But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

The Underground Thomist - Apologetic Report
Friday, 21 April 2017 16:00

Commentary on Thomas Aquinas's Virtue Ethics

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My newest book is Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Virtue Ethics,published by Cambridge University Press in April, 2017.

Part I is about virtue in general; Part II focuses on the virtue of justice.  I’ve written the book for in such a way as to be helpful to both scholars and...

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Sunday, 16 April 2017 16:00

From an Easter Homily of Thomas Aquinas

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The Lord is Risen!  This is an abbreviated outline of one of Thomas Aquinas’s homilies for the season of Easter.  Besides being crisp and illuminating, it shows how he labored to extract every last grain of meaning from every pronouncement of Scripture.  I think...

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Saturday, 08 April 2017 16:00

The Blade, the Ear, and the Corn

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Thomas Aquinas believed the relation among natural law, Old Testament law, and New Testament law to have been well expressed by John Chrysostom’s commentary on Mark 4:28, that God “brought forth first the blade, i.e. the Law of Nature; then the ear, i.e. the Law of Moses; lastly,...

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Sunday, 02 April 2017 16:00

Is Revelation Reasonable?

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The fact that we are directed to behave virtuously through reasonmay make it mysterious why Divine instruction is necessary at all.  Here it is good to remember that faith is not the constriction of reason by blind dogma, as our own time so often views it.  Rather it is the...

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Sunday, 26 March 2017 16:00

Giggling into the Abyss

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imageThere was a certain inevitability in existentialism’s decline, but at least the early existentialists were serious.  I count four stages in the philosophy's devolution.

1.  One must choose between hope and despair.

Soren Kierkegaard, 1847:  “To relate oneself...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 16:00

Thomas Aquinas’s Virtue Ethics

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My new book, Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Virtue Ethics,is coming out from Cambridge University Press on April 30, and you can preorder right here.  I wish the cover design were finished, because the cover image is lovely (nope, it’s not the one above).

By the way, my...

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Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:00

A Question for the Teachers of the Church

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Why doesn’t the social witness of the Church have more influence than it does?  With respect, I suggest that perhaps one reason is that sometimes those who represent the Church speak as though they don’t believe her social doctrine.

Case in point:  The social doctrine of...

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Sunday, 05 March 2017 15:00

An Answer to My Question

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imageA reader protests:

This last blog [of yours] concerning the recent election seems little more than a petty swipe at the community to which you once belonged.  It is an act of discord being neither an act of unity or of fellowship.

For myself regarding this election, Trump is a base and...

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Sunday, 26 February 2017 15:00

A Question for Evangelicals

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imageShortly after the election, I wrote that the president-elect would do well to remember that his election represented not so much a “Yes” to him, as a “No” to what preceded him.  Perhaps I overstated the point, because some did say “Yes” to him.

In...

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Monday, 20 February 2017 15:00

Castle Archives

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Sorry, no new post until next week.  In the meantime, some readers might enjoy perusing old posts in the castle archives.

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Authors: jbudziszewski...

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Sunday, 12 February 2017 23:00

Is Toleration a Virtue?

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Question:

I've been back and forth in a discussion of the suggestion that tolerance is a virtue.  A speaker to our community said "Tolerance is not a virtue" -- by which I understood him to mean, and readily affirmed with him, that the cultural mentality that suggests simple co-existence with...

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Wednesday, 08 February 2017 23:00

Couldn’t Resist

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What did Macbeth say say when he saw Birnam Wood advancing on Dunsinane?

“Cheese it!  The copse!”

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Authors: jbudziszewski...

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Sunday, 05 February 2017 23:00

So Many Things

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People of my age often say "Kids are so much smarter these days than we were.  They know so many things that we didn’t."

They do know more “things,” just because they have the new media.  But that sort of knowledge is all breadth, with no depth.

Imagine trying to see...

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Sunday, 29 January 2017 23:00

Interiority

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Modern thinkers suppose that only a mind, mysteriously shut into itself yet somehow conscious of an “outside” world that it can never reach, can be truly said to have an interior life. Because of this prejudice, we view all things other than minds as mere mechanisms, assemblies of...

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Sunday, 22 January 2017 23:00

Can Politics Be Reduced to a Science?

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I don’t think much of David Hume’s philosophy, but he was an astute observer of government.  If he was right in his famous 1742 essay “That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science,” then the prospects of applying the sort of science he had in mind to our own country...

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Sunday, 15 January 2017 23:00

Spoiler Alert

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I had not learned until recently that George Orwell, the author of several dystopian stories, had also reviewed C.S. Lewis’s supernatural thriller, That Hideous Strength.  Though he conceded that the novel was worth reading (and it is), he finished by complaining that supernatural...

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 23:00

The Revenge of Conscience Is Now an Ebook

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My book The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Manis now available electronically, as a Kindle.  Among other things, that makes it much cheaper.  Here is the link.

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Sunday, 08 January 2017 23:00

What it Really Means to Be Great

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In a conversation with one of the Athenian bully boys, Socrates suggested that what makes statesmen great is not whether they are good or bad at doing things and at giving the people what they want -- but whether, by their conduct and rhetoric, they leave the people better or worse than they found...

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Sunday, 01 January 2017 23:00

Trusting in Princes

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Commenting on CBS This Morningon the end of her husband’s term of office and the election of a rival, the outgoing First Lady said “We feel the difference now.  See, now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like.”

It is said that in Washington, she and her...

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Saturday, 24 December 2016 23:00

The Infant’s Voice

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imageYesterday I displayed a few gems from a Christmas Vigil sermon by Bernard of Clairvaux.  These are from a pair of his sermons for Christmas Day.  I have taken a few liberties with the translation, which is a bit dated.

Christ is born in a stable, and lies in a...

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Friday, 23 December 2016 23:00

More Than Long Ago

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These rubies are from a Christmas Vigil sermon by Bernard of Clairvaux.

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Let no one be so indevout, so ungrateful, so irreligious, as to say:  This is nothing new; it was heard long ago; Christ was born long ago.  I answer:  Yes, long ago and before long ago.

N...

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Monday, 19 December 2016 23:00

Off With Their Heads!

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Two small errors turned up in the hardcover edition of my Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law. Although they were corrected in the paperback, a reader suggests that I post the corrections here too.  Good idea.

The first error is rather funny:  On the cover, the word C...

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Sunday, 11 December 2016 23:00

The Object of Uttermost Longing

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imageQuery:

What would you say is the single most compelling, prima facie argument for God?

Reply:

The argument I find most compelling is sometimes called the Argument from Desire.

At the very beginning of the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas says that “To know that God exists in a general and confused...

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Sunday, 04 December 2016 23:00

Full Circle

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Men think they may do as they please.

In order to limit them, among other things the law of Moses prohibits disproportionate revenge:  One may take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but not a life for an eye or a limb for a tooth.

To men who have been successfully shaped by that wise...

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Sunday, 27 November 2016 23:00

Mean Moralists

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I am glad to say that after receiving my response, this fellow made a gracious reply.

Query:

I've begun your guide because even as an atheist I believed in abiding universals and liked Epictetus and Cicero.

I have a complaint with you. I've known women who had abortions who were deeply mournful but...

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