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Fr. Oakes on Relativism

From Web Exclusives

Ever since he coined the term “the dictatorship of relativism” shortly before his election as Pope Benedict XVI, the phrase has continued to haunt me. At first glance it sounds like an oxymoron: How can a relativist seek to impose a dictatorship? Aren’t dictators called absolutists . . . . Continue Reading »

ETO: Aphorisms and E. M. Cioran

From Web Exclusives

In these hot days of August, who has energy for anything, including reading? Well, there’s "beach reading" of course, but that’s just the point. People can be induced to read books (novels mostly) that don’t burn up the little gray cells, but if I might hazard a guess, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Road from Damascus

From the May 2006 Print Edition

St. Paul is, to put it mildly, a controversial figure. Among Jews, Paul tends to grate on sensibilities even more than does Jesus. Actually, as to Jesus, one can detect a rapprochement, however wary, on the part of several Jewish scholars. This development is largely the result of New Testament . . . . Continue Reading »

EO: 3.20.06

From Web Exclusives

I have just finished reading Jaroslav Pelikan’s Acts . The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible (Brazos Press, 2006 ) . 320 pp. $29.99. Let it be said at the outset: the world is not exactly groaning for another multi-volume commentary on the Bible. Library shelves in divinity schools . . . . Continue Reading »

A Jesus Just for Me

From the March 2006 Print Edition

At least you can say this for Garry Wills”he isn’t afraid to change his mind. Whether that malleability is good or bad depends, I suppose, on your view of his political shift from right to left. As a Jesuit seminarian in the 1950s (he left the Society of Jesus well before ordination), he . . . . Continue Reading »

What Do Zombies Think?

From the January 2006 Print Edition

I once attended a lecture by a philosopher who, in the midst of a tirade against the Christian right, interrupted himself and admitted that his atheism also had a problem: “I hate to admit it,” he conceded, “but I am a qualia freak.” Among philosophers working on the mind/body . . . . Continue Reading »