Issues

American Literature & Catholic Faith
May June 2018_COVER

American Literature & Catholic Faith

May/June 2018: American Literature & Catholic Faith

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May/June 2018 Table of Contents

Sample Article

Orestes Brownson on the Natural Aristocracy – Geoffrey M. Vaughan

In 1813, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams engaged in a correspondence on the topic of the natural aristocracy in America. These two political enemies reconciled over the question of how the new nation might raise up leaders like themselves. More than a generation later the journalist, publisher, one- time Transcendentalist and notable Catholic convert, Orestes Brownson, would revisit this same topic.

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Misfits & Mystics: Flannery O’Connor and Friends
March April 2018_COVER

Misfits & Mystics: Flannery O’Connor and Friends

March/April 2018: Misfits & Mystics: Flannery O’Connor and Friends

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March/April 2018 Table of Contents

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Grace and the Grotesque: Redemption in the Southern Literature of Flannery O’Connor – Veronica A. Arntz

To our softened, modern sensibilities, the stories of Flannery O’Connor are shocking. They are seemingly dark with despair, fraught with the destruction of the inno- cent, and devoid of happiness or joy. In a word, her stories are part of the Southern genre called “grotesque”, which radically contradicts the modern desire for positivity and uplifting sentimentalities. It may be even more shocking to some that Flannery is a Catholic author, especially as her stories seem to portray everything but the hope of Christ’s Resurrection. And yet, beneath the grotesque surface, Flannery is deeply theo- logical, and the mystery of Christ is a con- stant theme in her stories, even if it is veiled behind the sufferings of life. Understanding the baptized imagination of Flannery O’Connor requires us to see that the redemption from sin and suffering, won for us by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, is continually operative within her stories.

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True Love: Passionate Reason Versus Romantic Feelings
Jan Feb 2018_COVER

True Love: Passionate Reason Versus Romantic Feelings

January/February 2018: True Love: Passionate Reason Versus Romantic Feelings

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January/February 2018 Table of Contents

Sample Article

Anna Karenina: A Story of Untrue Love- Mary Leonarczyk

Recently, with the 2012 movie adaptation of Anna Karenina having been released, there has been an increasing interest in Leo Tolstoy’s classic Russian novel of doomed romance. On the surface, the book tells the story of Anna’s tragic affair with Count Vronsky in the midst of a world where such conduct is socially condemned. Many modern critics laud it as an appraisal of hypo- critical moral boundaries and a standard of male dominance in nineteenth-century Russian culture. Anna herself is envisioned as a sort of tragic hero who defies her circumstances to be true to herself and her love. In short, the doomed love in the story is widely seen as a positive thing.

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Faith and Physics: Fr. LeMaître and the Big Bang
Nov Dec 2017 COVER

Faith and Physics: Fr. LeMaître and the Big Bang

November/December 2017: Faith and Physics: Fr. LeMaître and the Big Bang

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November/December 2017 Table of Contents

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Father Georges LeMaître: Introduction to a Great Priest-Cosmologist – John Beaumont

In 2015 I was privileged to be able to contribute to a special issue of StAR devoted to the late and great priest physicist, Father Stanley Jaki, OSB, with whom I had the great fortune to work for five years, from 2004 until his death in 2009. In that issue of StAR I both wrote an article and helped to edit a number of others written upon various aspects of Father Jaki’s work. Now, I have been again fortunate, thanks to the generosity of the editor of StAR, Joseph Pearce, in being able to help to put together a series of articles on another great priest scientist, Father Georges LeMaître and his outstanding achievement in formulating the Big Bang hypothesis. The year 2016 was the fiftieth anniversary of his death, so we are just behind with our tribute, but it is certainly one well worth making nevertheless.

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The Faith & the South
StAR Sept Oct 2017 COVER

The Faith & the South

September/October 2017: The Faith & the South

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September/October 2017 2017 Table of Contents

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Southern Catholics and Protestant Bias: Bishop John England’s 1839 Debate with Rev. Richard Fuller – Adam Tate

During every election season, articles appear discussing confirmation bias, pointing out that most people read news stories in ways that confirm their existing opinions while discarding pesky facts that challenge their beliefs. Writers realize that powerful narratives shape significantly what people hear and how they then act. Minority groups, however defined, often believe different narratives from the majority in order to make sense of their situation. They often find it difficult to be heard by the majority. Catholics in antebellum South Carolina and Georgia struggled to thrive as a small, poor, traditionally-mistrusted minority within a dynamic society. Largely, but not completely, Irish immigrants, they built churches, schools, and communities in the sprawling Southern landscape, usually in cities and small towns. The enormity of the material challenges combined with anti-Catholic prejudice presented a daunting task. Some historians have portrayed Catholic adaptation to life in the Old South as generally easy, recognizing Catholic collaboration with their neighbors and pointing out that most of the anti-Catholic violence during the antebellum period occurred outside the region.(1) But southern Catholics struggled mightily against deep prejudices. Many southerners believed history demonstrated that Catholicism was so corrupt and depraved that it precluded Catholics from being loyal, republican citizens. One logical response Catholics made, then, was to challenge popular historical narratives held by their non-Catholic neighbors.

