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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book WALTER ONG'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO CULTURAL STUDIES: THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE WORD AND I-THOU COMMUNICATION (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2000; 2nd ed. 2009, forthcoming). The first edition won the 2001 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology conferred by the Media Ecology Association. For further information about his education and his publications, see his UMD homepage: Click here to visit Dr. Farrell's homepage.
On September 10 and 22, 2009, he discussed Walter Ong's work on the blog radio talk show "Ethics Talk" that is hosted by Hope May in philosophy at Central Michigan University. Each hour-long show has been archived and is available for people who missed the live broadcast to listen to. Here are the website addresses for the two archived shows:
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 At last, a man in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado-Boulder speaks out
At last, a man in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Michael Tooley, speaks out about the administration's bullying by posting relevant documents. On Jan. 31, 2014, the administration made public (online) a sensationalistic report about the philosophy department written by three women from the American Philosophical Association. The report then received widespread media attention.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 Mighty administrators at the University of Colorado-Boulder are bullying the philosophy department
Troubling new questions have emerged about the outside assessment of the philosophy department at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Three women from the American Philosophical Association visited the campus to assess the climate for women in the department. In their report, unexpectedly made public by the administration, the women revealed that "at least 15 complaints" had been filed against men in the department.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 The administration is bullying the philosophy department at the University of Colorado-Boulder (1 comments)
The administration is bullying the philosophy department at the University of Colorado-Boulder -- by unexpectedly making a report about the department public on Jan. 31, 2014. Six women teachers in the department have recently issued a public statement that has been reported in the local newspaper. They claim that only a small number of men in the department were involved in the behaviors mentioned in the report.
Saturday, February 15, 2014 Tanner Colby's tough-minded look at integration (1 comments)
Tanner Colby undertakes a tough-minded look at integration. He focuses primarily on busing. But he also looks at housing, because it is involved in the formation and funding of neighborhood schools. Because the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., helped inspire the dream of racial integration, Colby refers to the Children of the Dream and the Children of White Flight. Overall, the results of busing have not been impressive.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 Are some guys in philosophy at the University of Colorado-Boulder bullies? (1 comments)
On Jan. 31, 2014, the administration of the University of Colorado-Boulder made public a resport about the Department of Philosophy there. The report by three external reviewers was requested to assess the department's work-place atmosphere for women. The report says that department is not women-friendly. Among other things, some guys in philosophy are described as bullies. But the report says they are largely unaware of this.
Saturday, February 1, 2014 The Masculine Mystique of Republicans: Charles Blow on Gov. Chris Christie (3 comments)
In his column "The Masculine Mistake," Charles Blow, an African American columnist at the New York Times, discusses Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a tough-talking guy's guy and a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. In the process, Charles Blow criticizes the masculine mystique of Republicans based on misogyny and chauvinism. But can Republicans clean up their act?
Thursday, January 30, 2014 Phyllis Zagano has drafted a pastoral letter about men for Pope Francis to issue (4 comments)
Pope Francis has charmed the media. But Phyllis Zagano, a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter online, wants him to issue a pastoral letter about men. So she has drafted and published one for him to issue. Some of her criticisms of men may be reasonable. No doubt if the pope were to make such criticisms of men, the media would report them. But her criticisms involve issues individual men would would have to address.
Monday, January 27, 2014 At least Stephen Mansfield's book title doesn't sound cowardly (1 comments)
Hanna Rosin has advanced the unfortunate feminist spirit of misandry in her book THE END OF MEN. Stephen Mansfield sets out to counter her misandry in his new book titled MANSFIELD'S BOOK OF MANLY MEN, which is aimed primarily at conservative white Protestant Evalgelical boys and men -- the voters Karl Rove keeps hoping will vote and help put more Republicans in office. Fortunately, Mansfield's book is free of misogyny.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 Hillary, Misogyny, and 2016 (13 comments)
If Hillary Rodham Clinton emerges as the Democratic candidate for president in 2016, her candidacy will drive conservatives crazy, and they will launch an unprecedented misogynistic campaign against her. To understand thie misogynistic tendencies, we need to understand Walter J. Ong's insight about how boys and men need to develop a specifically masculine sense of identity.
