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The St. Austin Review (StAR) is the premier international journal of Catholic culture, literature, and ideas. In its pages, printed every two months, some of the brightest and most vigorous minds around meet to explore the people, ideas, movements, and events that shape and misshape our world.


From the Ink Desk Blog


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The Chain of Unbelief

In his sermon “The Christian Ministry”, Bl. John Henry Newman lays out for us a possible chain of unbelief.  Note that you can start this chain anywhere, but Newman starts it from the point of view of someone who doubts the Priesthood.  Doubt that Christ commissioned the Apostles, and set aside a group of men as special conveyors of divine grace; doubt that and the following logically follows.  And though not everyone may follow this…
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A Slice of Pie for the Pietists

In his essay “Democracy and Industrial Society”, Eric Voegelin (alluding to Ernest Renan) speaks of three foundational elements in Western society: Hellenistic Philosophy, Jewish-Christian Religion and Roman Administrative Order.  In shorthand, this means our society has the constituitive elements of Reason (studium, the School) Revelation (sacerdotium, the Church, priests) Power (imperium, the administration of justice and the maintenance of order) I would say that there are two more elements that make up who we are…
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Nietzsche versus Gandalf

What would Gandalf say if he met Nietzsche? I muse upon this intriguing scenario in my latest article for the Imaginative Conservative: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/03/wonder-wickedness-anatomy-good-evil-joseph-pearce.html
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Is Milton’s Lucifer a Christian?

Surely not? Here’s my discussion of the heterodox nature of Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, and the sympathy for the devil that it evokes: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/john-miltons-lucifer-reason-people-him
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Me on Monaghan

An interview that I did with the UK’s Catholic Herald on my book on Tom Monaghan has just been published. Here’s the link: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2017/03/23/the-multi-millionaire-pizza-magnate-who-decided-to-give-his-life-to-the-church/
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The Church In Spite of Itself

Somehow in this corrupt and disappointing institution, there is at least one really great priest. Obviously, there are many.  But today I met with a man who cannot be explained.  This crooked Church filled with crooked sinners (like me), a Church which can legitimately be prosecuted as a criminal organization under the RICO statues in the diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, has produced, in spite of everything, one really great, humble and holy priest.  I have met…
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Anthony Esolen Out of the Ashes

Guess what?  There’s this really great online book club, started by my friend Brian Daigle of Sequitur Classical Academy in Baton Rouge.  It’s called The Pillar and it features online discussions of current books, classics and everything in between. Last night The Pillar hosted a live webinar with Anthony Esolen, author of Out of the Ashes – Rebuilding American Culture, and Dr. Esolen said some remarkable things. First, here’s a quote from Esolen’s book, culled by one…
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Race Against Reason

The article I wrote recently for Chronicles on the thorny subject of race and racism has now been re-published by the Imaginative Conservative. Here’s the link: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/03/race-against-reason-joseph-pearce.html
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When the Well Runs Dry

What is it about homilies on the Woman at the Well that annoys me so much? The worst I ever heard was by a priest with horn-rimmed glasses, a creepy demeanor and an utter inability to relate to people, who said that Jesus “grew” in his encounter with the Woman at the Well.  He “grew” in learning the limitations of His own judgmentalism, prejudice and sexism.  This is why the reading is included in Lent,…
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Living with Aliens

Did you know that the person living next door might be an alien? How do we know an alien when we see one? These questions are asked and answered in my latest article for Intellectual Takeout: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/6-questions-ask-determine-if-youre-alienated-soul
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The Two Americas

The sophisticated entertainment of Branson, Missouri In 1922 (95 years ago), GK Chesterton visited America and wrote that while the people of the American Mid-West grew their own food they did not grow their own culture.  They had their own agriculture, but not their own artistic culture. “Their culture comes from the great cities; and that is where all the evil comes from,” he said. Now, of course, this statement of Chesterton’s contains more than…
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Seeing as Tolkien Sees

In my latest article for the Imaginative Conservative I endeavour to see with the eyes with which Tolkien sees: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/03/seer-tribute-vision-j-r-r-tolkien-joseph-pearce.html