Friday, August 26, 2022

What is classical theism?

My essay “What is Classical Theism?” is among those that appear in the volume Classical Theism: New Essays on the Metaphysics of God, edited by Jonathan Fuqua and Robert C. Koons and forthcoming from Routledge. Follow the link to check out its excellent roster of contributors and range of topics.

Plato on democracy and tyranny

Over at Twitter, I posted a long thread of passages from Plato’s Republic setting out his account of how a democratic society’s fixation on liberty and equality yields the tyrannical soul.  You can read the thread here.  The relevance to the current situation in the West will be obvious, but it is a theme I explored in an American Mind article from a couple of years ago.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Countering disinformation about Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory (CRT) has over the last two years been a topic of enormous controversy.  But what is it, exactly?  Chapter 4 of my book All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory is devoted to answering that question at length.  I go on in chapters 5, 6, and 7 to spell out the many philosophical, social scientific, and theological problems with the view.  (As this breadth of issues indicates, there is much in the book that will be of interest and value to non-Catholics.)  But chapter 4 is entirely expository, and quotes extensively from CRT writers themselves, so that there can be no mistake about how extreme and dangerous are the views that the subsequent chapters go on to criticize.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Aquinas on St. Paul’s correction of St. Peter

A pope speaks ex cathedra when he presents some teaching in a formal and definitive manner that is intended infallibly to settle debate about it once and for all.  This is an exercise of what is called the “extraordinary magisterium,” and Catholics are obligated to give such declarations their unreserved assent.  The ordinary magisterium of the Church can also teach infallibly under certain circumstances (which I have discussed elsewhere), and here too such teaching is owed unreserved assent.  Even when the pope or the Church teach about a matter of faith or morals in a manner that is not infallible, Catholics normally owe such teaching what is called “religious assent,” an adherence that is not absolute but nevertheless firm.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

All One in Christ

My new book All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory is out this month from Ignatius Press.  If you are someone who prefers to order directly from the publisher, you can now do so.  You can also order via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  In September, a German translation of the book will be published by Editiones Scholasticae.

Here’s the table of contents:

1. Church Teaching against Racism

2. Late Scholastics and Early Modern Popes against Slavery

3. The Rights and Duties of Nations and Immigrants

4. What is Critical Race Theory?

5. Philosophical Problems with Critical Race Theory

6. Social Scientific Objections to Critical Race Theory

7. Catholicism versus Critical Race Theory

Friday, August 5, 2022

Benedict contra Benevacantism

I’ve been reading the second volume of Peter Seewald’s Benedict XVI: A Life.  There is much of interest in it, including a new interview with Benedict at the very end.  Some of what he says is relevant to the controversy over Benevacantism (also called “Beneplenism” and the “Benedict is pope (BiP)” thesis), which holds that Benedict never validly resigned and that Francis is an antipope.  I’ve addressed this topic a couple of times before and the debate is, in my view, essentially played out.  But since a small but significant number of Catholics remain attracted to this foolish thesis, it seems worthwhile calling attention to how Benedict’s remarks throw further cold water on it.