Monday, January 13, 2014 Orwell, Snowden, and Privacy in Light of Ong's Cultural History (6 comments)
Edward Snowden's leaks have prompted many Americans to think that the National Security Agency (NSA) is really an Orwellian name for the National Surveillance Agency. However, as we sort out the various privacy issues involved both in Snowden's NSA leaks and in George Orwell's dystopian novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four," it is instructive to consider our sense of privacy in light of Walter J. Ong's cultural history.
Saturday, January 11, 2014 Girls and Women Should NOT Be the Gold Standard for Judging Boys and Men (4 comments)
Lisa Wade has published "American men's hidden crisis: They need more friends" at Salon Magazine. In effect, she uses girls and women as the gold standard for judging boys and men. Let us give girls and women credit where credit is due. However, with all due respect for girls and women, I want to argue that boys and men need to develop a distinctively masculine sense of identity -- instead of trying to be like girls and women.
Monday, January 6, 2014 Yikes! Yuval Levin is Resurrecting Edmund Burke (BOOK REVIEW) (5 comments)
As a result of the 2012 election results, the Republicans have been in disarray. But in his new book Yuval Levin sets out to help his fellow conservatives feel good about being conservatives by presenting them with a detailed study of Edmund Burke's conservative political views -- just in time for the 2014 mid-term elections. Progressives and liberals should keep an eye on Levin's book.
Monday, December 30, 2013 In Defense of Manly Virtue: Camille Paglia vs. Walter Ong and David Bakan (1 comments)
Recently Camille Paglia, the multi-directional cultural commentator, has gotten good press in Time Magazine" and the "Wall Street Journal" for publicly defending male virtue against the anti-male male views of certain other feminists. Yes, she is a self-described feminist. I happen to agree with her basic view of male virtue. But the views of Walter Ong and David Bakan can deepen our understanding of male virtue.
Saturday, December 28, 2013 Ten Guys on Fox News Commented on Alleged "Wussification" in America in 2013 (1 comments)
Over at Media Matters, Michelle Leung and Ellie Sandmeyer have rounded up ten examples from Fox News in 2013 in which different commentators have alleged the "wussification" of America. Some of the alleged examples are humorous, but not all of them. But these ten examples show the masculine identity crisis in America today. The anti-feminine term "wussification" points to deeper issues in the commentators' psyches
Thursday, December 26, 2013 Phil Robertson and the Catholic Bishops on Homosexuality: St. Paul vs. Civil Law (4 comments)
Phil Robertson, the self-described Bible-thumper who is the 67-year-old patriarch on the popular television show "Duck Dynasty," has rather crudely expressed views regarding homosexuality -- in a profile published in GQ. However, despite the crudity of his statements, it is important to examine his discussion of St. Paul's views in 1Corinthians 6:9-11. St. Paul is discussing inheriting the kingdom of God -- not the civil law.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 James Carroll Profiles Pope Francis in the NEW YORKER (7 comments)
In his lengthy profile in the NEW YORKER, James Carroll, a liberal Catholic, concludes that Pope Francis is not a liberal. Whew! We should all thank Carroll for investigating this. Now that he has explained this, will the media coverage of the pope decrease? Or will the remarkable amount of media coverage of the pope continue? Carroll succeeds in lowering our expectations of Pope Francis.
Saturday, December 14, 2013 Lay Catholics Should Defuse the Catholic Anti-Abortion Claim About Conception (5 comments)
Catholics have excelled in publicizing their church's opposition to legalized abortion in the first trimester. But many married Catholics have used artificial contraception, despite their church's opposition to it. Those lay Catholics should now defuse the claim in the Catholic anti-abortion crusade about conception. Yes, a new life-form emerges at conception, but it is an infrahuman life-form, not a human person.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 TIME's Person of the Year Exemplifies Open Closure (2 comments)
The editors of TIME have selected Pope Francis as their Person of the Year. As they suggest, he has had an impact on our awareness in the short time that he has been pope -- thanks to all the media coverage he has received. But he did say and do things that deserved media coverage. In the way he speaks and acts, he exemplifies open closure. But it still remains to be seen if his words and example will help change the church.
