Sennett summarizes a study from the early 1990s done by the American Management Association, which found that “repeated downsizings produce ‘lower profits and declining worker productivity.’” The study found “less than half the companies achieved their experience . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline, Sixth After Epiphany

INTRODUCTION Yahweh’s promise to David (2 Samuel 7) about an eternal dynasty overshadows the whole book of Kings, and the story of Kings is about Yahweh’s faithfulness to David in the face of all threats and challenges. Here, David’s dynasty is nearly destroyed by a daughter of . . . . Continue Reading »

Language of deficit

After listing 22 descriptive terms for the self (including stressed, self-alienated, paranoid, bulimic), Kenneth Gergen notes that “they are all terms of mental deficit. They discredit the individual, drawing attention to problems, shortcomings, or incapacities. To put it more broadly, the . . . . Continue Reading »

When to start philosophy

Montaigne wrote in his essay on the education of children, “The boy we would breed has a great deal less time to spare; he owes but the first fifteen or sixteen years of his life to education; the remainder is due to action. Let us, therefore, employ that short time in necessary instruction. . . . . Continue Reading »

Self-conscious modernity

Postmodernity is from one angle modernity coming to self-consciousness. Managerialism is as much at the heart of modernity as of postmodernity, but postmoderns know they are being managed. As a result, management is always shot through with irony. How can we take the wizard seriously after the . . . . Continue Reading »

Postmodern society

David Lyon’s little book, Postmodernity, provides an excellent introduction to the sociological, technological, and political contexts in which postmodern thought has arisen. He is cautious about inflating claims about a “postmodern” condition or the coming of a “new . . . . Continue Reading »

More on Hamlet

INTRODUCTION As many critics have pointed out, Act 2 of Hamlet focuses on the efforts of both the “mighty opposites” - Hamlet and Claudius - to spy out the intentions and plans of the other. Thus begins the process of inserting various mediators between the two, all of whom end up dead . . . . Continue Reading »

Watts on Mark 1:1f

Rikki Watts offers some other dimensions to the quotation from Mark 1:1. He notes that Mark is quoting not only from Isaiah 40, but also from Exodus 23 and Malachi 3, and shows how these three texts overlay each other in Mark’s presentation. Exodus 23 is a warning to Israel about the need to . . . . Continue Reading »

Dylan, Merton, and Maritain

Joseph Frank closes his review of two recent books on Maritain and early 20th century Catholicism with this charming scene: “Maritain returned for a last visit to the United States in 1966 to say farewell to old friends and to visit the grave of his sister-in-law Vera buried in Princeton. At . . . . Continue Reading »