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Neil Dhingra

Neil Dhingra, a Roman Catholic, is a doctoral student in education at the University of Maryland.

You are a Victorian priest (sort of)

The struggle of priests has nearly always been to relate to their flocks — to be, in Pope Francis’ memorable phrasing, “shepherds with the smell of sheep.”

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?

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.

Being a hypocritical Church

James Alison suggests that the vocation of a preacher is “Be a professional hypocrite."

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...

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?

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.

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.

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?

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?