Fie Upon Phi

From the February 2016 Print Edition

A venerable rule of predication is that certain words—or, at least, certain homonymous terms—admit of univocal, equivocal, and analogical acceptations. That is to say, there are times when a term has precisely the same meaning in two or more discrete instances of its use: say, “blue” as . . . . Continue Reading »

Habetis Papam

From the December 2015 Print Edition

Far be it from me—not being a Roman Catholic—to tell Catholics what they should think of their pontiff. But, just as a brief amicus curiae (so to speak), I want to note that I feel a wholly unqualified admiration for Francis; and nothing he has done, said, or written since assuming office has . . . . Continue Reading »

Roland on Dreams

From the November 2015 Print Edition

It was, I believe, the third time that the small, hard, moist rubber ball struck my forehead and dropped to my pillow that I awakened fully (or dreamed I had done). The gaze that met my own was that of my dog Roland, his coal-black snout, drooping brown ears, and handsome chalk-and-charcoal face so . . . . Continue Reading »

Saint Origen

From the October 2015 Print Edition

Amonth or so ago I found myself hovering at the edges of a long, rambling, repetitive intra-Orthodox theological debate over the question of universal salvation, and specifically the question of whether there exists any genuine ecclesial doctrine hostile to the idea. It is an issue that arises in . . . . Continue Reading »

Romans 8:19–22

From the June/July 2015 Print Edition

In a moment, another Auseinandersetzung with the indefatigable Edward Feser; but first a small prolepsis: A reader recently asked me why, in my technical writings, I treat the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas with such respect while, in my more popular work, I delight in casual abuse of Thomists. This . . . . Continue Reading »

Traditio Deformis

From the May 2015 Print Edition

The long history of defective Christian scriptural exegesis occasioned by problematic translations is a luxuriant one, and its riches are too numerous and exquisitely various adequately to classify. But I think one can arrange most of them along a single continuum in four broad divisions: some . . . . Continue Reading »

Vinculum Magnum Entis

From the April 2015 Print Edition

I was once told by a young, ardently earnest Thomist . . . you know, one of those manualist neo-paleo-neo-Thomists of the baroque persuasion you run across ever more frequently these days, gathered in the murkier corners of coffee bars around candles in wine bottles, clad in black turtlenecks and . . . . Continue Reading »

Reason’s Faith

From the March 2015 Print Edition

I learned in these pages not long ago that it is perilous to express doubts regarding the persuasive power of most natural-law theory in today’s world. Not that I would dream of rehearsing the controversy again; but I will note that, at the time, I took my general point to be not that . . . . Continue Reading »