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Email address: tfarrell@d.umn.edu
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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 Each hour-long show has been archived and is available for people who missed the live broadcast to listen to.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:

Click here to listen the Technologizing of the Word Interview
Click here to listen the Ramus, Method & The Decay of Dialogue Interview

www.d.umn.edu/~tfarrell

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Herman Melville by Joseph O Eaton., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Take, and Read, Young Men! (REVIEW ESSAY) Young men today in search of meaning and direction in their lives are living in a proverbial waste land. But what can they do to find meaning and direction? The American poet Herman Melville (1819-1891)offers young men today sharply sketched possibilities for their lives in his long centennial poem Clarel (1876).
Donald Trump, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 25, 2020
Mary Trump's Psychological Profile of Her Uncle Donald (REVIEW ESSAY) In Mary Trump's new book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, she profiles the dysfunctional Trump family, which formed her cold and ruthless Uncle Donald ("Tweety") Trump. More specifically, she lays the psychological groundwork for us to see that as an infant and toddler Donald did not form secure attachment bonds with either his mother or his father.
Herman Melville%2C ca. 1846-1847., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 11, 2020
Captain Ahab and Donald Trump (REVIEW ESSAY) The psychiatrist Edward F. Edinger (1922-1998; M.D., Yale University, 1946) wrote a Jungian commentary on the life and work of Herman Melville (1819-1891), centering his attention on Melville's now famous novel Moby-Dick (1851). Edinger's perceptive analysis of how Captain Ahab enlists his crew to go after the white whale is instructive. His analysis can be applied to how Donald Trump enlisted his most ardent supporters.
Herman Melville profile., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Is Melville's 18,000-line 1876 centennial poem worth reading today? (REVIEW ESSAY) Is Herman Melville's 18,000-line centennial poem Clarel (1876) worth reading today? If you are interested in religion and religious traditions in American culture today, then you might read his long jeremiad about American culture in his day to stimulate and provoke your own reflections on American culture today. William Potter's 2004 book can help us explore how to understand Melville.
Herman melville., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 25, 2020
July 4, 1776; July 4, 1876; July 4, 2020 (REVIEW ESSAY) As we reflect on our strange times today in America, we should not forget that the now famous author Herman Melville (1819-1891) reflected deeply on the strange times in America in his day, including the Civil War (1861-1865), in his long centennial poem Clarel (1876). From comparing two competing interpretations of it, we can glean a bit of wisdom about endurance in our own strange times today in America.
Donald Trump Laconia Rally%2C Laconia%2C NH 4 by Michael Vadon July 16 2015 19., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 6, 2020
Harold Bloom (Ph.D. in English, Yale, 1955) v. Walter J. Ong (Ph.D. in English, Harvard, 1955) In my 8,350-word review essay, I review the life and work of Harold Bloom (1930-2019) and Walter J. Ong (1912-2003). I focus on Bloom's 1992 book The American Religion, which I criticize. I argue that Americans today who are looking for guidance in their self-fashioning should look at Ong's work about our Western cultural history.
Andrea di Bonaiuto. Santa Maria Novella 1366-7 fresco 0001., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, May 24, 2020
What Is the Antidote to Greed? Most OEN readers know about greed. But what is the effective antidote to greed? According to St. Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274), living virtuously with the help of divine grace is the effective antidote to greed.
St-thomas-aquinas., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, May 17, 2020
20 Thoughts from Thomas Aquinas to Ponder During Our 2020 Pandemic During our 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, I have been rereading Matthew Fox's 1992 550-page book Sheer Joy: [Four] Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality, in which Fox translates passages from 52 works by Aquinas in Latin. By happy coincidence, Dover Publications has just reissued Fox's book Sheer Joy -- so that more people can now readily read it during our 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.
gozzoli_triumph_st_thomas_aqui nas_1484, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, May 11, 2020
Our Current Experience of the Via Negativa (REVIEW ESSAY) Our concurrent experiences of the Covid-19 catastrophe and the economic catastrophe have thrust us into what the Reverend Dr. Matthew Fox describes as the Via Negativa in his brilliant 1992 550-page book Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation spirituality, which is now scheduled to be reissued by Dover Publications later this month. It provides timely reading for us as we undergo the Via Negativa.
crivelli_saint_thomas_aquinas_ 1476, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, May 5, 2020
