The Human Person

The first pillar of a decent society is respect for the human person, which recognizes that all individual human beings have dignity simply because of the kind of being they are: animals whose rational faculties allow them to know, love, reason, and communicate. It also recognizes that human beings are persons, members of the human family who flourish in a community that respects their fundamental rights and who long to discover transcendent truths about the nature of reality.

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Making Death Easier Makes Life Harder

A culture of disdain for disabled and elderly persons is more likely to come about if we embrace a right to assisted suicide. Each endorsement of suicide endangers not only the lives but also the human dignity and quality of support relationships of persons with burdensome infirmities.

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On Islam Fails to Enlighten

Fr. James Schall’s recently published collection of essays on Islam and violence suffers from reductionist arguments, non-existent evidence, and historical ignorance. It is a book that defeats itself, and is an unfortunate addition to the legacy of an otherwise great scholar.

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Fighting the Burnout Culture: How Personalist Philosophers and Benedictine Monks Can Help Stressed-Out College Students

What are the ends of education? How do various conceptions of the human person influence our understanding of education? What does a liberal arts education look like in an educational system dominated by specialized fields of study and focused on credentials and skills? How do friendship and community relate to education? As I wrote recently...

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The Church Could Teach That Capital Punishment Is Inherently Wrong

Nothing asserted in Scripture read in light of the New Testament excludes the conclusion that capital punishment is inherently wrong. Nor does any definitive Church teaching. But the new revision of the Catechism, while removing from view an evident instability, remedies none of the underlying tensions and seems likely to obscure the only path to a teaching fully stabilized by adopting that conclusion authoritatively, as an authentic development of doctrine. And the revisionary documents are in other ways disconcerting. Part two of a two-part essay.

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Thomas Aquinas: Not Just for Catholics Any More

A new collection of essays, Aquinas Among the Protestants, demonstrates the impact that Thomas Aquinas has had on Anglican, Lutheran, and Reformed thinkers and explores the ways in which contemporary Protestant Christianity could benefit from Aquinas’s insights, particularly regarding natural law and virtue ethics.

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In Defence of Catholic Integralism

States that do not recognize both natural law and the transformation of law and public reason brought about by the raising of religion to a supernatural good will become confessors of false belief opposed to Christianity, and their great power will turn from supporting Christianity to opposing or even repressing it, especially in relation to its moral teaching.

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C.S. Lewis in a Secular Core: Sex, Love, and That Hideous Strength

For C.S. Lewis, the body and the erotic procreative relationship between men and women are not mere nature, to be manipulated and embellished. They are not mere matter, to be shaped in any way that we please. They are, rather, an indicator of a larger order, something that offers us a clue to that larger order and that has to be understood in the light of it.

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Theology, Not Politics, Will Shape the Future of the Church

The Church’s own history teaches us that her theology matters more than her politics. Now as in the past, those who make robust arguments that coherently develop our understanding of Christ and his message will endure, while those whose arguments diminish the meaning of the cross and resurrection are likely to pass away.

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Integralism and Catholic Doctrine

Catholics today are not required to believe in a Catholic confessional state. If anything, they are required to believe that everyone has a right under the natural law to religious freedom, that the state has no authority in religious matters, and that coercion of religious activity by the state is morally wrong. In short, integralism is contrary to Catholic doctrine.