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Eric Gregory, John Milbank, and the Future of Augustinian Engagements with Liberalism

Intellectual traditions are dynamic entities. They grow and change over time. In fact, if Alasdair MacIntyre is correct that a tradition is “an historically extended, socially embodied argument, and an argument precisely in part about the goods which constitute that tradition,” then this dynamism is perhaps the distinctive characteristic of tradition-as-such.[1] Thus, precisely because traditions are arguments, the way in which the members of a tradition learn to narrate those... Read More

Lord, Make Me Unchaste, but Not Yet: A Review of Brett Foster’s The Garbage Eater

Brett Foster, The Garbage Eater (Evanston, IL: TriQuarterly Books, 2011).   It is said that we are what we eat, that our appetites and outputs are in sync. Often, that’s also the case in the relationship between reading and writing. In reading Brett Foster’s debut poetry collection, The Garbage Eater, it becomes readily apparent that—for better or worse—Foster does not eat much literary garbage. Of course, one could gather that from a brief look at Foster’s CV,... Read More

A Mall is just a Mall, and (Sometimes) That’s All We Want

In their recent essay in The Other Journal, Cory Willson and Robert Covolo position themselves between James K. A. Smith’s approach to culture and cultural practices, as depicted in Desiring the Kingdom, and my own, as they see it depicted in Poetic Theology.1 I basically agree with both their analysis and their creative response to these two approaches. As far as our cultural critiques are concerned, Jamie Smith and I begin at different starting points but end up in fundamental... Read More

Imagining a Different Future: An Interview with Graham Ward

The theologian Graham Ward is known to blur the disciplinary boundaries that separate theology from political theory, aesthetics, sociology, and anthropology. In this interview, the celebrated author of Cities of God again looks through that interdisciplinary prism to consider evil. Ward contrasts the way evil is used in public rhetoric with the way Christians have traditionally understood evil, affirms the scandalous nature of the theological enterprise, and discusses how the... Read More

To Be or Not To Be: An Interview with Paul Griffiths

The prominent theologian Paul J. Griffiths is known for his philosophical study of Catholicism and Buddhism, as well as his intimate knowledge of the Augustinian tradition. Two of his recent books, Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity and Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar, traverse the territory of The Other Journal’s twentieth issue by making a nuanced study of the sin of lying and the vice of curiositas. In this interview, Griffiths discusses ways that Christians... Read More

Evil, Ethics, and the Imagination: An Interview with Richard Kearney, Part I

In this three-part interview, the illustrious Irish philosopher Richard Kearney explores the human experiences of evil. Part I of the interview considers theodicy and human responsibility for evil by contrasting Gnostic understandings of cosmological evil to St. Augustine’s understanding of evil as the privation of the good. During the course of this conversation, Kearney characterizes the human imagination as a creative capacity that can be turned to both good and evil purposes,... Read More

The Confessions of a Cage Fighter: Masculinity, Misogyny, and the Fear of Losing Control

Before enrolling in divinity school, I was a cage fighter—not a full-time cage fighter, not a world-famous cage fighter, not even a person for whom cage fighting paid the bills, but a cage fighter nonetheless.  Now, before I go any further, I need to be more careful with my vocabulary or else I’ll risk losing credibility. You see, real cage fighters don’t like to be referred to as such; we prefer the term mixed martial artist. And we prefer that our sport go by the name... Read More

Love’s Labor Lost: A Pop-Culture Love Story for the Twenty-First Century

On May 22, nearly 14 million people across America watched as one of primetime television’s most iconic series drew to a close. The morning after the finale, the blogosphere and tweet feeds were discussing ways to read the ending. People changed their Facebook photos to represent the characters they were now mourning the loss of. Like many pop-culture moments, the ending of Lost signaled a collective desire to find out what others were feeling and experiencing. If there... Read More

Whose Rome? Which Catholicism? A Review of Beckwith’s Return to Rome

Francis J. Beckwith, Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic . Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2009. 144 pages. $10.19 paperback (Amazon). Click here or on the image to purchase Return to Rome from Amazon.com and help support The Other Journal. The zeitgeist is familiar enough: faced with powerful economic competitors, the empire is beginning to wane, retreating to a stance that might almost look like humility—its previous reach having stretched it thin... Read More

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: An Interview with Eugene McCarraher, Part Three of Three

In the rapidly changing political and economic conditions of our time, it is important that we consider existential questions of how to live as Christians. As we seek to answer these questions, historian Eugene McCarraher offers an incisive, prophetic voice from that rare vantage point of historical competency and theological literacy. In part one of our interview with McCarraher, he talks about some salient themes emerging in the 2000s, including the credulity of the U.S.... Read More