God, Humanism, and the Wilderness

In this essay of mine, published at Front Porch Republic (where I occasionally write), I reflect on the role of the Wilderness in inculcating a spirit of humanism, humbleness, and fruitio Dei and the Wilderness' relationship to proper philosophical conservatism (spiritualism, naturalism, and communitarianism). What makes the Wilderness a conservative value is what it represents … Continue reading God, Humanism, and the Wilderness

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

Puritanism and the Origins of American Progressivism

It might be shocking, indeed scandalous, to assert that the heirs of America’s Pilgrim and Puritan founders are not Christian conservatives but American progressives.  Sure, the theology of progressives has evolved dramatically from the restless orthodox Calvinism of the Pilgrims and Puritans, but the underlying groundwork of creating a morally just, liberty-loving, and universal community … Continue reading Puritanism and the Origins of American Progressivism

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

Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life

Avicenna is one of the most important Islamic philosophers of all time.  He is also the most famous of the Islamic Neoplatonists.  He is, like Augustine to the Christian tradition, sometimes considered the “philosopher of love” because of the importance of love in his thought.  We will unpack the basic philosophy of love from his … Continue reading Avicenna on Love and the Foundations of Life