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General News    H4'ed 6/20/21

My Interpretation of Vociferous Contemporary American Conservatives Today

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) June 20, 2021: In the spirit of celebrating Father's Day 2021, I will celebrate the thought of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian Walter J. Ong (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955).

Figuratively speaking, Father Ong was a father figure to me in my adult life - just as the fictional character Saul Berenson (played by Mandy Patinkin) is a father figure to Carrie Mathison (played by Claire Danes) in the television series Homeland (2011-2020; 96 episodes).

Now, Ong liked to characterize his own thought as phenomenological and personalist in cast. In addition, Ong regularly refers to his noetic (his term) concerns. For further discussion of Ong's philosophical thought, see my lengthy OEN article "Walter J. Ong's Philosophical Thought" (dated September 20, 2020):

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However. in the present review essay, I am also writing to call your attention to Kia Hamid Yeganeh's exciting new forthcoming article "Orality, Literacy, and the 'Great Divide' in Cultural Values" in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy (Emerald Publishing). Professor Yeganeh in business and global management at Winona State University in Minnesota was kind enough to send me drafts of his forthcoming article.

In 2010, I myself published a lengthy review essay in Emerald Publishing's print and online journal On the Horizon, volume 18, number 4 (pages 337-345). (But it was not about Ong's work.)

In the present review essay, I will highlight Professor Yeganeh's exciting forthcoming new article and certain highlights of Ong's thought. In addition, I will highlight certain aspects of Michel Foucault's work, including the 2021 English translation of his posthumous book Confessions of the Flesh, volume 4 in The History of Sexuality series. The present review essay is admittedly associative and digressive. It unfolds in four subsections:

(1) Introductory Remarks;

(2) Walter J. Ong's Testimony;

(3) Michel Foucault's Testimony;

(4) Hamid Yeganeh's Testimony.

In the subsection "Michel Foucault's Testimony," I will highlight not only the 2021 English translation of Foucault's posthumously published book Confessions of the Flesh, but also the American Jesuit James W. Bernauer's comprehensive 1990 book about Foucault's thought. Through my interpolated interpretations in brackets in one lengthy quote from Bernauer below about Foucault's most vociferous critics, I indicate for you how I interpret the vociferous contemporary American conservatives today, including certain ultra-conservative American Catholic bishops who now want to publicly prevent our American Catholic President Joe Biden from receiving the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion at Mass.

Because today is Father's Day 2021, I would also encourage you to reflect on what sorry father figures that those American Catholic bishops are. Even though Pope Francis is deeply doctrinally conservative, he is not such a sorry father figure as those American Catholic bishops are. For further discussion of just how doctrinally conservative Pope Francis is, see my OEN article "Pope Francis on Evil and Satan" (dated March 24, 2019):

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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 (more...)

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