Month: October 2021

Forget “Enchantment”: In Praise of the Spooky

Thomas Merton concretized a sentiment many of us share and have found ourselves unable to articulate: “October is a fine and dangerous season in America. It is dry and cool and the land is wild with red and gold and...

/ October 29, 2021

Sons and Daughters

When philosopher Umberto Galimberti began working as a psychoanalyst in 1979, his patients’ problems “were grounded in emotions, feelings, and sexuality. Now,” however, “they concern the void of meaning.” According to Galimberti, young people are plagued by a sense of...

/ October 28, 2021

Dragons in the Deep Places

Ross Douthat’s new book, a memoir of his experience with chronic illness, is far more than that simple description would suggest. It recounts, in excruciating detail, his journey with Lyme disease, which began in 2015. It tells of the pain...

/ October 26, 2021

A Legacy of Letters: Living and Dying Well in the Lives of My Great-Grandparents

A tiny Bella, wearing a striped sweater and a mostly toothless grin. My parents, glowingly happy with their new baby. My three great-grandparents, seemingly ageless.

/ October 14, 2021

Why (Not) Masking Matters: A Dissent

Without qualification, masking has been one of the most contentious issues for church leaders to face over the last two years. For some, it is a matter of health and preserving life. For others, it is a matter of liberty...

/ October 13, 2021

We All Have the Power of Caligula Now

The logic, spirit, and economy of contemporary pornography is a near-perfect reflection of society’s failure to provide us with the tools necessary to meet the Responsibilities of Self-Belonging. Pornography assumes that we are each our own and belong to ourselves....

/ October 12, 2021

“Those Heathenish Christians”: John Robinson’s Warning to the Puritans and to Us

“You will say they deserved it,” wrote the Separatist pastor John Robinson in 1623, after he first heard about the killings. The recipient of this letter was Pilgrim leader William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth colony in America. Robinson had...

/ October 7, 2021

A Numbing Blow: Baptism as Illiberalism

“The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers,” wrote the Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan. He was pointing out in his inimitable way how the course of our lives unfold from an act over...

/ October 6, 2021

The Bottoming Out of the American Evangelical Church

The long shadow of 2016 continues to stretch over the church. I recently attended a social event held outdoors. Masking was the most immediately visible demarcation of political lines among a large group of professing Christians; but behind the masks,...

/ October 5, 2021
i am iphone

What Is a Smartphone?: A Thomistic Analysis

You understand almost nothing about your smartphone. I can prove it by asking a simple question: what is a smartphone? I suspect you will find difficulty articulating a definition which avoids either tautology or obvious error. But another simple question...

/ October 4, 2021