05/01/1993

Much outstanding work has been done by the greatest minds of our century to bring to light the true character of modernity to clarify the nature of its break with premodernity and to propose new and better ways of relating them to each other. With rare exceptions, theologians, who have a vital stake in the [...]

Much outstanding work has been done by the greatest minds of our century to bring to light the true character of modernity to clarify the nature of its break with premodernity and to propose new and better ways of relating them to each other. With rare exceptions, theologians, who have a vital stake in the [...]

The bishops' Committee on Women in Society and in the Church met in Washington, March 26, to continue its work on "women's concerns." "We'll devote most of our time to advancing some sections of the fourth draft of the pastoral letter on the concerns of women," Rochester's Bishop Matthew Clark notes in his diocesan newspaper [...]

In vain we call old notions fudge, And bend our conscience to our dealing; The Ten Commandments will not budge, And stealing will continue stealing. This motto of the American Copyright League confirms that "conscience adjustment" ranks among the major human skills. Recognizing this, the rabbis of old never made any person's happiness or welfare [...]

Ever since Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants active in the pro-life movement discovered each other, hopes have been raised that a new cultural alliance between these kindred spirits might go a long way in resisting the encroachments of secular culture in the United States. While the prospects of this new alliance are unclear, observers like [...]

During those dark, mean days, in the summer of 1987, when Robert Bork was confronting the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, there was only one moment in which I was seized with the wish to trade places with Bork. The occasion came when Bork was being questioned by that doctor of laws, Chairman Joseph Biden [...]

In View

Second-Hand Straw Dr. Ralph Mclnerny, the co-founder and publisher of Crisis, was selected to receive the 1993 Aquinas Medal, the highest honor of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA). The medal was conferred March 29, at the banquet of the Association's Sixty-seventh Annual Meeting in Saint Louis, Missouri. Among the previous recipients of this award [...]

Practically from the beginning I have been asked by reporters to explain the show's success. I never thought about why and in truth I was afraid of finding out. My fear was that the discovery would cause me to become a caricature of myself; that is, I would try to be myself rather than just [...]

Yale scholar Harold Bloom asserts that: "No Western nation is as religion-soaked as ours, where nine out of ten of us love God and are loved by him in return." While polling data give only a fuzzy picture of the state of religion in America, the numbers indicate that, despite the secularization of culture, religious [...]

Religious freedom in the United States is popularly supposed to be guaranteed by the separation of church and state. In fact, the phrase "separation of church and state" appears nowhere in the Constitution of the United States (it is a private observation from the later correspondence of Jefferson). But it is useful for pointing to [...]

Editor's note: On November 6, 1992, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was inducted into the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of the Institute of France, taking the place of the late Andrei Sakharov. During the induction ceremonies the cardinal gave the following discourse in French. It [...]

My concern that global change is out of control involves a necessarily subjective interpretation of the political meaning and message of our times. It is hence partially diagnosis, partially prognosis, and partially advocacy, and occasionally even trespasses on the philosophical. But it is not possible to deal with modern global politics, in the age of [...]

To justify patenting living organisms, those who seek such patents must argue that life has no "vital" or sacred property.... But once this is accomplished, all living material will be reduced to an arrangement of chemicals, or "mere compositions of matter." —Ted Howard, amicus brief before the Supreme Court in the Chakrabarty Case (1979) We've [...]

My nephews, Steve and Mike, who introduced me to Mad magazine when they were respectively about three and two, sometimes protest when these columns become too metaphysical. Actually, they do not use the word metaphysical. The word they use is heavy. I tell them it is not my fault that they do not get the [...]

Did you ever find yourself, during a familiar activity, interrupted by the disturbing thought, why am I doing this? One night, praying the same words in the same order I constructed years ago (occasionally veering for spontaneity, I take comfort in the familiar, what C.S. Lewis called "ready-made" prayers), I caught myself wondering about a [...]

In America, "Kung Fu" means "martial art." In China, it means the same in common usage, but the formally correct term for "martial art" in China is "Wu Su." Roughly translated into English, "Kung Fu" (literally, "energy" and "time") means "hard work towards a goal." Another term associated with Chinese martial arts is "eating bitter"—flippantly [...]

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