The Genius of Fr. Schall

Always illuminating, Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.  is a philosopher/priest who like Justin the Martyr might find wisdom in Eric Voegelin’s comment that “ . . . Christianity is not an alternative to philosophy, it is philosophy itself in its state of perfection; the history of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Unity through Beauty

Longtime readers know of my obsession with mathematical beauty, so it should come as no surprise to find me hopping up and down most eagerly and pointing you towards Matthew Milliner’s very immodest proposal in Public Discourse. My only quibble with the article is that the proportion of . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith, hope and love: virtues or functions?

This term I have been teaching Ancient & Mediaeval Political Theory, a course that is crosslisted between the philosophy and political science departments at Redeemer. Yesterday we heard two fine student presentations on Thomas Aquinas’ writings on the virtues (Summa Theologica Ia-IIae, qq. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Elephant in the Room

There I was, quietly chuckling over Bryan Caplan and Robin Hanson’s back and forth (and forth ) on the reasonableness of cryonics, when somebody decided to bring Derek Parfit into things . Says Julian: In reality, our ordinary way of talking about this leads to a serious mistake that Robin . . . . Continue Reading »

Americans Don’t Get Religion

Rod Dreher is concerned about certain trends in law enforcement . He quotes Reul Marc Gerecht saying: For the FBI, religion remains a much too sensitive subject, much more so than the threatening ideologies of yesteryear. Imagine if Maj. Hasan had been an officer during the Cold War, regularly . . . . Continue Reading »

Culture, Anti-Culture, and Lists

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the . . . . Continue Reading »

Nu-Paganism Watch

Exciting news from the Bayside City Council elections : the Queens Tribune reported that a conservative Republican was running a strong race in the 19th district and had a chance to win in the overwhelmingly Democratic city. But this was a conservative Republican with a difference: Dan Halloran is . . . . Continue Reading »

What’s in a Word?

I must confess that I wasn’t entirely expecting Conor to go in the direction that he did in his reply to my question for him about l’Affaire Latimer. In this case, I think the people is a very well-defined concept. It refers to all the citizens of the United States of America. The same . . . . Continue Reading »

Not History but Novelty

Michael Gerson’s latest column bemoans the death of historical meaning in our personal romantic narrative. It’s true that the therapeutic historicism that still seems to undergird a lot of popular culture — people telling their stories to one another — is actually being . . . . Continue Reading »