Johann Gottfried von Herder’s Philosophy of “Kultur”

Johann Gottfried von Herder is one of the most important transitionary figures in German philosophy. Perhaps along with Fichte, Herder was actually one of the most influential philosophers after Kant but largely forgotten in the Kant to Hegel canonical study that dominates most philosophical departments and continental surveys. Nonetheless, Herder was instrumental in pioneering the … Continue reading Johann Gottfried von Herder’s Philosophy of “Kultur”

Against Politicized Aesthetics: A Review of “Baudelaire Contra Benjamin” by Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo

Walter Benjamin was one of the most important literary and critical theorists of the 20th century, or so the narrative goes. Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo, at a very informative moment in their work, mention how the “authorities” of the human condition are no longer the great writers and philosophers of the past—like Homer, Plato, Augustine, … Continue reading Against Politicized Aesthetics: A Review of “Baudelaire Contra Benjamin” by Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo

Catholicism and the Gothic Psyche, (3/3): The Aesthetics of Horror and the Splendor of God

In this final exposition of Catholicism and the Gothic, we shall turn to the obvious in Gothic aesthetics and the quintessential characteristic of the traditional post-Carolingian aesthetic of Catholicism: The aesthetic of horror. “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom is an integral aspect … Continue reading Catholicism and the Gothic Psyche, (3/3): The Aesthetics of Horror and the Splendor of God

Nihilism, Video Games, and the Art of Aesthetical Immersion: Or Why “Life is Strange” Was an Amazing Game

Later this year, my contribution to an anthology on pedagogy dealing with narrative and persona immersion in religion should be published. Drawing on St. Augustine, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Walter Ong, I was arguing that the special relationship between religion, orality, and the synthetic relationship between the monomyth to the human psyche, will ensure … Continue reading Nihilism, Video Games, and the Art of Aesthetical Immersion: Or Why “Life is Strange” Was an Amazing Game

The Spectacular Violence of the Greek Gods: Hesiod, Homer, and Greek Theodic Tradition

The decline of cultural Christianity, along with intellectual Christianity, has brought with it a debased Atheism without consciousness, inspiration, or stories. It has also been met by a renewed and vigorous neo-“paganism.” The romantic mind of these new pagans, many associated with the so-called Alt-Right, present the portrait of a redeemed paganism that was—ironically—the product … Continue reading The Spectacular Violence of the Greek Gods: Hesiod, Homer, and Greek Theodic Tradition

Redeeming the Chariot: The War in Heaven in “Paradise Lost”

John Milton’s Paradise Lost is, without argue, one of the triumphs of the Christian imagination. Taking the story of the War in Heaven and giving it detail, especially in Book VI, Milton also makes constant usage of classical and biblical imagery and references to bolster his lively and imaginative retelling. As Raphael tells the story … Continue reading Redeeming the Chariot: The War in Heaven in “Paradise Lost”