James E. Hartley Jan 5, 2021

Quiz: Name the five most influential philosophy books in Western Civilization. Go ahead, make your list. Don’t worry if you are not an expert in the history of philosophy. Just name the five most influential philosophy books of which you have heard.

There are a lot of viable candidates for that list of five. The number of possible lists is vast. But there is one book that, while it should be on everyone’s list, would show up on very few lists unless mentioned in advance. What is this most important work of philosophy that nobody remembers to list? The Bible.

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Joshua Gibbs Jan 1, 2021

The beginning of the year is an appropriate time to mull over the state of things, like the state of your own soul, your finances, and your desires, but also the state of the enterprises and institutions to which you have committed your life. During the first week of January, what I really want is a bleak, soul-crushing news story that will help me leverage renewed fervor for my church, my family, my school, and my career.

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Joshua Gibbs Dec 29, 2020

This year, I torched my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. It was the best decision I have made in years—although you’ve probably already met a few other people who have quit social media and they have said the same thing.

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Matthew Bianco Dec 28, 2020

St. Athanasius: From where have you come, Matthew?

Matthew: I was at home, reading Plato’s Republic. It’s one of my favorite books, and I am hoping to teach it again soon. 

St. Athanasius: Plato’s Republic? That is a good one. What do you like about it?

Matthew: I think Socrates really wrestles through some important questions and has some very revealing insights about human nature.

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Lindsey Brigham Knott Dec 23, 2020

What a year . . .

. . . a year in which public calamity and private hardship rolled in endless-seeming succession, in which the nation’s leaders vacillated between unreasonable vigilance and irresponsible negligence, in which it could be said of both natural and human affairs that if they could go wrong, they would.

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Joshua Gibbs Dec 22, 2020

Prior to the Enlightenment, there was no such thing as “society.” There may have been a society of butchers in New York or a society of Methodists in London, but a society was always a particular group of people who shared a common identity. A society was a knowable and definite body of people.

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Brittany Martin Dec 22, 2020

Many moons ago, during my undergraduate days at a state university, I decided to discuss my Creationist views with my chemistry professor.  After he informed me that I was brainwashed and headed for a dead-end career if I didn’t accept evolution, he asked me how I defined science.  I repeated the answer I had been taught, that science is the study of observable and reproducible phenomena in the natural world.  To this answer he laughed and said I was, “so 19th century.”  This answer entirely befuddled me…wasn’t he the Darwinist?  Wasn’t he the one who was “so 19th century?”  I spent 20 year

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Zach Sherman Dec 17, 2020

If you ask a bleary-eyed high school teacher how things are going at school, he’ll likely mention grades within a few sentences. "Grades were due last night and I’m spent”... “I was up late emailing a parent about a grade.”  Scores of teachers burn out of the classroom every year, many of them citing the grading load. And there is nothing quite like the existential despair that grips a man when he looks at a stack of 100 essays that he knows he must grade. 

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Joshua Gibbs Dec 16, 2020

In the lately released Oxford Handbook of Christmas, a certain theme quickly emerges insofar as Christmas traditions are concerned: the origins of most Christmas traditions are a little obscure. Many Christmas traditions can be traced to a certain century and a certain country, but not to a particular person or event.

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Annie Crawford Dec 15, 2020

My husband and I have spent more time walking in our neighborhood together since March of 2020, when much of our city shut down. Rooting ourselves more deeply to home and place has been an unexpected blessing. 

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