Pillar: Education & Culture

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.

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Courteous but Cowardly: Today’s Tolerant Atheism

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.

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How The Summer of Love Became The Final Bourgeois Revolution

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?

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Hilaire Belloc and the Heresy of Our Times

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.

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On Integralism, Religious Liberty, and the Authority of the Church: 19th Century Popes and 20th Century Popes Disagreed

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.

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Guiding Christians Through Islam

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.

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The Soul-Saving Grace of Christian Detachment

If our pursuit of simplicity is not informed by the concept of Christian charity, focusing on mere minimalism will come up short. Too often, we cling to our “stuff” out of a desire for security. This failure to trust in God’s providence results in attachment to our earthly possessions that distracts us from more valuable eternal things: our faith and our duty to love and care for others.

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The Real Lesson of the Dust Bowl: Communities as Bulwarks Against Atomism and Statism

The alternative to the ideology of radical self-sufficiency is not reliance on the state, but the kind of community-based brotherly love and mutual aid that could be found even during midwestern American farmers’ darkest days. In the end, neither individuals nor governments, but communities, are the real vehicles for peace, harmony, and human flourishing.

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Church and State in a Time of Scandal

In the midst of a Church sex abuse scandal, many serious questions arise about the Church’s relationship to civil authorities. Any question of the state’s role or the freedom of the Church is obviously secondary to the moral urgency of ensuring that children are kept safe. Now is the time for the Church to contend deeply and thoroughly with its sins and to build structures consistent with the call to holiness.

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Pawns in a Tabloid Kingdom of Likes

We must have the fortitude to exorcise the shrill voices and influence of the angry mob from our souls. Parents, educators, and clergy: be wise, good, and courageous, and teach your children and students to be the same.