Discernment of Situation

Reckoning with a pope whose own remarks seem somewhat erratic is one thing. But how are we to reckon with a situation in which the administration of the sacraments, and the theology behind their administration, is succumbing, with his blessing, to . . . . Continue Reading »

Ritualed Knowing

Epistemology and ritual are rarely considered together. They are often opposed (“mindless ritual”), and ritual is more often associated with belief than with knowledge. At best, ritual is understood as an expression of knowledge that has been arrived at by other means. Dru Johnson doesn’t think these positions do justice to either ritual or epistemology. . . . Continue Reading »

The Most Important Day of Your Life

During talks around the country in recent years, I’ve been asking Catholic audiences how many of those present know the date of their baptism. The high-end response is a little under 10 percent. The average is about 2 to 3 percent. This, brethren, is a problem. You know your birthday. You know (or . . . . Continue Reading »

Sacramental Economy

Money is something of a mystery. Classical economics views money as a commodity that is selected as a medium of exchange and standard of value, which enables a society to grow from a barter system to a more complex and efficient economy. As Ole Bjerg points out in Making Money, a recent excursion into the philosophy of money, the classical theory leaves some puzzles in its wake. For starters, it doesn’t fit known historical facts. Anthropologists have yet to find a pure barter economy. Media of exchange always seem to be there already. Continue Reading »