Monday, December 9, 2013 In the Court of Public Opinion: ACLU vs. USCCB (7 comments)
On behalf of a Michigan woman, Tamesha Means, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the ethical directives for Catholic health care services. The New York Times Editorial Board supports the ACLU's claims in the lawsuit. A lawsuit against the hospital involved appears to be in order, but the ACLU lawsuit against the USCCB is a publicity stunt.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 Rush Limbaugh: Pope Francis Represents "Pure Marxism" (17 comments)
Rush Limbaugh, the supreme pontiff of the conservative American civic religion, says that Pope Francis, the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, represents "pure Marxism." Indeed, in his new apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis pointedly criticizes unfettered capitalism. His criticisms run roughshod over the tenets of the civic religion of American conservatives.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Sex and the Single Jesus (7 comments)
Bill Keller, a self-described former Catholic, has published an op-ed column titled "Sex and the Single Priest" in the New York Times. Briefly, he argues that the Roman Catholic Church should abolish the requirement of celibacy for priests. Doing so would open the door for married priests. Keller says that there are hints that Pope Francis may be open to doing this. But I think there may be some reasons for not doing this.
Saturday, November 30, 2013 JFK Violated the CIA's Civic Religion (BOOK REVIEW) (4 comments)
In the 1950s, John Foster Dulles served as the Secretary of State under President Eisenhower, and his brother Allen served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In his new biography of them, Stephen Kinzer details how they directed the CIA's destabilization efforts in Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Congo, and Cuba in accord with their American civic religion, which President John F. Kennedy violated.
Thursday, November 21, 2013 To Understand President Kennedy's Assassination, Janney's and Douglass's Books Are Must Reading (2 comments)
Lately, the media have bombarded us with superficial stuff about President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963. But the media uphold the official myth that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot and killed President Kennedy. For those Americans who want to get beyond the official myth about Oswald, Peter Janney and James W. Douglass offer us two in-depth books about the CIA.
Saturday, November 9, 2013 President Kennedy's assassination was a coup d'etat (BOOK REVIEW) (10 comments)
On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It was a coup d'etat orchestrated by then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. But LBJ covered up the conspiracy. He and his co-conspirators set up Lee Harvey Oswald as the patsy to take the blame. Then they had Jack Ruby kill Oswald. Roger Stone and Mike Colapietro describe and explain the conspiracy in their book THE MAN WHO KILLED KENNEDY: THE CASE AGAINST LBJ.
Monday, October 7, 2013 Can Martha C. Nussbaum Help Save Our Embattled Democracy? (4 comments)
Our American experiment in democratic government is embattled today because the Republicans are up to no good. But Martha C. Nussbaum has just published a timely book about why love matters for political justice. But will conservative Republicans read her book? Probably not. But perhaps Senator Elizabeth Warren and other articulate Democrats will. Her book deserves to be widely read and discussed.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 Tea Party Anarchists Challenge the Caveman (aka President Obama) (1 comments)
The Tea Party Republicans in the House have shut down the federal government. Will President Obama (aka the Caveman) cave and give in to their demands? If he does, then what will they demand in the upcoming vote on the debt limit? If the Tea Party anarchists win out against Obama in these two crucial battles, then happy days will be here again for the Republicans in 2014 and 2016. I hope that Obama does not cave.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Pope Francis on Jesuit Spirituality: The Power of the Christ Myth (7 comments)
The Christ myth may not be everybody's cup of tea. But it has worked well for many Christians mystics over the centuries, including St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Roman Catholic religious order the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order). As a young man in Argentina, Pope Francis joined the Jesuits. In his recent published interview, he discussed Jesuit spirituality at length. Evidently, the Christ myth works for him.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 Will the Pope's Interview Lead Dolan and Other Catholic Theocons to Change a Wee Bit? (7 comments)
On September 19th, the Jesuit-sponsored magazine AMERICA and 15 other Jesuit-sponsored magazines published a wide-ranging interview with Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit by training. The usually combative Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York has praised the "magnificent interview" as a "breath of fresh air." But will the pope's interview lead Dolan and other American Catholic theocons to change a wee bit? Stay tuned.
Friday, September 20, 2013 Pope Francis Is a Male Chauvinist (7 comments)
In his recently published interview, Pope Francis says that he is against an ideology of female machismo. But he favors the ideology of male machismo represented by the Roman Catholic Church's teachings against legalized abortion in the first trimester. Women and men of goodwill who favor women's right to legalized abortion in the first trimester should speak out against his points regarding female machismo.
