hiding behind the ironic mantle

"What will future generations make of this rampant sarcasm and unapologetic cultivation of silliness? Will we be satisfied to leave an archive filled with video clips of people doing stupid things? Is an ironic legacy even a legacy at all? The ironic life is certainly a provisional answer to the problems of too much comfort,... Continue Reading →

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faith for narcissists

Chris Lehmann: "There’s a term from the psychiatric clinics that neatly captures the outlook of someone possessed of grandiose fantasies about the imperial reach of the self, and a principled refusal to acknowledge anything poised to diminish such fantasies — such as the passage of time. That term is “narcissistic personality disorder,” and it does... Continue Reading →

inactive faith as thin hope

 Robert Wuthnow: "For the majority, faith is not something to be practiced, but a kind of experience one may have had during some dark hour when it seemed better to think there was a God in the universe than that there was not."

Consumer society riots

Mike Ovey, principle of Oak Hill College: These are "consumer society riots", says Dr Paul Bagguley, who is a sociologist at Leeds. This is very perceptive. It points clearly to the consumerist, acquisitive nature of the looting, and it hints that these are the kind of riots that a consumer society (and let's not forget,... Continue Reading →

Playground or Battleground?

In the early days, when Christianity exercised a dominant influence over American thinking, we conceived the world to be a BATTLEGROUND. Our fathers believed in sin and the devil and hell as constituting one force; and they believed in God and righteousness and heaven as the other. Man, so our fathers held, had to choose... Continue Reading →

Abortion and the sexual revolution

If I'm on the right track, pro-life arguments are not likely to succeed by simply continuing to stress the humanity of the fetus. The opposition already knows this, as probably do most women who have an abortion. Rather, the pro-life movement must take into account the larger cultural context of the sexual revolution that invisibly... Continue Reading →

Loosing Moral Muscle

Violence has particular power on film precisely because it involuntarily activates our powers of empathy. We imagine ourselves, as an unthinking reflex, into the agony. This is the most civilising instinct we have: to empathize with suffering strangers. (It competes, of course, with all our more base instincts). Any work of art that denies this... Continue Reading →

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