culture

The Catholic “Ghetto” as a Last Resort

The Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that even health plans of religiously affiliated employers must include the coverage of contraception, abortifacient drugs, and sterilization. Hundreds of Catholic hospitals, colleges and universities, and social service organizations will have one of three choices: Cave in and accept what is morally repugnant; Face heavy fines [...]

The Age of the Laity…or the Latte?

So what will it be? A grande Latte... or Western Civilization? A scone with that... or the meat of doctrine? An extra shot of espresso… or the survival of families? A Moccachino... or the Mystical Body of Christ? Today, the price is the same.  Tomorrow the terms change.  Tomorrow there may be silence, apart from the [...]

The Strange Happenings at the Unreal Hotel

Many are the strange things going on in the Unreal Hotel. In Room 101, a man and woman are lying together, and in more ways than one. In Room 102, it is a man and a man. In Room 103, a fellow named George, who has grown weary of his life, is meeting surreptitiously with [...]

The Pope Gets Political

Evangelium Vitae - the "Gospel of Life" - is a warning and a plea to the people of the United States and other developed nations. The warning is that ours is fast becoming a culture of death. The plea is for us to join together in building a new culture of life. Pope John Paul [...]

Beating the Competition

Business leaders are blaming the education system for the loss of jobs offshore. But aren’t they forgetting that other institution that turns out good workers?

Should Our Kids Be Happy?

A British media personality has pricked the country’s happiness bubble by declaring that she does not want her kids to be “happy”. Kirsty Young, a Scot with two young daughters and two teenage step-children (and a husband who is a millionaire), said in an interview that it was impossible to be happy all the time [...]

Modern Kids: Raised by Wolves

Digital textbooks. That is the latest idea from the White House for lifting the performance of American schools -- a strategy on which Korea and other countries are already ahead. Something certainly needs to be done; a new report from the Harvard Business School identifies the education system from kindergarten through to the end of [...]

To Follow the “Way of Beauty”

In 1999, Pope John Paul II wrote a Letter to Artists. In this he called for a “new epiphany of beauty” and for a “renewed relationship between Church and culture” in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. A “new epiphany” will not just happen by itself.  This article aims to set out a basis [...]

In Defense of Christopher Dawson

I would like to present a qualified defense of Christopher Dawson and his essay, "Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind." Jeffrey Tucker, John Zmirak and Fr. John Peter Pham each mount a strong defense of the bourgeois and the world they created, and Tucker in particular argues that thinkers like Dawson are dangerously reactionary world when [...]

T.S. Eliot as Mentor

The following essay is reprinted with the permission of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute from The Intercollegiate Review.   T. S. Eliot was indisputably the greatest poet writing in English in the twentieth century. He was also the most revolutionary Anglophone literary critic since Samuel Johnson, and the most influential religious thinker in the Anglican tradition [...]

Priests: “Resolve” to Love the Laity

The Church was also in need of change, but only to the extent that she needed to look again at how she could most effectively change the world. We have allowed a missionary council to be domesticated. The greatest failure of the post-Vatican II Church is the failure to call forth and to form a [...]

Warnings of the End

Mark Steyn, After America, Regnery, $23. Patrick J. Buchanan, Suicide of a Superpower, Thomas Dunne, $22.   A good prophet of doom, or at least a good-hearted prophet, always hopes that he is wrong. The same might be said of persecuted prophets, even of weeping prophets, as in the ancient tradition of Jeremiah. For that [...]

Christopher Dawson: Christ in History

The following essay first appeared in the April 1996 edition of Crisis Magazine. It is part of today's symposium on "the bourgeois spirit" as diagnosed by Dawson. See also Dawson's essay, Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind, and Jeffrey Tucker's reply, In Defense of Bourgeois Civilization.   Dawson wrote with two different audiences in mind. He [...]

Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind

This essay is reprinted from Christopher Dawson, The Dynamics of World History, ed. John J. Mulloy. It previously appeared in the print edition of Crisis Magazine, with permission of  its publisher Sheed and Ward, and was placed online by the good people at CatholicCulture.org--who provide an excellent archive of Catholic classics. It is part of [...]

The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of the Lord

Many people that I have come across say that they believe in God, and might even acknowledge the need to conform to a moral code (quite how they discern it is another matter) but see no reason for ‘organised religion’, which they see as arbitrary creation of mankind. I think that the beauty of the [...]

The Empty Manger

  This year, as every year, the crèche has sat empty of God. The shepherds knelt, the angels sang, the ox and ass and eager lamb looked on, even Joseph and Mary stared down adoringly—at a vacant manger. There was no Infant here. When people knelt before this nativity scene to pray, they closed their [...]

Singing Lessons

This essay first appeared in the September 1996 issue of Crisis Magazine. The Mass is the very core of the Catholic liturgy, the supremely important expression of the Church's faith. It is clear that a skewed concept of the Mass that fails to do justice to its essence will in due time harm the believer's [...]

Gingrich, Immigration, and the Election

  Now that Newt Gingrich has become the latest in a series of Republican front-runners, he is getting the kinds of scrutiny and attacks that have done in other front-runners. One of the issues that have aroused concern among conservative Republicans is that of amnesty for illegal immigrants, especially after Gingrich said that it would [...]

We Proud Sons of Onan

As we all learned in grammar school, we're coming up on the day when we show our gratitude for all the blessings God has showered upon our country. If we had good teachers, we learned to think of more than just the natural resources and easily conquered lands, and more than a blandly defined “democracy.” [...]

Bankrolling Beauty

A review of Money and Beauty; Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities, an exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence—September 17, 2011—January 22, 2012   In our current global economic crisis, what could be more timely than an exhibition of art that concentrates on money? The Strozzi Palace Foundation in Florence, Italy, currently has [...]

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