Links roundup, 1.25

Fr Schall offers a reflection on why God hides, leaning heavily on Pope John Paul II’s book Crossing the Threshold of Hope. There, JPII suggests that while God does hide, there is a sense in which he has revealed himself too much. This scandal of particularity (that God became a man in this place at this time in this way) is as much an occasion for doubt as God’s hiddenness (a point dealt with profoundly by Ratzinger in his Introduction to Christianity).

Apparently the first two years of college are mostly a waste of time. What business leaders keep telling us is that college graduates can’t communicate or think critically. Hmm. Anyone else notice that the erosion of these skills coincides with the erosion of the once robust core curriculum of liberal arts?

Speaking of higher education, Tom Howard investigates the limits and prospects of higher education from the perspective of Lewis and Newman.

Should philosophy (and more generally the liberal arts) promote their worth by appealing to the extrinsic benefits of their study? Raimond Gaita, responding to massive budget cuts for higher education in England, comments in a talk called “Callicles’ Challenge”.

Since I don’t trust hollywood box office films to treat religion with any fairness or nuance, I have met the previews for ‘The Rite’ with considerable skepticism. But, for whatever it is worth, a Catholic priest (and exorcist in training) gives the movie some praise.

This last weekend was the annual March for Life in Washington. I did not see a single story about it in the handful of major media (msnbc, NYTimes) that I routinely read. You might have thought there would be coverage, since estimates put the crowd at around 325,000. That makes it about the 9th largest ever march in Washington. Actually, the March for Life (held annually since 1974) has been in the top ten of largest marches annually since 2003. Not that you ever hear a peep about it in the news. Here is Walker Percy on abortion, who calls out the term “pro-choice” for what it is: “I can recognize meretricious use of language, disingenuousness, and a con job when I hear it.”

Pope Benedict speaks on new media, warning that virtual friendships are no substitute for real ones. He also reminds us that “the truth which we long to share does not derive its worth from its ‘popularity’ or from the amount of attention it receives” (which invariably ends up being the measure of the “success” of new media) and that Christians should not conform to the baser practices of the new media, but instead write and proclaim on the new media in the same way they should in the old, in ways that are consistent with the Gospel.

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About Kleiner

Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.
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