When I look out upon the work which I have set before me, the studies, the parenting, the goals and desires which I have ratified either by myself or with God, I perceive a task of infinite value. For in this production, that is, in the realization of these goals and projections, I perceive the … Continue reading On the Anxiety of Production
When a father has a daughter he is profoundly confronted by the reality of female personhood. In her, he is invited to acknowledge human dignity anew. This is because a daughter provokes a non-erotic love for one of the opposite gender. This love directs him to cherish, to protect, and to nurture his daughter, and in … Continue reading Daughters or Double Standards?
Parenthood in A Brave New World is considered obscene. Motherhood, fatherhood, and family-life are looked upon, not only as antiquated, but as shameful. There is a powerful logic at work in the novel, a logic which is at work in our own culture. When sex ceases to be linked with marriage or reproduction, our bodies and our bodily existence can … Continue reading Squeamish About Our Bodies (The Third of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)
Social conditioning in A Brave New World (coupled with genetic and pharmacological engineering) succeeds in eliminating nearly all conflict, but it also undermines certain fundamental elements of a truly human polis. Ironically, in this highly uniform society, it is unity which is undermined most of all. This is because social unity, understood as a communion of persons, cannot be achieved merely … Continue reading Unity vs. Uniformity (The Second of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)
The success of the political order in A Brave New World comes at the price of social and personal maturity. Yet, it is a price the controllers and engineers of that society willingly pay, making the very success of their social experiment a failure. Remarkably, the failure of this system finds its origin in values first codified during the Enlightenment. It was during … Continue reading The Failed Promise of the Enlightenment (The First of Three Meditations on A Brave New World)
To be a disciple is fundamentally to be a learner. But while a geometry student submits his mind to a proof or theorem, a learner of Christ is called to submit his whole being to God. And while the student may come to internalize a truth, the disciple can come to embody God’s presence. This is because both Learning and discipleship happen through a process of poetic formation. In … Continue reading The Poetics of Faith and Learning, Part 4
In one of the most touching sections of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the recently married Konstantin Levin is repeatedly mystified by his wife Kitty’s behavior. She bustles about his country estate, rearranging the household, changing table cloths, moving furniture, and establishing dining routines. While he cannot comprehend the meaning of her activity, he sees that it engrosses her, and he tolerates it. … Continue reading The Mystery of Marriage in Anna Karenina