Modernity is simply the time of realized nihilism

Quote of the Day for Friday, January 28th, 2011: David Bentley Hart, from the just released February 2011 volume of First Things, discussing Martin Heidegger’s reading of the centrality of nihilism in Western civilization’s cultural history and its philosophical tradition, in an article that appears to be available to non-subscribers on the website: Modernity, for Heidegger, is simply the time of realized nihilism, the age in which the will to power has become the ground of all our values; as a consequence it is all but impossible for humanity to dwell ...

Mobilizing Useful Idiots Around the World to Take Up the Cause

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 5th, 2011: Stephen Kinzer, writing in The Guardian on December 31, on the professional Human Rights movement’s loss of direction since its emergence some 40 years ago or so: The actions of human rights do-gooders is craziest in Darfur, where they show themselves not only dangerously naive but also unwilling to learn lessons from their past misjudgments. By their well-intentioned activism, they have given murderous rebel militias – not only in Darfur but around the world – the idea that even if they have no h...

A Saint for Our Age

Today was the feast day of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, and I spent a lot of time thinking about him. When Maximilian was canonized by Pope John Paul II, the pope proclaimed him The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century. He was a great evangelizer and defender of the faith, as well as a protector of Jews and a fierce critic of Nazism – a witness which eventually landed him in Auschwitz as a prisoner. It was there that his legend was cemented. In retribution for an attempted prisoner escape, the deputy commander of the death camp ordered ten men fr...

Modern Scholar series (part I)

In the spirit of always trying to look on the bright side of things… One of the advantages to spending two hours or so each weekday commuting to and from work is the opportunity it affords me to listen to audio books. I was in the local public library over the weekend, and noticed that they had a new title from Thomas F. Madden in Recorded Books’ Modern Scholar series. Unsurprisingly, the series overall is a bit of a mixed bag, but, having listened to all of Madden’s volumes so far, I can vouch for the quality of all of them. These are ...