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The Controversial Genius of Richard Wagner
July August 2017_Cover

The Controversial Genius of Richard Wagner

July/August 2017: The Controversial Genius of Richard Wagner

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July/August 2017 Table of Contents

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Richard Wagner’s Operas of Redemption and Salvation – by Henry Zeiter

Innumerable composers have written reli- gious music; to wit, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, and Bruckner’s Masses, Te Deums, Stabat Maters, Cantatas, Oratorios, and so on. They were all written for a few singers with a chorus. None of these works of religious art showed any dramatic motion, or acting out, making it impossible to consider them religious dra- mas, in the true sense of that term. Richard Wagner (1813–1883), during the late Romantic Period, filled that void with bril- liance.

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The World’s a Stage: The Drama of Faith
May June 2017 COVER

The World’s a Stage: The Drama of Faith

May/June 2017: The World’s a Stage: The Drama of Faith

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May/June 2017 Table of Contents

Sample Article

“Reverence for the Gods in Antigone: Beyond Greek Humanism” – by Veronica A. Arntz

“Give me glory! What greater glory could I win than to give my own brother decent burial? These citizens here would all agree, they would praise me too if their lips weren’t locked in fear.”1 Sophocles’ Antigone boldly argues against her tyrant uncle, Creon, who, after assuming the throne of her father, Oedipus, proceeds to give a proper burial to only one of her brothers who fought in the war. Creon’s reasoning is that Eteocles died fighting for him, while Polynices fought on the opposite side, making him a traitor. Creon goes further and forbids anyone from burying the body of Polynices, but Antigone, bolder than her sister Ismene, proceeds to bury her brother despite the law. After disobeying Creon’s law, Antigone fearlessly faces her uncle’s anger and his threat of death.

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Wounded Beauty: Suffering & the Arts
March April 2017_Cover

Wounded Beauty: Suffering & the Arts

March/April 2017: Wounded Beauty: Suffering & the Arts

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March/April 2017 Table of Contents

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“A Note on the Problem of Evil” by John Beaumont

“The recent air crash in Colombia that resulted in the death of seventy-five people, including most of the Brazilian football team, Chapecoense, was a terrible tragedy. There was a little team triumphing against the major clubs and reaching the final of a continent wide competition for the first time. Now, such understandably great joy has been wiped out at a stroke. I watched a television news program dealing with the crash and its aftermath. There in the center of the screen was a young man, a supporter of the team, his arms raised skyward in supplication. The words he spoke, undoubtedly from the heart, were, “How could God allow this to happen?” He was voicing what is probably the most commonly raised objection to the existence of God, namely what is usually referred to as the problem of evil. Even more recently there has been the loss of life resulting from the crash of the Russian military plane carrying members of an army orchestra. Many people will be voicing similar sentiments at this time to the one reported above. Nevertheless, it is important to contest the implication behind them, which is that God does not exist.”

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The Baptized Imagination
jan-feb-2017-cover

The Baptized Imagination

January/February 2017: The Baptized Imagination

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January/February Table of Contents

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“The Narrow Way of the Catholic Writer” by Kevin Bezner

“For the many who consider themselves a Catholic writer today, Catholic and writer is a duality when what is required is a unity. The Church and the world needs writers who make the great effort it takes to seek the spiritual unity pursued by the Church Fathers as described by Irénée Hausherr in his classic work Penthos: “As long as they had not arrived at total peace through unification of instincts with will, of imagination with mind, then of will and mind with the divine will and truth, they persisted in blaming themselves and feeling themselves far from the health at which they aimed.”1 If you think this is only a path for clergy, religious, or monastics, consider also these words from Hausherr: “The monk . . . is not a special person. He merely claims to be taking Christianity seriously.”2 The health of Catholic writing and writers will not be restored until writers take their Catholicism as seriously as Hausherr’s monk.”

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Laughter & the Love of Friends
star-nov-dec-2016-cover

Laughter & the Love of Friends

November/December 2016: Laughter & the Love of Friends

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November/December Table of Contents

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“A New Head and a New Heart: Laughter in Life and Literature” by Maria Devlin

“In the film Sherlock Holmes, Holmes is hurt that his best friend Dr. Watson is moving out to get married. When he meets Watson’s fiancée, Mary, he deliberately insults her. Perhaps as he’d hoped, Mary immediately walks out. Unfortunately, so does Watson. The next day, during a sullen carriage ride, Watson demands that Holmes return the waistcoat he once gave him. It looks for a moment as though the bridges are burned—until Watson tosses the waist- coat out the window and, with a faint smirk, catches Holmes’s eye. His repaying Holmes with a joke tells us that their friend- ship is still intact.”

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