October 28, 2022
The figure of Galileo, whispering his conviction of heliocentrism in a theocratic Italian court, represents in the minds of many modern people their image of an intrinsic conflict between faith and science, dogma and free enquiry, medieval justice and modern values. As numerous scholars have shown, however, the Galileo trial was largely an anomaly in the history of Catholicism. In the early modern period, it was far more common for religious institutions, especially the Catholic Church, to embrace with zeal the latest scientific discoveries, which by and large confirmed their worldview.
September 28, 2022
The image of international Catholicism has itself undergone a change since the Second Vatican Council. The Church began to pay more attention to the individual conscience, to ecumenism, and to social justice, although there has also been ﬁerce resistance to these trends in some quarters. Yet for a long period, Catholicism had seemed powerfully authoritarian and reactionary, and it was understandable that it should have been seen as set against all the social and political developments on which the genre of the novel was held to depend.
August 17, 2022
Any satisfactory account of how God creates new life forms through evolution must seek to address the role that contingency or chance plays in the natural world. Many people assume that divine providence is incompatible with an evolutionary process that operates through natural selection and random genetic variation.
July 13, 2022
Griswold is easily characterized as the case kicking off the Supreme Court’s high level of interest in sexual freedom as individual liberty. There the Court proved willing to create a constitutional right without explicitly supporting constitutional text. This exercise is not only fraught with uncertainty, but easily invites judges to substitute their personal predilections for the actual meaning of the Constitution and at the same time to trespass into the rightful sphere of legislatures.
June 16, 2022
It is the Spirit who aids our stumbling lips when we groan and pray for full salvation in the midst of a creation that is itself groaning for liberation from decay (Rom 8:22–27).
June 1, 2022
One of the defining features of great poetry is an extraordinary sensitivity to the spiritual currents of the age—to disturbances in the fabric of a culture’s moral consciousness. It is, therefore, not surprising that the greatest poet of the English language should manifest an awareness of the nominalist assumptions that had begun to permeate the web of daily life by the end of the sixteenth century.
May 5, 2022
Because of their own political and religious environment, England and his colleagues saw the shifting conditions in the world as advantageous to the Catholic Church; the Irish church, at least, had gained greater freedom because of the eighteenth-century revolutions. He and his colleagues were accustomed to speaking of change, reform, adaptation, republicanism, and democracy as beneficial to the Catholic Church.
April 6, 2022
A Catholic engagement in relationship with the Jewish people is rooted in a context. For many in the Church today that context is forged in Europe in the mid-twentieth century. What do Christian-Jewish relations look like from the perspective of a Catholic theologian who is a Palestinian Arab? How does that perspective impact how Catholic theology might see the Land of Israel and the State of Israel?
March 18, 2022
Father Malone had been dead for nearly a year, but his presence in the parish did not diminish. It grew, it was almost tangible. Every day joy increased like a warm and lasting spring after a long winter.
December 10, 2021
A bout of tuberculosis forced me to interrupt my studies from May 1963 to June 1964. I was forced to spend long periods in the mountains. Far from my friends and immersed in solitude, I had the opportunity to reflect on the Christian journey I had started years ago.