Necessity of the Good

We are all disciples of ­Aristotle. Whether we realize it or not, whenever we are talking about the Good we are working with ideas that are Aristotelian in origin. We speak of good food and good company, good behavior and good outcomes. These modes of the Good share a basic assumption: The good is . . . . Continue Reading »

The End of the Analogy of Being

The new translation of Erich Przywara’s Analogia Entis is a theological landmark that should go a long way toward clarifying the centuries-long debate about the relationship between analogy and metaphysics. Far from being a rhetorical trope or a philosophical tool, analogy for Przywara is the style of thought that best corresponds to the way in which being makes itself known. Not only is analogy, for Przywara, built into every level of Catholic theology. It is the glue that holds those levels together. The analogy of being is nothing more than the philosophical form that the Roman Catholic Church takes as it embodies God’s presence in the world. Continue Reading »

Against Obsessive Sexuality

For the March issue of First Things, I wrote an essay called “Against Heterosexuality.” In brief, my argument was that the concept of sexual orientation is not historically inevitable, not empirically accurate, and not morally useful. The heterosexual-homosexual dichotomy is counterproductive to encouraging the virtue of chastity, so we Christians should do our best to eliminate “gay” and “straight”—especially “straight,” actually—from the way we think and talk about sex, always with prudence directing us as to the particulars. Continue Reading »

Backing Down from Gregory of Nyssa’s Ascent

The early Church’s appropriation of Greek philosophy is easily caricatured as an exchange that left Christianity intellectually enriched but spiritually impoverished. In reality, the Church Fathers converted Plato before they baptized him. That is, they found Greek metaphysics useful, but they used it for their own purposes. Still, the question remains: Christians changed Plato, but how much did Plato change Christianity? Continue Reading »

God, Gods, and Fairies

One of the strangest claims often made by purveyors and consumers of today’s popular atheism is that disbelief in God involves no particular positive philosophy of reality, much less any kind of religion or creed, but consists merely in neutral incredulity toward a certain kind of factual . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Understanding Nothing

A Universe from Nothing:  Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by lawrence m. krauss  free press, 204 pages, $24.99 Acritic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical . . . . Continue Reading »