Karen Armstrong Believes That Religion and Art are Allies

Religion was never supposed to provide answers to questions that lay within the reach of human reason… Religion’s task, closely allied to that of art, was to help us to live creatively, peacefully, and even joyously with realities for which there were no easy explanations and problems that we could not solve; morality, pain, grief, […]

I went to the woods because

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. –Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854) Watercolor painting by Fauve

Blest Be the Tie that Binds: A Sad Post

We share our mutual woes, Our mutual burdens bear, And often for each other flows The sympathizing tear. When here our pathways part, We suffer bitter pain; Yet, one in Christ and one in heart, We hope to meet again. This post is in memory of an honorable man who will be missed by many. […]

One book, printed in the hearts own wax, is worth a thousand in the stacks

For those early writers, a trained memory wasn’t just about gaining easy access to information. It was about strengthening ones personal ethics and becoming a more complete person. A trained memory was the key to cultivating judgement, citizenship and piety. What one memorized helped shape ones character. Just as the secret to becoming a chess […]

July 4th, 2011: Happy St. Elizabeth of Portugal Day!!

Born in 1271, Queen Isabel was married to King Diniz (or Dinis). Like her great-aunt Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, for whom she was named, Saint Elizabeth of Portugal dedicated her life to the poor. She established orphanages and provided shelter for the homeless. She also founded a convent in Coimbra. Read more about Saint Elizabeth […]

In Defense of Slow

Often, the tendency is to call something “boring” and “slow” when we don’t understand it or lack the energy to make a stab at comprehension. But I think sometimes there are other forces at work as well: cynicism and pride. Cynicism makes us skeptical that there is meaning, truth, beauty and goodness out there worth […]

Is Space Really Empty?

So space can bend and drag; but is it really empty? Don’t say there’s nothing there to a physicist. Space has a seething quantum structure to it. I like to think of it as a pot of water on the stove with bubbles coming out. Space is like that. It’s always bubbling. We could see […]

The Cult of Achievement: Why EQ is Better Than IQ

Another problem with the cult of achievement is that it places so much emphasis on developing a child’s IQ that an equally crucial aspect is totally eclipsed–what psychologist Daniel Goleman, cofounder of the Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning at the Yale University Child study Center, calls “EQ” in his groundbreaking book, Emotional Intelligence: Why […]

In case you didn’t know, faith and reason are NOT in conflict. | Art by Jordan Kasey

Albert Einstein once famously stated that “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” I for one agree with him completely. Religion and science, regardless of what you read about in the newspapers as it relates to these conflicts, can very much co-exist quite well. The above quote comes from Dr. Thomas Plante’s […]

Reading Plato While Wearing a Walkman | Art by Matthew Rangel

You have argued that new technologies are a threat to the “silence” and “intimacy” necessary for an encounter with great works… Yes, the quality of silence is organically linked to the quality of language. You and I are sitting here, in this house surrounded by a garden, where there is no other noise other than […]