Postmodernism and Globalization

Though often conceived as a crisis within Western civilization, postmodernism, Featherstone argues, is partly impelled by globalization. Globalization, he begins, usually conveys two images - the spread of a single, increasingly uniform culture throughout the world, and the . . . . Continue Reading »

Consumer Culture and Fragmentation

Culture, Mike Featherstone suggests in Undoing Culture , becomes problematic in consumer societies. How? As developed in cultural anthropology, culture is “somehow homologous to the distinctions, differences, and divisions between social groups who unconsciously use culture as relatively . . . . Continue Reading »

Darkness in 1 John

John uses the word “darkness” seven times in his first epistle. Assuming that he uses the imagery in the same way he does in the gospel, I surmise that the light/dark language of 1 John is about the conflicts of Judaism/Judaizers and the church. The first use (1:5) is a statement about . . . . Continue Reading »

Darkness in John

John’s use of “dark” and “darkness” is often taken as a symbol of evil, dualistically related to the good that is symbolized by “light.” While his usage does sometimes stretch to this, the fundamental dualism is not moral but temporal. Dark is the period of . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline

INTRODUCTION The main conflict of the early church was not with Greek philosophy or Roman power, but with those Jews who refused to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and the Judaizers within the church who wanted to bring Gentiles under the Law. John’s first letter, like most books in the NT, . . . . Continue Reading »

Continental Philosophy

In his Oxford “very short introduction” to Continental philosophy, Simon Critchley suggests that Continental philosophy is “a professional self-description” and a “cultural feature.” The former is “a necessary - but perhaps transitory - evil of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

1 Corinthians 11:29-30: He who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. It would be nice if the enemies of God were all outside the church, and we often sentimentally think that . . . . Continue Reading »


What is the message of the imprecatory Psalms? That Christians have an excuse to be mean-spirited, vicious, and vengeful? That Christians should distribute curses and blessings in equal measure? That Christians get to be macho and talk tough? No. The main message of the imprecatory Psalms is the . . . . Continue Reading »

Beauty’s authority

Von Balthasar says somewhere that beauty makes demands, and suggests that this is a natural analogy to the attitude of faith, which is like an aesthetic response to the form of Christ. Beauty makes demands. If I hear the central movement of Beethoven’s Appassionata or any of a dozen other . . . . Continue Reading »