Disincarnate Christ

From the May 2017 Print Edition

Silence by shūsaku endōforeword by martin scorsesepicador, 256 pages, $16 Silencea film directed by martin scorseseparamount, 161 minutes, $19.99 Vincent Shiozuka’s life was a failure. Raised Christian in Japan, he fled to Manila in 1614 to avoid the growing Christian persecution in his native . . . . Continue Reading »

Zeno’s Sickness unto Death

From Web Exclusives

“I do not feel healthy comparatively. I am healthy, absolutely. For a long time I knew that my health could reside only in my own conviction, and it was foolish nonsense, worthy of a hypnagogue dreamer, to try to reach it through treatment rather than persuasion. I suffer some pains, it’s true, but they lack significance in the midst of my great health.” Thus concludes the self-assessment of Zeno, the vice-ridden, spineless, hypochondriac narrator of Italo Svevo’s modernist classic Zeno’s Conscience, … Continue Reading »

What’s Wrong With Poetry?

From Web Exclusives

When I was young I reflexively told people I liked poetry. I hardly knew any poets and barely understood those I had read, but poetry seemed to be a necessary affectation for the burgeoning literary snob that I was. I read randomly: Blake and MacLeish, Poe and Dickinson, Whitman and Carroll. I memorized “The Tiger” because I had to, “The Raven” because I was bored in class, and Dickinson because I was bored while sneezing… . Continue Reading »

An Unprincipled Charity

From First Thoughts

Archbishop Charles Chaput has written two useful meditations ( “A Principled Charity” and “Catholic Charity in Secular America” ) for our On the Square page on the nature of Christian charitable practice in general and the organization Catholic Charities, USA in particular. . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare’s Measured State

From Web Exclusives

“Law is framed as a rule or measure of human acts,” says Thomas Aquinas, and “different things are measured by different measures.” Human “measures” or laws direct men to the common good; the divine law undergirds it, indicating what it means to be and to be good. Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is about what happens when the human measure usurps the role of the divine measure, when the state tries to be church for its people… . . Continue Reading »

Queering the Statue of Liberty

From First Thoughts

On a visit to the Statue of Liberty with some international guests this weekend, I noticed a series of poster boards set up just inside the pedestal of the statue. Seeing the official National Park Service emblem and design at the top of each poster, I mentally consigned them to the fetid swamp of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Married Lifestyle

From Web Exclusives

Linguistic battles are difficult when the words are obviously different (gender vs. sex, pro-life vs. anti-abortion, etc.). They are much harder when the word stays the same, but the meaning changes. The same-sex marriage movement reveals that “marriage” has already undergone a meaning shift. Recognizing”and addressing”the character of that shift has to be a major part of how we defend marriage today… . Continue Reading »

Evangelical Atheists vs. Humanity

From First Thoughts

A short street in southwest Brooklyn has given some militant atheists the opportunity to prove once again that being angry against God turns one against man, as well. Richards Street has been renamed “Seven in Heaven Way” in honor of the seven local firefighters killed on 9/11. . . . . Continue Reading »