The Tao of Thomas Aquinas (REVIEW ESSAY) In December, the Reverend Dr. Matthew Fox will turn 80. He has been a prolific writer and a popular speaker and a peace and justice activist. In 1992, he published the book Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality, which will be reissued later this month. He has also recently published the short new book The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times.
Shakespeare., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, April 11, 2020
King Lear's Inner Breakdowns -- and Ours (REVIEW ESSAY) In Scott Newstok's new book, he details certain lessons from Shakespeare's limited formal education, so that we can learn how to think like Shakespeare did in 1606 when he wrote his play during the plague in England about King Lear's inner breakdowns -- similar to our inner breakdowns due to the current Covid-19 crisis.
Donald Trump, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, April 5, 2020
Front Row at the Trump Show (REVIEW ESSAY) When Jonathan Karl (born on January 19, 1968) was ten years old, his mother and stepfather pulled him out of school in Connecticut and relocated the family in a motel in Hill City, South Dakota. From there, his stepfather and mother set out to interview men who had worked for Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941) on Mount Rushmore. Their 1985 book is the definitive biography of Borglum. Their work inspired Karl to become a journalist.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Vengeance Is Mine, Saith President Trump to New York Under President Donald Trump, Republicans tend to embrace social Darwinism -- the survival of the fittest. It appears that the fittest can survive Covid-19. Consequently, President Trump has refused to order indistry to build more ventilators to cope with the Covid-19 crisis in New York -- thereby exacting his revenge on New York for not voting for him in 2016.
Donald Trump, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, March 21, 2020
James Shapiro Urges Us to Reflect Further on Shakespeare (REVIEW ESSAY) James Shapiro is a Shakespeare specialist at Columbia University in New York City. In his new 2020 book Shakespeare in a Divided America, he uses the controversy over the outdoor production of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar in 2017 in Central Park in New York City to discuss our contemporary American cultural and political divide that resulted in Donald Trump's Electoral College victory in the 2016 presidential election.
Donald Trump, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 13, 2020
Using Nassir Ghaemi's Psychiatric Terminology to Describe President Trump (REVIEW ESSAY) In Jonathan Karl's forthcoming new book about the Trump show, he reports that Mick Mulvaney, then Trump's acting chief of staff, urged senior White House officials to read Nassir Ghaemi's 2011 book A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Link Between Leadership and Mental Illness. I will discuss Ghaemi's major claims about mental illness versus mentally normal people. I will show that Trump manifests certain mild mental illness.
Elizabeth Warren, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, March 7, 2020
Joe Biden today may sound like a normal person Michelle Cottle, a member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times that endorsed two women in the Democratic primary, has stepped out from behind the cover of the Editorial Board to post op-eds with her own byline recently -- most notably "The Resurrection of Joe Biden" (dated March 6, 2020). In delineating certain weaknesses of Joe Biden, Cottle credits Elizabeth Warren with "rhetorical precision" -- that Biden lacks.
Joe Biden, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 5, 2020
Get Ready for the Anti-Abortion Zealotry against Joe Biden's Resurgence Former Vice President Joe Biden is a practicing Catholic. But he does not agree with the Roman Catholic Church's official, but incoherent and indefensible, opposition to legalized abortion -- an opposition rooted in misogyny. No doubt the resurgence of Biden's campaign in the Democratic primary will prompt a resurgence of anti-abortion zealotry in his co-religionists, many of whom voted for Trump in 2016.
FIG 2016 - Patrick Boucheron 01., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 28, 2020
Patrick Boucheron's Accessible Account of Machiavelli's Life and Work (REVIEW ESSAY) The French historian Patrick Boucheron argues in his accessible new book that concerned citizens in the United States today should read Machiavelli's The Prince, because in it, according to Boucheron, Machiavelli artfully teaches his readers what they should fear in a cruel ruler.
181307653FO014_POPE_FRANCIS, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 14, 2020
Pope Francis' New Apostolic Exhortation Is Visionary (REVIEW ESSAY) On February 12, 2020, Pope Francis issued his new apostolic exhortation about the Amazon region. Addressed to all persons of good will, it is visionary and, at times, poetic. I will highlight certain passages and suggest relevant connections with the thought of the American Jesuit polymath Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955) -- and certain other authors.
Franciscus in 2015., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 3, 2020
The Roman Catholic Doctrine of the Real Presence The distinguished American Catholic journalist Dr. Peter Steinfels, a past editor of the lay Catholic magazine Commonweal, has published a new article in Commonweal about the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at Mass. But Steinfels does not use the relevant work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian Walter J. Ong to analyze/interpret the doctrine.

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