the changing of large social phenomena

Mary Eberstadt, author of "Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution", interviewed in The City: "whenever you start saying something is inevitable, some series of facts are going to come along and clobber you. If you think about all the predictions of inevitability: Marxism, communism, claiming that they have inevitable victory... Continue Reading →

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The spiritual origin of worldly action

Rodney Stark, in his book Cities of God: the Christianization of the [Roman] empire was not the result of 'reactions to public calamity,' but to religious influences per se. That is, religion did not merely offer psychological antidotes for the misery of life; it actually made life less miserable! ...The truly revolutionary aspect of Christianity... Continue Reading →

A great nation of righteous laws

Christopher Wright, in the New Bible Commentary, on the 19th chapter of Leviticus: The chapter is remarkable for its breadth and depth of moral insight. It touches on the thoughts of the heart and the actions of the body, private and public behavior, and almost every major area of social life in a community. The... Continue Reading →

We’re not Puritans anymore

David Brooks, writing about Penn State in the NYT:  In centuries past, people built moral systems that acknowledged this weakness. These systems emphasized our sinfulness. They reminded people of the evil within themselves. Life was seen as an inner struggle against the selfish forces inside. These vocabularies made people aware of how their weaknesses manifested... Continue Reading →

In accord with his use of the poker

When Thomas Aquinas went to study at the University of Naples, he joined the Dominican Order. At the time, the Dominicans were a new order in the church dedicated to study, teaching and preaching. The mission of the Dominicans fit Aquinas' scholastic abilities and his personal sense of vocation; he wrote, "It is a greater... Continue Reading →

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