Arthur Brooks is right that we urgently need to learn to disagree better, but he’s wrong about what it will take to do that. Brooks demonstrates just how easy it is to slip from the transcendent and infinitely difficult command that we love our enemies to the comforting illusion that we have no enemies.
Pillar: Education & Culture
The fourth pillar, education and culture, is built upon the recognition of two essential realities. First, the Western intellectual tradition requires a dedication to and desire for truth. Second, education takes place not only within colleges and universities but within our broader culture, whose institutions and practices form us as whole persons.
Vice President Mike Pence has been invited to deliver the 2019 commencement address for Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. However, a severe backlash against the former Indiana governor demands that his invitation be rescinded. The accusations against Pence are fallacious, slanderous, and contrary to both a biblical worldview and a liberal-arts education.
The divide between the “two cultures” of the sciences and the humanities is a well-known problem in education. The discipline that we need in order to unify them is natural philosophy.
Christmas and Easter are beautiful seasons that reveal time to be more complex than our everyday linear experience of it. As Christians, we need to remember that YHWH not only speaks through his Word and in his Church, but also through the calendar.
It’s more authentic to stand before a young person and humbly say, “I’ve found something I’m eager to share with you, and I want to provoke you to go on your own journey for the truth,” than to deny that teachers, mentors, and other role models are speaking from tradition with authority.
Both believing and non-believing students of Strauss will find Leo Strauss and His Catholic Readers rewarding.
Technology promises to solve our problems, but it also creates new ones. That’s because we have failed to apply human-centric approaches to technology. We think in terms of productivity instead of human flourishing; connectivity instead of community. As a result, our tech use leaves us worse off than we were before—less free, less rested, less peaceful.
Heather Mac Donald’s The Diversity Delusion is right on point, but it is also biting in tone, brimming with exasperation and anger. Mac Donald is at her finest when she offers an ode to the humanities, reminding the reader of the wonder and sublimity in Shakespeare and Bach, the truth and timelessness in Homer and Plato.
There is a penchant on today’s college campuses for sacrificing hard questions at the altar of political correctness. The university’s repudiation of the Socratic method and preoccupation with genderless pronouns, microaggressions, and safe spaces is not benign. The university should be a sacred place where no question, regardless of its potential to offend, is deemed off-limits.
Although many are dissatisfied with the Vatican’s efforts to mediate Venezuela’s political crisis, Venezuela’s Catholic Church is the one institution that has retained its integrity throughout two decades of a leftist-populist tyranny. What might this mean for a post-dictatorship Venezuela?
Thanks to the work of sociologist Mark Regnerus, a prominent peer-reviewed journal has retracted a deeply flawed study on how social stigma affects the life expectancy of sexual minorities. This failure of peer review isn’t an isolated case: the more social science research supports the dogmas of identity politics, the less closely it is examined, and the more enthusiastically it is promoted.
Cultural conservatives face a time when it is not simply a question of debating the nature of our culture on some commonly agreed foundation. It is a time when we face the complete transformation of our culture into an anti-culture.
For many college students today, to say that man is made for the knowledge (and perhaps even love) of God suggests that those who do not acknowledge God are somehow inadequate, incompetent, or ignorant. For them, such a claim amounts to condescension. This generation distances itself both from the vitriol and virulence of “the new atheists” and the naivete and fundamentalism of religionists in the pursuit of otherwise serene and humane existence.
What started as a rebellion against bourgeois conformity and oppressive technocracy ultimately ushered an age of triumphant individualism and economic globalization. The rediscovery of Marxism by the young rebels of the sixties started a long-term transformation of the left from advocate of the working class to political home of the professional elites. How did that happen?
The story of Sohrab Ahmari is one of extremes. By turns, he was a rebel, Iranian expat, an atheist, a bohemian dissident, an anti-Mormon provocateur, a communist, a lawyer, a teacher, a libertine, and finally, a Christian.
Why are progressives so intent on winning control of the public square? In his new book, Steven Smith argues that they are motivated by the same battle that was waged in ancient Rome: Paganism vs. Christianity, immanence vs. transcendence.
Why does Orthodox Judaism center so intensely upon law, when the modalities of poetry and philosophy are available? Is it possible that, for most members of the culture, study of the law develops the areas of the soul that elsewhere are nurtured by poetry and philosophy?
To defeat the Modern Heresy, we must promote truth in the face of relativism, structures of justice and mercy in the face of those of power, traditional familial love in the face of “the modern family,” and the redemption of sinful lives in the face of a tolerant culture that seeks to do away with sin altogether.
Women visiting Iran for international sports and game tournaments should not have to wear an Islamic headcover to be eligible to compete. US athletes should not have to wear a political symbol to play soccer. Everyone should have the freedom to compete without garment coercion.
How should Catholics understand the contradiction between the nineteenth-century papal teachings on integralism and the twentieth-century teaching of the Second Vatican Council? We follow the solution of John Paul II and Benedict XVI: we take both sets of teachings at face value, admit that they contradict each other, and explain that the earlier teachings were merely doctrina catholica, which are not absolutely binding and are thus subject to future change.
David Pinault’s new book provides a readable and scholarly comparison of Islam and Christianity. It is the fundamental question raised by Jesus himself (“But who do you say that I am?”) that divides Muslims and Christians. This candid book shows how we might improve interfaith dialogue by not shying away from difficult issues.
In politics, charity requires that we not assume the worst of those we disagree with politically, at least not without substantial proof. Charity is not some fuzzy feeling; it is the principle that motivates people to seek all of the facts about a situation prior to judgment.
We simply cannot ignore theology when looking at social problems. For Christians, the notion of sinful structures is based on the difficult but ultimately liberating admission that the existing social positions we occupy are often not in conformity with the order of God.
You do not need a license to practice history. Instead, all you need to do is work hard, do research, go to the sources, make the past meaningful, and write in a way that attracts readers.
According to Rémi Brague, the dialectic of modernity results in a paradox. Man is both the conquering lord of nature and a part of nature to be controlled. His well-being is the purpose of the modern project, which simultaneously places his distinct dignity in doubt.