Roland on Dreams

From the November 2015 Print Edition

It was, I believe, the third time that the small, hard, moist rubber ball struck my forehead and dropped to my pillow that I awakened fully (or dreamed I had done). The gaze that met my own was that of my dog Roland, his coal-black snout, drooping brown ears, and handsome chalk-and-charcoal face so . . . . Continue Reading »

Saint Origen

From the October 2015 Print Edition

Amonth or so ago I found myself hovering at the edges of a long, rambling, repetitive intra-Orthodox theological debate over the question of universal salvation, and specifically the question of whether there exists any genuine ecclesial doctrine hostile to the idea. It is an issue that arises in . . . . Continue Reading »

Roland on Vaikuntha

From the Aug/Sept 2015 Print Edition

At first there was only the vigorous snuffling sound of an inquisitive snout near my brow, then the sensation of humid breath falling tenderly upon my neck, then the light brush of a cool wet nose against my cheek, and finally the tentative probing tip of a broad ductile tongue along the rim of my . . . . Continue Reading »

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 dawn I could . . . . 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 »