Sunday, September 8, 2013 Congress Should NOT Vote for a Military Attack on Syria to Punish Assad (1 comments)
For understandable reasons, President Barack Obama wants to save face. He publicly warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to use chemical weapons to kill his own people. But chemical weapons were used to kill close to 1,500 Syrians. So Obama wants to use a limited U.S. military attack on Syria to punish the alleged culprit. As outrageous as the use of chemical weapons is, Congress should NOT vote for a military attack.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 Why Men's Violence Against Women? Why the War on Women's Reproductive Rights? (4 comments)
Walter J. Ong's claims about the contemporary male identity crisis can deepen our understanding of the psychodynamics involved in men's violence against women and in the war against women's reproductive rights. Ong claims that boys and men suffer from a distinctly male insecurity. But the only way for boys and men to deal with this kind of insecurity is to work out an age-appropriate sense of specifically masculine identity.
Sunday, August 25, 2013 Antoinette Tuff and the Prevention of Suicide by Cop (1 comments)
Antoinette Tuff prevented a young man from committing suicide by cop and possibly killing her and others in the process. She told him that she understood how he felt because she had felt the same way after her husband had left her. Her non-death loss in her life moved the young man to surrender to the police. But we Americans should do more to understand how non-death loss causes depression and suicidal thoughts.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 Where Do We Stand Now? Some Cultural Considerations (3 comments)
We should step back for a moment from the political controversies of the day and consider the bigger picture of American culture today. Are we Americans today on the brink of entering Aldous Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD of serial hook ups and orgies? Wow! Have we ever come a long way from the Puritans! But we now have an unprecedented opportunity to work toward more meaningful social relationships in our culture.
Friday, August 9, 2013 Erich Fromm: A Secular Jewish Prophet for Our Times (4 comments)
Erich Fromm's psychoanalytic thought about biophilia (love of life) versus necrophilia (love of death and destructiveness) is a important in the 21st century as it was in the 20th. In his fine new biography of Fromm, Lawrence J. Friedman ably and fairly reviews Fromm's remarkably productive life and his thought. I can only hope that Friedman's book will contribute to a revival of interest in Fromm's books.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Critchley and Webster Study Hamlet's Complicated Grief (12 comments)
What is known today as complicated grief has been seriously under-studied. However, Shakespeare's most famous character, Hamlet, suffers from complicated grief. In their acutely perceptive short book about Hamlet, Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster deepen our understanding of Hamlet's complicated grief enormously. Their remarkable study deserves to be studied by anybody suffering from complicated grief and by everybody.
Sunday, July 7, 2013 What's Wrong with Pope Francis's Encyclical Letter? (3 comments)
On July 5th, Pope Francis issued his first encyclical letter: "Lumen Fidei" (Light of Faith). It is about the Roman Catholic faith, and it is addressed to Roman Catholics, not to non-Catholic. But non-Catholic Americans should be alerted to a certain passage about supposed certainty. This claim to supposed certainty can inspire the Roman Catholic bishops in the U.S. to be even more combative about the church's moral teachings.
Sunday, June 16, 2013 What's Wrong with the Cathoic Anti-Abortion Crusade? (7 comments)
Peter Steinfels undertakes to reexamine the Catholic anti-abortion crusade in the U.S. He claims to hold that the unborn offspring of human beings constitutes an individual member of the human species that deserve the same protections from harm and destruction that are owed to born humans. But he recognizes that this position "is nowhere near as obvious as many of us who hold it suppose. So what does he propose?
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 White Supremacy + Male Chauvinism = Conservative White Males (1 comments)
Progressives and liberals need to get clear about what they are up against in the cultural wars with conservative white males: A potent mixture of historically conditioned white supremacy and male chauvinism. In short, the character Thomas Sutpen in Faulkner's novel ABSALOM, ABSALOM! is a symbolic representation of today's conservative white males. But how can we hope to overcome white supremacy and male chauvinism?
Sunday, April 21, 2013 Joan Walsh's Analysis of What's the Matter with White People (REVIEW ESSAY) (1 comments)
In the new paperback edition of her election-year book WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH WHITE PEOPLE, Joan Walsh does not gloat about President Obama's re-election in 2012. But she recaps salient highlights of the 2012 election results. More importantly, she suggests that many white people who did not vote for him are mourning. If she's right, this may be good news, provided they can work through their mourning in a healthy way.
