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  • The Forsaken Jesus and the Black Sun of Atheism

    April 24, 2017

    The Black Sun In an essay he wrote entitled: Atheism and Monotheism Jean-Luc Nancy used the metaphor of the “black sun” to describe atheism. He writes: “The day will perhaps come, and perhaps it is not even so far away, when we shall characterize all contemporary thinking…

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  • We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God

    April 21, 2017

    We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God. David T. Koyzis. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014.   It seems almost a truism that monotheism favors monarchic and hierarchical forms of political legitimacy. All authority arrives by appointment from on high. It flows down…

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  • Whither Catholic Education?

    April 20, 2017

    The Case for Catholic Education: Why Parents, Teachers, and Politicians Should Reclaim the Principles of Catholic Pedagogy. Ryan N. S. Topping. Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2015.   Ryan Topping is a fellow at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH. This slim book is…

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  • Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

    April 19, 2017

    Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth. David Bentley Hart (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2003).   The Beauty of the Infinite is a complex and subtle work that presents an aesthetic defense of Christian rhetoric against those who embrace what David Bentley Hart…

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  • Equivalences of Experience, and Symbols of the Depth By Which Experience Lives (Part II)

    April 18, 2017

    III Voegelin begins his essay by explaining that the search for constants of truth about human order in society and history will not be found at the level of symbols, that is, in spoken or written words or other expressions of meaning. The historical process of the…

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  • Equivalences of Experience, and Symbols of the Depth By Which Experience Lives (Part I)

    April 17, 2017

    “Equivalences of Experience and Symbolization in History” (1971) is, in my view, one of Eric Voegelin’s five most important stand-alone essays, along with “Immortality: Experience and Symbol” (1967), “The Gospel and Culture” (1971), “The Beginning and the Beyond: A Meditation on Truth” (written 1974-77), and “Wisdom and…

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Mohammed D. Cherkaoui Enlightenment Arab Muslim Islam

What Is Enlightenment? Continuity or Rupture in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings. Mohammed D. Cherkaoui, ed. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2016.
 
Among the three projects of modernity in conflict with each other – capitalist democracy, communism-socialism, and extremist nationalism – only the first survived into the twenty-first century. Capitalist democracy is today the unrivaled form of modernity in the world and…

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The North American High Tory Tradition. Ron Dart. New York: American Anglican Press, 2016.
 
In his 1965 book, Lament for a Nation, political philosopher described the disappearance of Canada as a sovereign nation-state and went so far as to declare “the impossibility of Canada” in the modern age. Indeed, his use of the word “lament” provides conclusive evidence that for him…

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Merrill Hume and Politics of Enlightenment

Hume and the Politics of Enlightenment. Thomas W. Merrill. Cambridge University Press, 1915.
 
Thomas Merrill of American University introduces this book with reflections on the difficult relation of philosophy to politics, illustrated in the thought of Marx and Heidegger, each alienated from the dominant features of the modern situation, each committed to radical questioning of conventional assumptions, but each attaching themselves to…

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Havel 2

Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite, a universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce a universal prey,
And last eat up himself.
Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act 1, Scene 3[i]
 
Living in the era of the Tudors, Shakespeare knew a thing or two about power, will and appetite. It can be a deadly…

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Russia Martyoshka

1682                Brothers Ivan V and Peter I crowned czars
1695-1700      War with Ottoman Empire
1696                Ivan V dies, leaving Peter I as the sole czar
1696-97           Peter’s grand tour of Europe
1700-21           The Great Northern War
1703                St. Petersburg founded
1710-13           War with Ottoman Empire
1713                St. Petersburg declared capital of Russia
1721                Russia declared an Empire
1722-23          War with Persia
1725                Catherine I crowned Empress of Russian Empire
1727                Peter…

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Refugee US Challenges

With the inauguration of the new president approaching, I thought it might be worthwhile to review some of the challenges that the new administration will confront.[1] Although I was not a supporter of Trump during the election, I do wish his administration success for the good of the country, for the challenges that he will confront are myriad and formidable.…

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Natural Law Aquinas

Natural law is both a moral and legal theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and therefore has validity everywhere. As a moral theory, natural law claims moral standards that govern human behavior are in some part objectively derived from the nature of human beings and the world; as a legal theory, natural…

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Greek Vase Perephone Aristotle 5

Reflections on Aristotle’s Politics.  Mogens Herman Hansen, Copenhagen:  Museum Tusculanum Press, 2013.

 
Reflections on Aristotle’s Politics is another innovative and interesting work by Mogens Herman Hansen on Athenian democracy, but this time with a singular focus on Aristotle’s Politics. The book has eight chapters, seven of which are revisions of pieces previously published in various volumes, mostly from the 1990s, and…

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Aristotle 2

Aristotle on the Nature of Community. Adriel M. Trott. Cambridge, New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2014.
 
Adriel M. Trott’s Aristotle on the Nature of the Community examines Aristotle’s Politics by placing his understanding of nature (physis) at the center of political life. According to Trott, the human being and the polis operate according to natural ends which allow both entities to fulfill…

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Christopher Tindale Sophist

Reason's Dark Champions: Constructive Strategies of Sophistic Argument. Christopher W. Tindale. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2010. 
 
Christopher W. Tindale’s book traces the reputation, theory, and practice of the Sophists as a group who were linked by shared strategies about argumentation rather than by common epistemological beliefs. He challenges Plato and Aristotle's charge that the Sophists make the…

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