My comments for a conversation
with Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, Prior of the Monastery of the Holy Cross, sponsored by the Lumen Christi Institute Abstract:Many traditional Christian beliefs and teachings about spiritual
realities have become unpalatable to modern sensibilities. Accounts of angelic
visitations, demonic possessions, the stain of original sin, and the threat of
eternal torment are today considered untrue or irrelevant by non-believers and
even many Christians. Why were such “myths” so central to Christian belief and
practice for so many centuries? Is there any value in understanding why
ancient, medieval, and contemporary Christians believe in such things? Or does Christianity need to be
demythologized in order to survive in a post-enlightenment age? In this
conversation, Rachel Fulton Brown and Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, will consider the
history of these “myths” and their relevance for contemporary spiritual
practices. ***** How many
of you believe in angels or demons? Heaven or hell…
It’s back to class for those of us who teach in medieval studies, and my medievalist colleague Dorothy Kim, Assistant Professor of English at Vassar College (pictured in 2014), wants to make sure you understand the stakes.
The medieval western European Christian past is being weaponized by white supremacist/white nationalist/KKK/nazi extremist groups who also frequently happen to be college students.
That does sound bad. But, wait, it gets worse!
Don’t think western European medieval studies is exceptional.... ISIS/ISIL also weaponizes the idea of the pure medieval Islamic past in their recruiting rhetoric for young male Muslims. If the medieval past (globally) is being weaponized for the aims of extreme, violent supremacist groups, what are you doing, medievalists, in your classrooms? Because you are the authorities teaching medieval subjects in the classroom, you are, in fact, ideological arms dealers. So, are…
Here are some of the jokes that Simon & Schuster’s copy-editor Mitchell Ivers found particularly unfunny in the first draft of Milo’s Dangerous (Ivers’s comments in italics):
I can practically hear science fiction authors currently suffering an incursion of social justice feverishly writing stories about traveling through time to bump off [cultural Marxist] Antonio [Gramsci] before he wrote anything influential. —Unclear, unfunny, delete.
Did you notice, by the way, that these stroppy [whiny]celebs uniformly threatened to move to [overwhelmingly] white countries? ... If it wasn’t Canada, it was New Zealand, Australia or another [primarily] white, English-speaking count…
Yesterday, The Daily Caller published what was supposed to be the first article in a weekly op-ed column by a well-known journalist. The author, himself a victim of abuse at the hands ::ahem:: of older men when he was a young teenager, talked about the accusations coming out against Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey and excoriated the star for his (Spacey’s) attempt to cover himself in the cloak of his newly-acknowledged identity as a gay man.
The author went on to cite the recent CATO Institute Free Speech and Tolerance Survey, which reports, among other things, that 58 per cent of Americans, including 73 per cent of Republicans and 58 per cent of independents “believe the political climate today prevents them from saying things they believe.” (Conversely, 53 per cent of Democrats “do not feel the need to self-censor.”) The author then gave two examples of the kinds of th…
My father served as a surgeon in the US Air Force for two years during the Vietnam War. Stateside, he was stationed from 1970 to 1971 at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha; in Thailand, he was stationed from 1971 to 1972 at Udorn. We stayed in Omaha while he was abroad.
I was only five when we moved to Omaha, so my memories of those years consist primarily of swimming lessons, skating, giant snow drifts, and beingbaptized—but there is another memory that sticks out that is somewhat less usual.
There was a party for the doctors and their families out by a lake. After dinner, we kids—there were lots of us, all fairly young—had been shooed outside to play in the gloaming, but after exploring the grounds and exhausting the potentials of tag, we got curious about what the grown-ups were doing.
We snuck back inside. The lights were down. They were watching a movie! On screen, there were surgeons in their greens standing over a patient, a woman. As we watched, her belly started swelling and swel…