Monday, March 25, 2013 In Memoriam: Chinua Achebe (1930-2013) (1 comments)
Chinua Achebe (1930-2013), the Nigerian novelist, was the author of the widely read novel THINGS FALL APART (1958) and its sequel NO LONGER AT EASE (1960), which deserves to be more widely read. Achebe was also the author of a controversial essay about Joseph Conrad's novel HEART OF DARKNESS. Even though I came to disagree with Achebe about Conrad's novel, Achebe's essay prompted me to think through exactly why I disagreed.
Sunday, March 24, 2013 Democrats Should Advocate Trickle-Up Economics (REVIEW ESSAY) (4 comments)
Joan Walsh's book WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH WHITE PEOPLE is a substantial call to arms for the Democratic party. Her book is structured as a chronological memoir about politics in her family's life, with occasional historical flashbacks to discuss earlier political events. Like her father, she is a Democrat. She has many family relations who are white working class, but not Democrats, as she would prefer to see them to be.
Thursday, March 14, 2013 Pope Francis is an astutely trained Jesuit (6 comments)
Americans think of St. Francis of Assisi as a garden statue. As a result, they may underestimate Pope Francis I. But he is an astutely trained Jesuit. He may not be ready for prime time. But if he is ready, he should not be underestimated. Because Jesuits are astutely trained, I think they should not be allowed to be popes. Recent popes have been trouble enough. So we don't Jesuit popes to stir up even more trouble.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Toward a NEW Anti-Conservative Movement (REVIEW ESSAY) (4 comments)
The conservative movement in American culture rose to political influence as an anti-sixties reaction. But it has been a backward-looking force, looking back to the fifties. We now need a NEW forward-looking anti-conservative movement in American culture. The work of the late Anthony de Mello, S.J., may help people to change and grow into the strong cultural warriors needed for a NEW anti-conservative movement to emerge.
Monday, February 18, 2013 Was the Indian Jesuit Anthony de Mello Murdered in the U.S. 25 Years Ago? (BOOK REVIEW) (5 comments)
Was the Indian Jesuit spiritual writer and speaker Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) murdered in the Jesuit residence at Fordham University in the Bronx 25 years ago? Bill deMello's biography of his older brother Tony describes in detail the suspicious circumstances of Tony's death. Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was another Catholic spiritual author whose suspicious death in Bangkok, Thailand, has also raised questions.
Saturday, February 16, 2013 BOOK REVIEW: Why Garry Wills Does Not Understand Catholic Priests (3 comments)
Pope Benedict XVI has just made the news by renouncing the papal office. Good riddance, I say. By coincidence, the practicing Catholic polemicist Garry Wills has just a new polemic titled WHY PRIESTS? A FAILED TRADITION. Now, the historical Jesus is arguably best understood as a shaman, and Catholic priests are arguably also best understood as shamans. But polemicists such as Wills and Benedict are primarily cultural warriors.
Thursday, February 14, 2013 REVIEW ESSAY: My Belated Valentine's Day Message (1 comments)
Jungian theorist Robert Moore makes bold claims about what he terms the archetype of initiation -- the archetype that brings us mental breakdowns, bereavement, and other significant life transitions. Now, how many of us have not experienced a mental breakdown, or bereavement, or other significant life transitions? But if your life has not been free from these experiences, do you understand the archetype of initiation?
Sunday, February 10, 2013 Can Democrats Stop Republicans from Winning Big in 2014 and 2016? (5 comments)
Can Democrats stop Republicans from winning big in the 2014 and 2016 elections? the outcome of the 2014 and 2016 elections will depend of who prevail within each political party -- the realists who want to win elections, or the purists who want to hold out for ideological purity, even at the expense of losing elections.
Thursday, January 31, 2013 BOOK REVIEW: What the World Needs Now! (1 comments)
What the world needs now is for more men and women to learn how to access and embody the optimal forms of the archetypes of maturity discussed by Jungian theorist Robert Moore of Chicago Theological Seminary. In Anthony de Mello's posthumously published book THE WAY TO LOVE: MEDITATIONS FOR lIFE (reissued 2012), he urges us to cultivate awareness, which can open the way for us to experience the optimal forms of maturity.
Thursday, January 24, 2013 Profiling for the Big Debate About Government's Role (1 comments)
In President Ronald Reagan's first inaugural address, he said that government is the problem. However, in President Obama's second inaugural address recently he answered Reagan and his fans. So the debate has now been joined about the government's role. As we undertake to carry out this important debate, I want to profile the typical Reagan fans and the typical Obama fans in this crucial debate.
