most over-discussed social phenomenon. There is only one justification for barreling on: it is also one of the least well apprehended and most often misportrayed of all public issues. Fortunately, our misunderstandings of poverty fall into several fairly simple clusters. The first concerns composition. Most discussions tend to treat the [...]

Empty your pockets, please!" the khaki-uniformed customs officer demanded after he recited the number, section, and name of the law which gave him the authority to do so. I was relieved that he was apparently not going to strip-search us in that forbidding back room. "Only 50 feet to freedom," I thought as I threw [...]

This all started when I needed some sort of quotation suggesting that, lacking all else, civilization needed but two books, the Bible and Shakespeare. Searching my highly fallible memory, I vaguely recalled something that Scott Walter had written to me about a passage in A.N. Wilson's book on Hilaire Belloc. According to my memory, this [...]

First, a confession. I have never been enthusiastic  about the pope. The office, yes. Scriptural proof validating the commissioning of Peter, and the lengthy Petrine succession aside, it amazes me that anyone could question papal authority. To paraphrase Voltaire, if it hadn't been instituted, it would have had to be invented. But an omniscient God [...]

Please don’t let my title mislead you: I most definitely do believe in Christ, and am in fact a Catholic. But "Christianity," as the word is most commonly used today . . . is there any such thing? And if there is, does it make coherent sense? The skeptic can level certain fairly obvious accusations [...]

Sex continues to dominate theological dissent  but the enemy grows older. The spectacle of sexagenarians tottering to the microphone to speak on behalf of the "sexually active" and even to make such activity the mark of maturity is one that awaits its Evelyn Waugh. In the meanwhile, books like Philip S. Kaufman's Why You Can [...]

Reports that the western novel is in good health are grossly exaggerated; the truth is that sometime at mid-century the novel ceased to be the main carrier of the fictional imagination. And why not: storytelling (Bergson's fonction fabulatrice, the human impulse to tell stories) seems in every century to choose a new form in which [...]

MENU