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Assault on Christendom

Wow. We didn’t know. The “Hallelujah Chorus” is a paean celebrating Titus’ sack of Jerusalem and the Christian’s God’s bloody vengeance upon the Jews. That was the New York Times’ Easter Sunday gift to its readers , courtesy of Swarthmore professor Michael . . . . Continue Reading »

Free Will and Physics

John Rose wrote here yesterday concerning Einstein’s attempted reconciliation of complete physical determinism and human free will, and he noted the argument, mentioned by Stephen Barr and others , that the indeterminacy of quantum theory may make a place for free will in the physical . . . . Continue Reading »

Am I Free to Pour My Own Coffee?

One rarely needs to argue in favor of free will. "Sir, we know our will is free, and there’s an end on it," as Samuel Johnson once snarled. The notion that human beings might not possess at least some ability to choose their actions is treated, among philosophers, primarily as a toy . . . . Continue Reading »

Einstein and Faith

Walter Isaacson’s biography Einstein: His Life and Universe hit bookstands yesterday and promises to be a bestseller. Time magazine has made an excerpt available online called "Einstein & Faith" that is very much worth reading.Although Einstein abandoned his faith in a personal . . . . Continue Reading »

Pope Benedict on Iraq

In the context of his Urbi et Orbi address on Easter Sunday, Pope Benedict observed that "nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees." An Italian-speaking friend tells me a better translation would be, "There is no good news from . . . . Continue Reading »

The Fall of Rome: Season Two

What was perhaps the most pro-Christian show on television did not have a single Christian character in it¯and there was no way it could have. Rome , the hit series that has just completed its second (and for now final) season on the cable channel HBO, turned out to be a surprising affirmation . . . . Continue Reading »

Good Friday 2007

“Through Mary he received his humanity, and in receiving his humanity received humanity itself. Which is to say, through Mary he received us. In response to the angel’s strange announcement, Mary said yes. But only God knew that it would end up here at Golgotha, that it had to end up here. For . . . . Continue Reading »

Notes from Underground

A word in your ear ¯A well-known physicist told me that a popular blogger told him that an unnamed source told her that a distinguished elderly lady told the unnamed source that the pope told the distinguished elderly lady that the long-rumored motu proprio on the Latin Mass will appear on the . . . . Continue Reading »

René Girard for Holy Week

To read René Girard is to want to slap one’s forehead and say, "Of course, why didn’t I think of that?" If I might pump up the volume on my praise a bit more, he is the direct opposite of that sad figure in George Eliot’s masterpiece Middlemarch , the Rev. Mr. . . . . Continue Reading »

God and Man in Translation

The Passion account read at Mass on Palm Sunday this year was taken from the Gospel of Luke: "The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him. They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, ‘Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?’ And they reviled him in saying . . . . Continue Reading »

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