Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

I debated whether to make this post a response to some of the comments raised by Greg Jones to my recent blog “Why Religion is Giving God a Bad Name“. As I thought about it however, I realized that certain of the issues raised by Mr. Jones were so important that the response deserved its own blog. How important? In my view, unless we get the notion of “historical faith” raised by Mr. Jones right, we cannot hope to solve crisises like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Shite-Sunni conflict throughout the Middle East or the conflict between the Islamic and western world. That’s pretty important and unfortunately, just about everybody gets it wrong. Read the rest of this entry »


Great Commencement Speeches (Part II)

The second installment in our Great Commencement Speeches series comes from the same venue as the first. After Mark Ouweleen’s 1986 Cohonguroton address, Fr. James P.M. Walsh, S.J. accepted the Bunn Award for Faculty Excellence. For those who do not know Father Walsh, he has a knack for recognizing bits of everyday life that illustrate common habits of mind so perfectly as to seem archetypal. As far as I know, most of these cannot be found in written form anywhere in captivity. Fortunately, this 1986 speech, “Farewell,” is built around one such vignette. Read the rest of this entry »