Monday, September 11, 2017

Here and There

  • Young Hemingway's Wound and Conversion, by Matthew Nickel. PILGRIM: A Journal of Catholic Experience:
    "If I am anything I am a Catholic. Had extreme unction administered to me as such in July 1918 and recovered. So guess I am a super-catholic.... Am not what is called a ‘good’ catholic.... But cannot imagine taking any other religion seriously." - Hemingway, 1927
  • Chris Cornell - 1964-2017 Unam Sanctam Catholicism reflects on the passing of the frontman for Soundgarden. 05/28/17.
  • The Sufis: Islam’s Anti-Terrorists, by Robert Carle. The Public Discourse 07/13/17. "Growing numbers of Muslims are adopting Sufi practices that promote peace, hope, and harmony among religions."
  • Stop Donald Trump From Colonizing Your Brain, by Anne Marlowe. The Tablet 05/21/17. "Like a Libyan dictator of old, the leader is everywhere, including inside your head."
  • The Saint You Hate, by Chase Padusniak. Jappers and Janglers 11/29/16:
    In fact, Merton came to love her, to be truly devoted to her: how? Well, he recognized that she took what she was given, took the world she knew, and sanctified it. Even if she "kept everything that was bourgeois about her […] her nostalgic affection for a funny villa called 'Les Buissonnets', her taste for utterly oversweet art, and for little candy angels and pastel saints playing with lambs so soft and fuzzy that they literally give people like me the creeps," she transcended these things. Merton struck up a spiritual friendship in appreciation precisely of his differences with the Little Flower, and this blossomed into fruit in his own life; he entrusted his brother to her and came to see her as “the greatest saint there has been in the Church for three hundred years.”
  • Catholicism in an Age of Discontent, by Thomas Joseph White. First Things November 2016.
    We need both Balthasar and de Lubac rather than the one or the other. Balthasar helps us recognize that only the fullness of Catholic wisdom that arises from a Christocentric focus can heal our fallen, God-forgetful human culture. With de Lubac, and against postmodernity, the Church must restore to the human person a sense of the natural human capacity for the universal, and with it the possibility of an ennobling unity based on shared metaphysical truth rather than the negative peace of nonjudgmental tolerance. Our postmodern age needs both the radiant light of Christ’s theological wisdom and encouragement to venture out in search of decisive philosophical understanding.

    Along with these two imperatives we must adopt a third, one brought to the fore in the current pontificate. Our theological and philosophical efforts to overcome postmodern fear of—and despair about—truth must be accompanied by spiritual charity toward those who live disoriented and loveless lives in today’s secular culture. ...

  • Caleb Bernacchio offers an interesting take on Macintyre and Dreher: MacIntyre, Dreher, and American Politics. Ethika Politika 05/23/17:
    ... American conservatives were never really interested in MacIntyre’s politics. There was no discussion of MacIntyre’s extended account of the social relationships and political institutions of local communities in Dependent Rational Animals (published in 1999) nor was their any consideration of his earlier text Marxism and Christianity. Instead, conservatives Catholics were reinterpreting MacIntyre’s brief discussion of St. Benedict in the closing pages of After Virtue — a passage intended to highlight the importance of a local politics of community building — as a call for fidelity to the Magisterium after Vatican II. In other words, they were equating MacIntyre’s brief sketch of a renewed politics of community building with his later defense of the Catholic intellectual tradition (primarily outlined in Whose Justice? Which Rationality? and Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry). [...]

    [Rod Dreher's] The Benedict Option must be seen as another episode in the political reception of MacIntyre’s work among American conservatives. Ironically, as I have noted, this reception has involved the least political portion of MacIntyre’s work, his defense of the Thomist tradition, rather than his explicit discussions of local politics (which seems to be largely irrelevant to the American conservative political project). This is why academic critics of Dreher are mistaken to think that it is sufficient to argue that Dreher has misunderstood MacIntyre. [...]

    If MacIntyre is correct, American conservatives will not be able to develop a coherent and plausible identity without rediscovering a local politics of associations, municipalities, and activism within social movements. (See MacIntyre’s recent defense of municipal government as an important locus of political activity.) Dreher’s vision in The Benedict Option is too narrow because it fails to recognize the relationship between local politics, issues-based activism (fighting for labor rights or health care), and national party politics [as expressed in his latest, Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity].

  • Breaking Free of Identity Politics, by Stephen Adubato. Ethika Politika 05/11/17:
    The inconvenient truth about us humans is that we are complex, we are mysterious, and there is always more to the story. You can slap an easily comprehensible label onto a person that may only tell you very little or even nothing at all about that person’s unique experience. We need to be able to open a space for a way to make sense of that “something more” that defines us as humans. Perhaps we can begin by ceasing to reduce religion to a mere identity category that is equated with others like race and gender, and affirming it as the complex phenomenon that it really is.
  • Francisco Romero Carrasquillo (Ite ad Thomam):
    As of late, I have been searching the internet for downloadable PDFs of works relevant to Thomism and to pretty much anything else related to traditional Catholic thought. Highlights include much of St. Thomas' Leonine Edition and lots and lots of works by Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. and Santiago Ramírez, O.P. in various languages. And I'm just getting started; there's lots more out there. ....

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