Liberal Academia

A Primer on Politics and Prudence

The political scene is drawing toward the center of our national consciousness (if it ever left), as Democratic presidential debates have taken place, and as the 2020 election nears. As this happens, faithful Catholics need sound ways to think about candidates, policies, and the landscape in general. Josef Pieper, a great twentieth-century philosopher, provides a [...]

Notre Dame’s 2020 Commencement Speaker: Donald J. Trump

No, this is not a press release. I’ll leave that to Notre Dame’s communications office. Rather, it’s a simple statement and assumption of the obvious. I wanted to be the first to hog the honor of announcing it. President Donald Trump will be Notre Dame’s commencement speaker next year, a presidential campaign year no less. [...]

It’s Time to Promote Good Social Science on Same-Sex Parenting

In our day, the alleged personal liberation of the sexual revolution is becoming progressively socialized in institutions and norms. As a result, we have moved beyond the cultural condition in which scientific research into the related social behaviors (hormonal contraceptive use, premarital sex, abortion, homosexual relations, gender transformation) is deployed for political ends, into a [...]

Historical Ignorance Reigns over Notre Dame’s Columbus Ban

The University of Notre Dame asks in its promotional videos “What would you fight for?”  The rhetorical question expresses a proud institutional commitment to stand for what is right, good, and true. However, in their decision earlier this year to cover a dozen murals depicting the life of Columbus, the school president, Father John Jenkins, [...]

Catholic University Students Slam Porn, Then Lefty Faculty

Progressives think every inch of ground gained will never be relinquished. This is why clawing anything back is harder and bloodier than having lost it in the first place. The administrators of Catholic University of America are discovering just how hard it is to walk back the revolution that started in the 1960s. But they [...]

In Academia as in Government, Personnel Is Policy

News is that Providence College, where I taught for 27 years, will be getting a new president in 2020. He won’t have troubles with money or buildings, whereas for re-establishing the Catholic faith as the school’s foundation, aim, and reason for existence, he will face, outside of the theology department, a nearly universal hostility from a [...]

On Peterson’s Revoked Fellowship to Cambridge Divinity School

Last week, Jordan Peterson, who is currently the world’s top public intellectual, had his fellowship offer to the University of Cambridge revoked. On March 20, Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity issued the following statement on Twitter: “Jordan Peterson requested a visiting fellowship at the Faculty of Divinity, and an initial offer has been rescinded after a [...]

The Likely Reason Prof. Lewis was Demoted by Steubenville

It is hard to believe that Franciscan University at Steubenville demoted Stephen Lewis from his English Department chairmanship over a single porny book about the Blessed Mother that he assigned to students. You might suspect there was more to it than that, and so your mind turns to Lewis’s judgment over time and from there to [...]

Ideological Title IX Directives Don’t Stop Sexual Abuse

Mandated under an Obama-era broadening of Title IX, the federal law that governs gender equity in education, colleges, and universities has created an elaborate bureaucracy replete with lawyers, investigators, case workers, survivor advocates, and peer counselors to protect the students from sexual abuse and harassment on their campuses. Unfortunately, none of the campus bureaucracy that has [...]

When Academia Adopts Corporate Production Metrics

A little more often than now and then, some ruse, hoax, or stratagem upends academe. Recently, a small pod of researchers scandalized “cultural studies” by publishing, in prestigious journals, a plethora of counterfeit studies: make-believe research addressing preposterous issues such as the relation between the intimate anatomy of pets and the gender identities of their [...]

Transgender Totalitarians

An Ohio college professor who refused to comply with a male student’s request to be addressed as “ma’am” instead of “sir,” was ordered by the university to comply with the student’s wishes. When a Florida middle school gym teacher refused to participate in a plan to allow a female student who identifies as a boy [...]

When Suns Collide

Americans like to think of themselves as living in a classless society, and historically this is largely, but not entirely, true, with a large middle class dominating the country’s economic, political, and social life. In the traditional social model, there was a small and moneyed upper class above the middle class, typically marked by its willingness [...]

Catholic College Leaders Who Are Part of the Problem

Instead of helping faithful Catholics put things into perspective on the predatory priest crisis, several Catholic college leaders have made things worse. Buffalo’s Canisius College president, John Hurley, issued a letter to the campus community decrying the male leadership of the Church. Claiming that “for centuries, the institutional Church has marginalized women in so many [...]

Feminists Blame the Victim in an Explosive Sexual Assault Case

The Title IX world turned upside down when Avital Ronell, a “world renowned” lesbian New York University professor, was “found responsible” for ongoing physical and verbal sexual harassment of Nimrod Reitman, her male graduate student. Reitman, who identifies as gay and is now married to a man, claims that Ronell, age 66, refused to work [...]

The Humanities Won’t Save You!

I was recently asked by a student group at my university to participate in a panel discussion about the humanities. Having been asked the rather loaded question, “why are the humanities needed more now than ever?,” the panelists were expected to defend the humanities, presumably against some charges or enemies that are particularly contemporary. But [...]

Mob Justice at Providence College

I wrote the following several weeks ago, and decided to wait on it. Meanwhile, something has happened to the young man in question, something worse by far than what I have described here. So here goes: I have just learned that the Women's Studies Program at my old school, Providence College, does not take rape seriously. Or [...]

Why Theologians Trained in Catholic Graduate Schools Can’t Find Work

The furor has died down around revelations in late March that a professor of religious studies at the Jesuit College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, opined in an article that Jesus may have had sexual fantasies about his Father while being crucified. Dr. Tat-Siong Benny Lew, Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament [...]

True Diversity Found in the Unity of Christ

At the school where I used to teach, diversity has become the word of faith, an intellectual idol to conjure by. It does not mean that you study a variety of cultures. It couldn't mean that. Otherwise we would have been in very Diversity Heaven, as we introduced our students to ancient Babylon, Homeric Greece, [...]

On Praising Famous Men

With sonorous tones on the annual Founder’s Day in my school, the Reverend Sub-Dean clad in his academicals would slowly recite the long list of those who had contributed of their substance over the years. The Very Reverend Dean kept sober vigil from his stall. The roster was long because the annals were long, and the [...]

On Giving Catholic Books Away

Following Fr. Schall—who nudged me home to the Church some years back—I do a bit of evangelizing by recommending—or when feeling rich, giving—books to people. Hanging around secular universities the past 40 years, I’ve met a lot of left-liberal academics, most of whom are practical if not ideological atheists. Some of these are, like me, [...]

The Crisis of the Christian Colleges

We are often told these days, quite plausibly, that Christian universities and colleges are in acute crisis. The threat comes from campus radicals in alliance with the federal government’s educational machinery, itself operated by radicalized functionaries. “The expansion of the scope of Title IX legislation by the Obama administration makes colleges that hold to traditional [...]

MENU