12/01/1993

In This Issue

The central irony of our time is that a general confidence about what is the true meaning of life has diminished in direct proportion to our ever-greater certainty about the sheer facts of life. For example, suddenly the human community finds itself able actually to clone the individual human person. But in contrast to this [...]

In This Issue

The central irony of our time is that a general confidence about what is the true meaning of life has diminished in direct proportion to our ever-greater certainty about the sheer facts of life. For example, suddenly the human community finds itself able actually to clone the individual human person. But in contrast to this [...]

Public Arguments

The Hope of Splendor Our sister publication Commonweal (October 22) put together a stimulating set of commentaries on The Splendor of Truth, and with breathtaking speed—a splendid example of editorial foresight and efficiency. The range of opinion is impressive, too (from Charles Curran to Janet Smith, from Stanley Hauer was to Sister Anne Patrick). The [...]

Chanukah falls on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev; this year, December 8. To most Americans, Chanukah is a vague Jewish analogue to Christmas. To many Jews, it commemorates a victory over Greek oppressors in 140 B.C.E. What gives Chanukah its enduring significance is not its history but its current message. This [...]

The scene might have arisen in a comic novel: professors of classics and political philosophy crossing swords in a court of law, arguing over whether the Greek word tolmema means merely an act of "daring" and "enterprise," or whether it refers to an act of "audacity," of shamelessness, of deep immorality. But this is exactly [...]

Editor's note: To assist Catholic readers generally, and Catholic parents specifically, to build a "Catholic Home Library," Crisis has secured from several of our contributors and other serious readers well-known to us their recommendations from among the world's countless books. We deem this but the first of what we foresee as a series on the [...]

In some Catholic parishes today, the Nicene Creed is not said. Uninspired liturgical planners simply decided that the Profession of Faith is an excessively long and boring prayer, with too many strange and technical words. It would be better to replace that with a hymn that makes us feel good. But when the Nicene Creed [...]

Editor's note: Sheldon Vanauken took the M.A. at Jesus College, Oxford, and while there met C.S. Lewis. Their subsequent friendship is recounted in his A Severe Mercy. A convert to Catholicism, Vanauken presented this essay as the lecture for Willie Pie's Day 1993 at the rural Virginian home of Crisis' executive editor David A. Bovenizer. [...]

Since few readers are likely to have read all of John Paul II's new encyclical, Veritatis splendor, a quick tour should be helpful. I will not pretend to provide a complete analytical summary of the document, but I will offer a sense of the whole of it, and explain in some small measure why it [...]

Oedipus married his mother, Jocasta. Did he commit incest? Did she? He did not know that she was his mother; she did not know that he was her son. If we say that incest occurred, or happened, we are not making a moral remark. Moral action is something the human person knowingly sets out to [...]

The advent of a papal encyclical framed in so broad and encompassing a perspective, provoking discussion of fundamental issues of morality that govern everyone everywhere, calls forth not only admiration at the vision but a sneaking breath of envy that such a thing is possible. The papacy's union of authority—moral and intellectual—with power has no [...]

For a magazine called Crisis which makes bold to challenge the sundry crises of our time in Church and culture, the Tenth Anniversary Dinner convened by the journal in October was a merry affair. From the Call to Order by U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, through the Benediction by His Excellency Agostino Cacciavillan, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to [...]

In And the Beagles and the Bunnies Shall Lie Down Together, there is a sequence on the Great Pumpkin, Charles Schulz's not-so-subtle homage to Christmas, about how the Great Pumpkin rises out of the Patch and looks for sincere boys and girls to whom to give lots of toys. Peppermint Patty and Linus are sitting [...]

Three of my children were born in December, so three times I have entered Advent awaiting, like Mary, the birth of a child. It is a wonderful thing to have the Incarnation brought home so solidly, so inescapably. I think of Mary exchanging remedies for morning sickness or sharing with Nazarean friends the news of [...]

There is for the Christian no deeper desire, just as there is for us no fairer hope, than that one day—at last—each of us will meet Jesus. Something of what the ultimate experience will be has been hinted to sundry of the saints in their glimpses of the Beatific Vision, as to others have come [...]

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