European Enlightenment

Science is Never Settled

In his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore promotes the view that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) is fact and has caused nearly every malady in recent history from hurricane Katrina to the spread of malaria. What’s more, things are going to get worse; it’s not a question of if, but when and how [...]

The Suicide of the West: A Tale of Two Miracles

“There is no God in this book.” Thus reads the provocative first sentence of Jonah Goldberg’s latest release, The Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy. This declaration is perhaps an unintended summary of the book about the crisis in the West. From it, [...]

A Faithful Pope of the Enlightenment

In the early 1950s, children watched a puppet show Kukla, Fran, and Ollie broadcast from Chicago all the way to the Eastern seaboard through the innovative marvel of television. It was more of a children’s show for adults, for how else could the sophisticated puns make sense, or what child could understand how Ollie the [...]

A Jesuit Philosopher Who Championed Catholic Orthodoxy

Fun Is Not Enough (2017) is the collection of all 125 columns written by the late Father Francis Canavan, S.J., for the monthly catholic eye from April 1983 until November 2008, a couple of months before his death. The book was edited by Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein, Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology at Holy Apostles College [...]

Enlightenment Origins of Contemporary Atheism

One thing I have learned interrogating, in Socratic fashion, the so-called atheists, agnostics, and skeptics who are thick on the ground and on-line these days is that the Christianity they reject is not any Christianity I would claim as my own, but a false Christianity fashioned for them by bigots. Rarely, it soon becomes clear, [...]

Metaphysical Mischief: The Bergoglio Gloss

Every theology necessarily incorporates a philosophy, for there will always be a natural way of thinking that under-girds the exposition of revelation. Like everyman, popes have philosophies, and although it is not the business of a pope to advocate any philosophy, the philosophy every pope presupposes will influence his representation of the Catholic faith and [...]

The Apocalypse in Angers

I recently stumbled upon a rare treasure: the Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers, France. Displayed in a special wing of a local chateau, the 400 foot long, double-wide fourteenth-century tapestry depicts more than 70 scenes from the Book of Revelation, the New Testament’s last book. Comprehensive depictions of the Apocalypse are not too common, so I [...]

Reason is Not the Sole Property of Skeptics

A few weeks ago Politico published an article by professional skeptic Michael Shermer—I think when you are the publisher of a magazine called Skeptic, you can be classified as a "professional skeptic," right?—called "Why Politicians Need Science," with the subtitle, "Remember: before the triumph of science, we burned witches at the stake and thought that kings [...]

“When Will the Catholic Church Come into the 21st Century?”

"When will the Catholic Church come into the twenty-first century?" As a Catholic theologian, I often hear this question posed by non-Catholics and Catholics alike. One of the most important questions facing the Church today, it implies a set of issues that are known to all: same-sex “marriage,” contraception, and divorce (to name only a [...]

What is This Thing Called Virtue?

Believe it or not, in at least one specific area public discourse in the United States is a bit better than it was a few decades ago.  How so? Today we occasionally hear the word “virtue” used—and not always in sarcasm.  This is good news because the return of the word “virtue” to the lexicon [...]

From Islam to the Enlightenment

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an impressive woman. In her late 30s, she speaks six languages -- that includes both her native Somali, as well as Dutch, which she learned so she could run for the Dutch parliament. Of course, she's best known for what Theodore Dalrymple calls "her  public and uncompromising repudiation of Islam." Her [...]

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