Notre-Dame Cathedral fire: “It’s kind of our 9/11.”

“[H]owever deplorable this catastrophe may be, it shocks me less than the profanations of so many churches that are less beautiful, much less spectacular, but which witness a hatred and above all a stupidity that are very worrisome. Indeed, I am surprised by how little noise these acts of vandalism elicit. It is as if we were dealing with the most natural thing in the world.” (Rémi Brague)

David O’Mahony (ca. 1930s-2019)

A brief tribute to the classical liberal, free market Irish economist, David O’Mahony — a scholar and a gentleman who touched the lives of generations of students.

The Present Battle

“At the moment, a battle is being fought between two models: that of a dehumanized world and that of a society — we should say, a civilization — that gives man his full place.”

These are the opening lines of a speech given by Msgr. Prince Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou, at the recent World Congress of Families meeting in Verona.

Democratic Self-Government or Mass Migration?

If migration is ‘the biggest challenge of our time’ — the key issue is: who will decide this challenge? There are three possibilities: supranational institutions (let’s call this ‘Davos’); the migrants themselves arriving without the consent of the people in the nations that are affected; or the demos — the citizens of democratic nation-states.

Anthony de Jasay (1925-2019)

“In a way, Anthony de Jasay was an anarchist, though he did not believe that anarchy would be possible here and now. He was closer to those who seek to create ‘social order’ through private contracts than to the so-called ‘minarchists’ who hope to restrict state activity to a minimum. But he believed that neither goal was politically realistic.”

Benedict XVI’s “post-retirement encyclical”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is not going to stay silent during the Catholic Church’s most recent and ongoing crisis.  According to several reports published late last night, he has drafted a 6,000-word document which he intends to publish in Klerusblatt, a monthly periodical for clergy in Bavarian dioceses. An English-language version was sent to various media outlets.

Is Small Still Beautiful? A Swiss Perspective

From a Swiss perspective, small is beautiful. As important as recognizing this is, it is also worth considering the reasons behind this. There are three concepts rooted in economic anthropology that can help us understand this better: first, ‘scarcity and alertness’; second, ‘bonding and bridging’; and third, ‘competition’.

Reclaiming Childhood Through Poetry

I’m going to talk about poetry today. It has occurred to me lately that in the United States, only Christians … [and a few] Orthodox Jews, can still understand what in the world a child is, what a wonder a child is, what a child is even for. Let me begin with the last stanza of … Keats’ “Ode to Autumn”.

Immigration’s real question

“I came away with the impression that Europeans are trying to fight something with nothing. Islamist terrorism is a national security issue but what to do about Islam as a religion? To what should radical Islam be reformed? As far as I could tell, only one speaker spoke of a ‘Christian Europe’ that should combat abortion, euthanasia, pornography and same-sex marriage.” (Kishore Jayabalan)

Robert Spaemann (1927-2018)

On December 10, 2018, the renowned German philosopher Robert Spaemann passed away. His was a distinctive voice among contemporary thinkers, a voice that eschewed attention-seeking brilliance but instead offered calm and deep reflections on the most important matters for human beings. Spaemann’s trajectory of thought spanned about seventy years of engagement with crucial questions …

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