Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dove Evolution

Now, it's probably true that Dove has simply found a more devious way than most of marketing their beauty products. It's probably not the case that they care about your daughter's self-image.

But for now, I'll take it.

Reading Thomas

Reading Thomas is a dangerous thing.

I find his style engaging and thoroughly understandable. (There are those who will take this as evidence of mental deficiency on my part, I know.) At the end of the day, his systematics suits me less because of what he says than because of how ruthlessly interrelated it is.

There is nothing piecemeal or situational about Thomas. Everything is set in the context of . . . well, everything. One reads his moral theology and realizes that he is covertly doing Christology. One reads his eschatology and realizes that he is covertly doing ethics. There is nothing that he writes that has not been brought into thorough and exhaustive conversation with any- and everything else he writes.

This makes it very difficult to write on Thomas.

I started a year ago by reading the Treatise on Happiness and the Treatise on the Virtues from the Summa Theologica(having already read the fourth section of the Summa Contra Gentiles, several important selections on nature and grace, a smattering of his political theology).

Hauerwas made a passing comment--"Now, where this all really gets interesting is in the Treatise on the Passions. That's where you see how it all hangs together."

So, I decided to read the Treatise on the Passions.

And I didn't see how it all hung together. Not because it wasn't clear, mind you--just because there was more to it. I found myself thinking, "Well, yeah, but . . . I really need to read the Treatise on the Incarnation to know how this all hangs together."

So, I decided to read the Treatise on the Incarnation.

And now I find myself thinking, "Well, yeah, but . . . this really all depends on what he thinks about the Beatific Vision. Can't really see how it all hangs together unless you read his eschatology."

So, I'm starting to read . . .

. . . well, I hate to say it, but I think I'm reading . . .

. . . too much Thomas.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A lighthearted look at the difference between what sells movies and what earns academic merit: Indy denied tenure.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Journalistic Ethics

Here's how I imagine the conversation went.

- Bob, we've gotta have something about the Amish thing in here.
- Stan, we've got three minutes until press time.
- C'mon, we can't go to print without it. Can't somebody throw something together?
- Nobody's had time to write anything yet!
- We've gotta have something.
- Hey, how 'bout a photo essay? You only need one paragraph for that. And people like photos.
- Great. Make it happen.

And so, this week's Time Magazine includes a photo essay on the Amish mourning their children.

A photo essay on the Amish.

A photo essay on the Amish.

Did this not scream "problem" to anyone? How is it that no one said, "Uh. . . guys, aren't those the guys who don't like their picture taken?" Or maybe someone did say it. Wonder what the response was.

And I wonder who decided that newsworthiness covers over a multitude of sins. And that "what sells" is a close enough substitute for newsworthiness that it can, too.