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The Myth of Medieval Paganism

They don’t look very Christian—those strange faces made of leaves, and those women displaying cartoonishly enlarged genitals on the walls of medieval churches. Most people who have explored the medieval architecture of Western Europe have heard a tour guide explain that a particular carving . . . . Continue Reading »

Witch Ways

In 1768, John Wesley expressed concern about the decline of popular belief in witchcraft and the supernatural: “The English in general, and indeed most of the men of learning in Europe, have given up all accounts of witches and apparitions as mere old wives’ fables. I am sorry for it. . . . They . . . . Continue Reading »

Pagan Piety

Pantheon: A New History of Roman Religion  by jörg rüpke  translated by david m. b. richardson  princeton, 576 pages, $39.95 In August of 410, for the first time in eight centuries, the city of Rome was sacked. While the fall of the ancient capital to an army of renegade Goths might . . . . Continue Reading »

The Anti-Christian Alt-Right

As you may know, many young conservatives have left Christianity,” the message begins. “Although I was raised Catholic, I too am leaving Catholicism, as I believe it is no longer a healthy religion.” The young man’s name is Dan, and he explains why he is apostatizing. “The Church has . . . . Continue Reading »

My Shamanic Healing

When I last visited New Orleans, the Robert E. Lee Monument was being used as an altar. Two voodoo priestesses, turbans atop their heads, scattered gunpowder and grave dirt on the granite plinth. With splendid indifference to those who had erected the memorial, they summoned their gods through an . . . . Continue Reading »

Overlooked Philosophy

Peter Adamson’s Philosophy in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds accepts a noble challenge announced in the book’s subtitle: A History of Philosophy without any gaps. It’s an impossible objective, of course. Adamson knows this, but admirably proceeds to outline three areas of philosophy that are often overlooked in the hustle of contemporary academic discourse: “Hellenistic philosophy” (the inheritance of Plato and Aristotle), “late antique philosophy among pagans, and ancient Christian philosophy.”

Pope v. Paganism

The pagan temptation,” as the philosopher Thomas Molnar described it, is hardly new—the Church has been fighting paganism since the time of Christ—but what is new is its aggressive resurgence, its seduction of so many Christians, and the warnings Pope Francis has issued against it.The Pope’s scorching words against paganism have not been well-received by many, but Francis has gone right on assailing it, particularly in areas that pagans care about most: the environment and sex.Francis has been a bold and eloquent defender of the environment, and understands that protecting the environment is not a recent fad, but a long-standing Catholic principle, highlighted by many of Francis’s predecessors. Continue Reading »

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