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Voting Conscience

Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society
 by cathleen kaveny
 georgetown, 304 pages, $29.95 Emerging from that end of the political spectrum grown rather short lately on argumentation (and long on dismissive invective), Cathleen Kaveny’s Law’s Virtues is . . . . Continue Reading »

The Friday We Call Good

The celebration of the Passion of the Lord is dramatic. It is the climax of all sacrifice. The curtain is torn. The temple is destroyed. On this day, when “Christ our passover was sacrificed,” the Christians fall prostrate in grief and sorrow. The whole range of human emotions experienced in the life of Christ are now on bended knee—sorrowful suffering, dripping blood, bloody flesh—the grief is palpable. Continue Reading »

The End of Negative Theology

When I was in graduate school in the eighties, negative theology was all the rage because it seemed like such a blessing. What better form could a theologian give to the confounding perplexities of deconstruction and the metaphysical obfuscations of postmodernism? Not willing to admit that radical theology was merely reactive, I wrote my dissertation on Karl Barth’s Epistle to the Romans to show that Barth was Derrida avant la lettre. I have since repented of such foolishness. Evangelism is the best retort to questions about our ability to speak about God. As St. Paul said, “I believed, and so I spoke” (2. Cor. 4:13). In the act of witnessing, ambivalence and indecision melt into air. Continue Reading »

The Dumb Ox and the Orthodox

Orthodox Readings of Aquinas by Marcus Plested Oxford, 272 pages, $99 The Greeks never had any interest in Latin culture: This was true in the classical period and was inherited by the Church Fathers (the interest of the Greeks in St. Gregory the Great is the exception that proves the rule). It . . . . Continue Reading »

Inevitable Scholasticism

Introduction to Scholastic Theology by ulrich g. leinsle trans. michael j. miller catholic university of america, 392 pages, $29.95 The standard narratives of twentieth-century Catholic theology written in the past forty years typically depict the ways in which modern Catholic theologians managed . . . . Continue Reading »

A Better Concept of Freedom

On October 31, 1958, Isaiah Berlin gave his inaugural lecture as Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford. Entitled “Two Concepts of Liberty,” it was, according to Michael Ignatieff, Berlin’s authorized biographer, “the most influential lecture he ever delivered.” . . . . Continue Reading »

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