Mammon Ascendant

From the June/July 2016 Print Edition

So, there I was, pondering, with an old familiar feeling of perplexity (about which more anon), certain reactions to my reaction to various reactions to the pope’s last encyclical, when it occurred to me that the one thing on which ­Hegelians of every stripe—right or left, theological or . . . . Continue Reading »

The Scholar and the Nymph

From the May 2016 Print Edition

As he stood alone in the immense library of his college a week after Michaelmas term, mourning the arrival of his sixty-fifth birthday and contemplating the mild, pristinely white light pouring in through the high arched windows, the senior scholar reflected that over the years he had added no . . . . Continue Reading »

Roland on the Secret Soul

From the April 2016 Print Edition

I was, it seemed, standing in my garden, gazing through shifting silvery curtains of mist at the muted yellow of a flowering forsythia. Somehow I knew it was only a little past dawn. I might have gone inside after a moment had I not heard the garden gate behind me swinging on its steel hinges and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Dream-Child's Progress

From the April 2016 Print Edition

“He’s dreaming now,” said Tweedledee: “and what do you think he’s dreaming about?”Alice said, “Nobody can guess that.”“Why, about you!” Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly. “And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you’d be?”“Where I . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »