Philosophers & Saints

Appropriate Skepticism and Papal Authority

Pope_Francis_in_March_2013_b October 16, 2014
Belief that the Holy Spirit invariably leads the Roman Catholic Church to what is true requires one to suspend reasonable skepticism about the typical dysfunction and fallibility of humans and human institutions. Moreover, it seems appropriate for individual Christians (even…
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The Loss of a Culture of Personhood and the End of Limited Government

October 6, 2014
Philadelphia, PA The idea and practice of limited government begins with Christianity.  Pagan antiquity could not imagine such a thing, because there was no distinction between religion and governance.   For the pagan, there is an overall order to all…
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Archimedean Points, Above and Below

Archimedes_lever September 24, 2014
“To the famous Archimedean boast:  ‘Give me whereon to stand and I will move the world.’.  Rabelais answers: ‘I move with my ship; and the waves of the world give way.’”    –John Cowper Powys One could choose a less fruitful…
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How Marx Explains the Pomo-Con/Front-Porch Divide, In Four Easy Steps

karlmarxlego June 4, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Via Rod Dreher, I see that the occasionally interesting blog Postmodern Conservative has departed its longtime home at the (often, if not always) theoconservative journal First Things and has relocated to the National Review,…
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Happy St. Isidore’s Day

Saint Isidore May 15, 2014
In “The Gift of Good Land,” Wendell Berry notes, with a tinge of regret, the largely heroic nature of the stories recorded in the Bible.  “It may, in some ways, be easier to be Samson,” Berry writes, “than to be…
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G.K. Chesterton in 1000 Words

Gilbert_Chesterton March 28, 2014
I once knew a woman who met Chesterton. It was a brief meeting in the 1920s when she was a girl of about ten or so. Her older sister invited her to go into London to hear the great man…
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Imagining Healthy Work: Why We all Have to Become Monks

Fra_Angelico_031 March 10, 2014
This essay was originally presented at Spring Arbor University’s annual Focus series. I am speaking today not as a literature specialist, nor as a professional economist, nor as a business expert, but simply as a human.  So in talking about…
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A Genuinely Original Libertarian Argument?

March 5, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Yesterday evening, I participated in a symposium sponsored in part by Northfield School of the Liberal Arts, a private Christian academy, here in Wichita, KS. I’ve done a lot with Northfield over the years, as…
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Liberty and Circuits of the Sacred

IMG-20140118-00854 January 28, 2014
A few days ago was the first time I heard Chinese being spoken with a heavy Indian accent.  Given the tenor of our times, one might expect this to have been at some gathering of wheelers and dealers brandishing business…
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Can We (not) Talk?

large_tomlincry January 13, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan.   Patrick Deneen posted a vigorous rejoinder to pro-free market critics of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. Deneen’s takedown of Rush Limbaugh got me thinking less about the substance of the pope’s thoughts than about the form –…
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What You Need to Know About Simone Weil

weil2 December 3, 2013
Born in 1909 to secular Jewish Parisians, at age 10 Simone Weil was memorizing Racine and marching in labor union protests.  She attended the École Normale and then briefly taught philosophy to lycée girls, serving on weekends as a volunteer…
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The Limerick and the Liturgy

math-limerick September 4, 2013
The form is the content.
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What You Need to Know About Hans Urs von Balthasar

Switzerland470-Lucerne-FranciscanChurch August 19, 2013
This is an entry in FPR’s One Thousand Words series. Over the next few months, perhaps longer, several dozen contributors will tell us what we need to know about a wide variety of figures—some obscure, some not—in one thousand words
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Thoughts on Elshtain

elshtain August 13, 2013
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Jean Bethke Elshtain, a profound and important political theorist and ethicist, died yesterday I was lucky enough to have met her perhaps a handful of times, being able to ask her a question or two…
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Veritatis Splendor at 20—Lessons for Localists

jpii-escribe2 August 5, 2013
Veritatis Splendor, John Paul II’s encyclical letter, The Splendor of Truth, is now twenty years old. Promulgated August 6, 1993, the letter addressed fundamental issues in moral theology, responding particularly to certain revisionist or dissenting positions denying that…
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Pondering St. Francisville, Gilead, and our Stories of Place

st.-francisville-cemetery (2) July 22, 2013
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Jeremy Beer’s recent review of The Little Way of Ruthie Leming leads me to once again reflect upon Rod Dreher’s excellent book (about which I’ve already had a lot to say), in part because it…
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