Adapted from a talk given for Perspective Student Weekend at New College Franklin, Spring 2017 There are times when a song is in my head, or more precisely, part of a song–a refrain which I repeat over and over. No matter how lovely or stirring such a refrain may be, it is imperfect apart from the whole, and … Continue reading Greek is Regular; Greek is Fun: Memory, Science, and the Face of God
Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (epigraph of Brothers Karamazov from John 12:24)ˆ Early in Brothers Karamazov, we meet a mother who has journeyed a long way to visit Zosima, a monk of wisdom and holiness. … Continue reading The Iconography of Sorrow in a Brothers Karamazov
In less than three weeks, I begin my first class at Holy Apostles College & Seminary (HACS). Since I was a freshman in college, back in 1997, I began to set my eyes on graduate work in philosophy. I would never have imagined twenty years would stand between those dreams, that I would be taking … Continue reading A New Stage in the Journey
Between the difficult and the impossible there lies an infinite distance. No dint of human effort or mortal genius can alter the nature of such a boundary. Each individual believes he knows with certainty precisely where these boundaries have been laid. For instance: I am not good at math; I am a poor artist; I hate … Continue reading Re-moving the Boundary Stones!
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)