Theology

American Catholics Must Stand with Hong Kong

The autonomous territory of Hong Kong is in a fight for its life. For over two months, the citizens of Hong Kong have persisted in protesting an attempt by the Hong Kong chief executive to impose an amendment to the existing extradition laws that would allow the Chinese government to take suspects from Hong Kong [...]

Stephen Hawking is an Atheist? Who Cares?

There are lots of atheists out there, but when Stephen Hawking denies the existence of God, headlines ensue and people take notice. They shouldn’t. The theological beliefs of leading scientists vary over time. Aristotle was a polytheist, Newton a monotheist and now, it seems, Stephen Hawking advocates for atheism. But this means nothing. To assume [...]

A Portrait of Dietrich Von Hildebrand

The name Dietrich von Hildebrand is not, perhaps, as well known as it should be among intelligent and literate Catholics -- or, for that matter, among Christians of any ilk. He is a man whom Pius XII referred to as “a 20th-century doctor of the Church.” Those who remember this pontiff will recall that he [...]

Satanism: A Primer

L’Osservatore Romano's English edition (Jan. 29—Mar. 5 1997), ran five essays on “Satanism.” Reference was made there to an earlier study written by an unnamed French theologian entitled “Faith and Demonology,” published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in 1975. The latter document covers the history of papal and Church thinking on [...]

Worship Gone Awry

Many thoughtful Catholics dismiss concern for style as an affectation, an indulgence in personal taste. Like Puritan prelates, they pull their hems back from what they regard as an overemphasis on ornament and human ceremony. These are distractions from the true ecclesia, the living temple that is the people of God. If Christ is found [...]

For the Dissidents, We’re All Priests Now

While faithful Catholics concluded their celebration of the Year of the Priest only last spring, a coalition of dissident organizations like Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful, and the Women's Ordination Conference have issued a "universal call to ministry" to help build a "non-clerical Catholic Church in which the laity reclaims their baptismal priesthood." [...]

The Prophet of Hyde Park: Secrets of a Street-Corner Evangelist

One brisk, gray afternoon in London, I stood on a corner of Hyde Park with one of Frank Sheed's old friends. "That's the spot where he used to stand and preach," she said with a wistful smile. Now an elderly widow, in the 1940s and 1950s she had worked in the London Catholic Evidence Guild [...]

Theology of the Boy

Who is to blame for the suicides of teenage boys "struggling with sexual identity" that have been so highly publicized in the last two months? If we are to believe many media sources, primary blame rests on bullying peers. But I wonder: Is the homosexual community -- and the Catholic Church -- ignoring the darker, [...]

Patheos Theologians on “Whether Demons Exist”

A tip-of-the-hat to The Anchoress, who linked to this piece in which various experts with Divinity-School letters appended to their names convey their opinions about whether demons exist. The expert consensus is that they don't. (No reasons for thinking this are given, naturally, because reason is irrelevant to expert consensus.) In reading some of these [...]

Theology of the Corporation: A Conversation with Michael Novak

Religious philosopher Michael Novak, cofounder of Crisis Magazine, was the 1994 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. According to many observers, Novak's influence played an important role in the drafting of Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II's 1991 encyclical on Catholic social teaching. In particular, Novak's work is seen within the Holy [...]

Marriage and the New Morality

Two men wearing tennis whites walk out on the court. Opening a folding table and chairs, they sit down and start to play chess. An attendant rushes up and says, "Sorry, gentlemen, this place is for tennis. You can't do that here." Looking up with a scowl, one of the men snaps, "This is how [...]

Noodling the Theology of the Body

A lot of people seem to think that the Church functions according to the principle, "That which is not forbidden is compulsory." So many folk seem to be under the impression that there is a black and white magisterial answer to everything, and that "You're with us or agin' us" is the watchword for all [...]

Counsel the Doubtful

Doubt can be the emotional equivalent of anything from a brief spring rain to a Galveston-destroying hurricane. People can feel doubt over whether to place two bucks on the Mariners to win (don't) or about whether the God in whom they have believed all their life is a sham, a fraud, and a delusion. Doubt [...]

Academic Freedom and the Catholic University

Academic freedom is a great good that should be cherished and honored by every university community. This precious heritage of freedom originated in the Christian West and rose initially in the great universities of Europe, which themselves sprang from the cathedral schools of the early Middle Ages. Great universities such as Padua, Bologna, Louvain, Paris, [...]

Academic Theology

Theology can be defined many ways, but two definitions are perhaps most significant. The first could be described as "God-talk": It is logos (speech) with theos (God). In this way, prayer is seen as theology proper. In time, this led to a second definition -- that theology involves the study of God. The early Christians, [...]

Tango and the Theology of the Body

I love to tango.As a single Catholic woman, this isn't always easy. Argentine tango can be danced close -- very close. Its intimacy and passion can sweep me into the romantic ozone layer, obscuring any sense of reality. It lures me into wanting more -- more intimacy, more connectedness, more transcendence.So why do I tango? [...]

Chastity: Silk Vestments and Fishnet Stockings

Despite the evidence of my implausible last name -- customer-service staff refuse to believe it, force me to repeat it two and three times, and sometimes even argue, "It can't be spelled like that!" -- the provenance of my Catholic faith is Irish American, courtesy of my catechetical mom. Whatever specifically Croatian quirks dad had [...]

Alien Ideas: Christianity and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

In this Crisis Magazine classic, Benjamin Wiker revisits the strange history of belief in extraterrestrials and considers what impact their existence might have on Christianity.     We tend to consider speculation about extraterrestrials to be a recent phenomenon, a task forced on us by the scientific knowledge we've gained during the last century. It's [...]

Translator of John Paul II’s Original Work Defends Christopher West

In the midst of the current controversy over the Theology of the Body, Dr. Michael Waldstein says Christopher West's work is "deep and faithful."   I know that David Schindler is a careful scholar, but I was surprised and taken aback by his recent blanket negative statement about Christopher West in reaction to West's Nightline [...]

Politics as Applied Theology: A Conversation with Peter and Helen Evans

Peter and Helen Evans know what it's like to be spiritual seekers. They ran through the gamut of Eastern religions and philosophies before returning to the Christianity of their youth. Better still, they've written a book to help those who find themselves similarly seeking. The result is Get Serious: The Church's Stand on Contemporary Culture, [...]

The New Language

It's no exaggeration to say that the sad task of the 20th century was to rid itself of the Christian sexual ethic. If we're to build a culture of life, the task of the 21st century must be to reclaim it. But the often repressive approach of previous generations of Christians (usually silence or, at [...]

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