Thursday, December 27, 2012 Gary Gutting on the Skidelskys' Views of Capitalism (4 comments)
Gary Gutting has admirably initiated a much needed discussion of our American life. He develops his learned and perceptive points in a review essay about a book by the Skidelskys about our capitalist economy and our individual desires. In his view, legislative measures will not adequately address the problems highlighted by the Skidelskys. In his estimate, bottom-up action is required instead. In my estimate, he's right.
Sunday, December 2, 2012 Walter J. Ong's Suggestion for a Spirituality for Our Times (5 comments)
In the 1950s, Walter J. Ong, S.J. (1912-2003), suggested a way for his fellow Americans Catholics to develop a mystquique, or spirituality, for living in the modern world. But it strikes me that not just American Catholics today but also non-Catholic Americans of religious faith could adopt Ong's suggestion in their own lives.
Saturday, December 1, 2012 The Supposed "Timeless Truths" Advanced by the Catholic Bishops (4 comments)
Rob Kall has expressed his concern about the "theocratic" views (his term) of the U.S. Catholic bishops. The U.S. Catholic bishops have involved themselves in various civic and legal issues. As a result, we should reflect on the claim made by the bishops and their apologists that their views are based supposedly on "timeless truths." This claim seems to mean that they hold their debatable views to be undebatable.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 The 100th Anniversary of Walter J. Ong's Birth (1 comments)
This Friday, November 30, 2012, will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of the American cultural historian and theorist Walter J. Ong, S.J. (1912-2003). His work deserves to be more widely known today than it is, because he can help us get our cultural bearings. He has developed a perceptive way to think about our Western cultural history by taking into account certain subtle factors in Western cultural conditioning.
Saturday, November 24, 2012 The Two Americas Should Be Discussed Further (6 comments)
Charles M. Blow correctly identifies two Americas: one America consists of the voters who voted to re-elect President Obama, and the other America consists of the voters who did not vote to re-elect him. As Blow himself suggests, we should discuss this divide in light of our ideal of being a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are equal before the law of the land.
Thursday, November 22, 2012 Let Us Give Thanks for the Federal Government (6 comments)
During President Obama's first term in office, Republicans in Congress were obstructionists. Following a quip made by President Reagan, many Republicans see the federal government as a problem. But their defeatist attitude should be replaced with an attitude of thanks for the benefits of the federal government in our lives, not just on Thanksgiving but year-round. We should work to make the federal government more effective.
Sunday, November 18, 2012 Understanding and Debating the Theocratic Views of the U.S. Catholic Bishops (23 comments)
The theocratic views that the U.S. Catholic bishops have advanced in the public arena should be understood in the larger framework of our Western cultural conditioning that Walter J. Ong, S.J., worked out. Armed with his perceptive insights, we should then debate the Catholic bishops regarding Catholic moral theory, because the bishops themselves have entered the public arena of debate.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 Jiddu Krishnamurti and Anthony de Mello, S.J.: Two Spiritual Guides from India to Enlighten Us (1 comments)
What the world needs now is for billions of people to have mystic experiences, which will help them overcome violent attitudes about themselves and others, however gradually. Jiddu Krishnamurti and Anthony de Mello, S.J., are guides from India who can enlighten us about mystic experience. But their thought is not for spiritual flounderers, or at least putting their thought into practice is not for spiritual flounderers.
Thursday, August 16, 2012 The Vatican vs. the LCWR = Theory (Doctrine) vs. Practice (Spirituality) (1 comments)
The Vatican's nutty critique of the LCWR is best understood as a conflict between theory (Catholic doctrine) and practice (spirituality). Now, Anthony de Mello, S.J. (1931-1987) from India deeply influenced spirituality in Catholic circles, including of course many women in the Catholic religious orders in the United States represented by the LCWR. But what about the spirituality of the Catholic bishops?
Thursday, August 16, 2012 The Good News About Human Psychology According to Anthony de Mello, S.J. (2 comments)
Anthony de Mello's good news about human psychology is important for more people today to know about. Certain Catholics around the world have read his books and listened to audiotapes of his workshops. He explains how meditation can help us transcend our ego-consciousness and thereby change, however gradually. Because humankind will not change by changing structures external to us, we need to change ourselves.