Catholic Cosmological Theology: The Sacraments

All confessional forms of Christianity affirm at least two sacraments: Baptism and Eucharist. While degraded forms of Protestantism may no longer even affirm these any longer, all forms of confessional Protestantism (i.e. Confessional Reformed, Confessional Lutheran, Confessional Baptist, and Confessional Anglicans) do. Catholicism and Orthodoxy affirm seven sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the … Continue reading Catholic Cosmological Theology: The Sacraments

Catholic Cosmological Theology: Sacramentals

Sacramentals are the second aspect of Catholic cosmological theology. Where sacramentality is universal and abstracted, sacramentals are more personal and specific. Sacramentality is meant for man in the universal sense. Sacramentals are meant for persons in the specific sense. Sacramentals, then, is the realization of sacramentality for individuals. Like sacramentality there is also a very … Continue reading Catholic Cosmological Theology: Sacramentals

Catholic Cosmological Theology: Sacramentality

Catholic cosmological theology was once a central cornerstone of Catholic identity and consciousness—now largely lost to the world and to most Catholics. Protestants have always looked suspiciously at Catholic sacramental theology and cosmology for being too close to paganism; but Catholic theology holds the opposite view—it is paganism that is close to original truth of … Continue reading Catholic Cosmological Theology: Sacramentality

Plato’s “Symposium”: The Dramatic Trial of Love

Plato was a moralist. An ethicist. He was concerned with the primacy of action, of engagement, in a world that was deeply iconoclastic, barbarous, and savage. Love of wisdom allows for the creation of that space where ethical and loving life is possible. This means that eros must remain to any understanding of the self, world, and politeia. … Continue reading Plato’s “Symposium”: The Dramatic Trial of Love

Teachers and Influences: An Intellectual Autobiography

I am sometimes asked who has influenced my thinking: “Who are among the biggest influences in your intellectual outlook”? This was a common question at Yale and remains a question I receive here in England as I work with Roger Scruton. Evidently that should giveaway an influence on me. I suppose there are different influences … Continue reading Teachers and Influences: An Intellectual Autobiography

New Money Liberalism vs. The Working Class

Unless you really, truly, believe the old and warn out canard that moneyed-interest is “conservative” you are probably attuned to the shifting realities of money/wealth in politics.  First, conservatism has never been the philosophy of money—from Aristotle to Edmund Burke to G.K. Chesterton, there has always been a skepticism to economic doctrines promoting the free … Continue reading New Money Liberalism vs. The Working Class

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (5/5): Why Does Machiavelli Favor Republicanism?

The Discourses of Livy shows that Machiavelli favors a republic over all other forms of government—even though the real political dialectic is between republics and non-republics (i.e. tyrannies). Machiavelli prefers republican governance mostly for state and practical purposes. While Machiavelli certainly is a fan of liberty and order, he does not believe people are naturally … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (5/5): Why Does Machiavelli Favor Republicanism?

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (4/5): The Utility of Religion

Machiavelli was not a religious believer but believed in the social utility of religion. The question of God, salvation, and the immortality of the soul did not matter to him. What mattered to him was the reality of religion in life and how religion is useful for nations and why a nation’s vitality is tied … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (4/5): The Utility of Religion

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (3/5): Libido Dominandi, Individualism, and Greatness

One of the peculiar twists of Machiavelli is how he inverts the Augustinian worldview. Saint Augustine of Hippo famously said that man, in his fallenness, lusted for domination. Man, in his estrangement and depravity, lusted to control others. Fallen man lives in conflict. Machiavelli inherits this anthropological truth but turns it on its head. It … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (3/5): Libido Dominandi, Individualism, and Greatness