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Jul
31

Can Michael Corleone be redeemed? Sin and the Godfather

Can Michael Corleone be redeemed? Sin and the Godfather Why, at the end of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, does Michael Corleone die alone?
May
20

Americans have always been arguing about religion

Intense religious argument, particularly about infidelity, has been part of the history of the United States from the start. And, in the beginning, it only had a little to do with sex.
Mar
17

Being a hypocritical Church

Being a hypocritical Church James Alison suggests that the vocation of a preacher is “Be a professional hypocrite."
Feb
3

Review: The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left

Review: The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left In 2012, Notre Dame Press published a fortieth anniversary edition of William O’Rourke’s The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left, a contemporaneous account of the trial of seven defendants–four radical priests, two nuns, and one Pakistani academic–for conspiring to blow up buildings in Washington, DC and abduct Henry Kissinger. It sounds like a report from another world — a world in...
Jan
12

Against empathy?

Against empathy? Is there a Christian alternative to empathy? Can we react to others with compassionate warmth and care without imagining that we need to experience what they experience?
Jan
7

Some hard ecumenical questions

Some hard ecumenical questions It is unlikely that Geoffrey Wainwright’s Faith, Hope, and Love: The Ecumenical Trio of Virtues found its way into many stockings or under a lot of Christmas trees this year. Nevertheless, the slim volume is worth reading, because it forces difficult questions on the reader.
Nov
7

Sacramental depth in difficulty

Sacramental depth in difficulty Might it be that theological insight is most likely to occur in the state of “vulnerability and unprotectedness,” in those moments that seem very dark indeed? There might be evidence for this in the thought of Bonhoeffer and Merton.
Nov
4

Liturgy and becoming a “less bad” person

Liturgy and becoming a “less bad” person One thing that I’ve noticed on this blog is a willingness to criticize inflated claims for the liturgy. But, properly chastened, can we make claims that the liturgy "works," making you a better person?
Sep
12

Theology and electroshock

Theology and electroshock I’m going to interrupt the regular learned commentary on this site to propose a somewhat ridiculous thought experiment. What if we imagined a religious Milgram experiment? What if the experimenter coldly instructing a subject to punish a failing learner with electroshock had theological authority?
Sep
10

Neil Dhingra

Neil Dhingra, a Roman Catholic layman, teaches history at Carroll Community College in Westminster, Maryland.

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