Brendan Purcell

Written by Brendan Purcell

Brendan Purcell is Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at Notre Dame University in Sydney. He is author of several books, including From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution (New City Press, 2012).

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Since Voegelin has said that the reality of experience is self-interpretive, let’s turn this question around and ask, how did the earliest humans think about origins. I’ll draw on Voegelin’s well-known reflections on symbolization to remind us of the kind of expressions of that early thinking about origins we’ll be dealing with here:
For, in the first place, the symbols are…

As late as Nov 29, 1988, well into the Gorbachev period of ‘glasnost,’ Suslov’s successor and top party ideologist, Vadim Medvedev ‘confirmed Solzhenitsyn would remain on the Soviet Union’s blacklist of forbidden writers, saying that “to publish Solzhenitsyn’s work is to undermine the foundation on which our present life rests.”’[1] As Edward Ericson and Daniel Mahoney write in their introduction…

1. Roundtable on David Walsh's Politics of the Person
A few years ago, I tried to work out a philosophical understanding of human origins, which involved not only up to six or seven million years of the hominid or hominin sequence leading to Homo Sapiens, but also the individual miracle of the origin of each of us. Very briefly, I leant…
Roger Scruton

The Soul of the World . Roger Scruton. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

These Stanton Lectures at the Divinity Faculty of the University of Cambridge in 2011 are very much a companion series to Scruton’s Gifford Lectures of 2010, The Face of God (London: Continuum, 2012). Both books explore the themes of the Other, God, the natural world and…
Piero Coda

The Trinity and Love
Perhaps Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s most powerful single response to the Bolshevik coup d’état and consequent ideological revolution in Russia was his novel, In the First Circle.2 His answer to the Inferno of Stalin’s anti-world of betrayal is the Paradiso of Nadya’s and Gleb’s faithfulness, all the more heroic when neither are aware of the other’s fidelity overcoming the…
Catholic Church Religion Christianity

This interview is in light of Voegelin and Theology Today on Fred Lawrence’s article. 

Vv:  Is there anything in Catholic theology that is deficient and could be corrected by adding in Voegelin’s thought?
BP:  Well, as I say in my commentary piece, Voegelin and Theology Today, there’s a big need for theologians to get out beyond the stockade and explore the presence…
DNA Science Technology

The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science. Bruce L. Gordon and William A. Dembski, eds. Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute Books, 2011.

With thirty eight contributors writing 41 essays encompassing a wide range of views, it’s unlikely this 963-page tome on naturalism in science will be surpassed for many years. The brief editors’ Introduction goes to…

A Reflection of 20 Years
I’ve been asked, in light of the contrasting interpretations of Jürgen Gebhardt and Paul Caringella, and Fred Lawrence’s article that works on reconciling their views, to answer the question whether it is fair or naïve hyperbole to suggest Eric Voegelin as a modern Church Father.  
As anyone who has attended the annual meetings of the Eric Voegelin…
Big Bang

The Foundations of the Scientific Method
What we call the natural sciences emerged only in Western civilization which in turn was built on the experiences of Greek philosophy and Judeo-Christian revelation.
How did these experiences make possible the emergence of the experimental natural sciences?
It is possible to list three factors underlying modern scientific method. To undertake any scientific investigation we must:
(i) be…
John Paul II Fides et Ratio

On this occasion we will consider the Encyclical Letter of John Paul II, Faith and Reason ( Fides et ratio), which he released on September 15th, 1998. We will begin with a few introductory remarks on the cultural context for the encyclical and then consider two of its aspects.
It is obvious that Faith and Reason (hereinafter “FIDES”) addresses the crisis…