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 »

Roland on Free Will

From the February 2015 Print Edition

In my dream (if it was a dream), I was roused by a soft, suave, gauzily sonorous voice, hauntingly reminiscent of Laurence Harvey’s. “Are you doing anything just now?” it said. I opened my eyes to see the face of my dog, Roland, bent close over my own. Even in the dim light before . . . . Continue Reading »

Ad Litteram

When lecturing undergraduates on ­Kafka’s Metamorphosis—during his otherwise idyllic American years, when he had to make his principal living in the classroom—Vladimir Nabokov liked to call his students’ attention to those sparse textual clues that made it possible to . . . . Continue Reading »

Ad Litteram

From the January 2015 Print Edition

When lecturing undergraduates on ­Kafka’s Metamorphosis—during his otherwise idyllic American years, when he had to make his principal living in the classroom—Vladimir Nabokov liked to call his students’ attention to those sparse textual clues that made it possible to . . . . Continue Reading »

Should Science Think?

From the December 2014 Print Edition

The question is not quite as facetious as it might sound; it is really rather metaphysical; and it is a question that will ever more inevitably pose itself the more the sciences find themselves constrained rather than liberated by the mechanistic paradigm to which they have been committed for four . . . . Continue Reading »

Roland in Moonlight

From the June/July 2014 Print Edition

In my dream, I had just entered the sitting room of my house. It was still several hours before dawn, but music was quietly playing: I heard the last lines and fading chords of Schubert’s “Der Leiermann,” in the recent recording by Jonas Kaufmann, before silence fell. I was . . . . Continue Reading »

Gods and Gopniks

From the May 2014 Print Edition

Journalism is the art of translating abysmal ignorance into execrable prose. At least, that is its purest and most minimal essence. There are, of course, practitioners of the trade who possess talents of a higher order—the rare ability, say, to produce complex sentences and coherent . . . . Continue Reading »