It Seems That Masterpieces Never Really Stop Growing

As I mentioned in last week’s column, my favorite American playwright is Eugene O’Neill. In a letter, probably written in 1925, O’Neill expressed what he was trying to do with his dramas. He wrote that he wanted “to see the transfiguring nobility of tragedy, in as much near the Greek sense as one can grasp it, in seemingly the most ignoble, debased lives. And just here is where I am a most confirmed mystic, for I’m always trying to interpret Life in terms of character. 

I Believe That Jesus Christ Truly Loved Eugene O’Neill

Anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I frequently write about the philosophy of secular humanism. At St. John’s University, in every course I teach I begin the course with two or three lectures explaining secular humanism. I think that the predominant view of reality in our society among many intellectuals is secular humanism. 

Saved by Beauty and What It Can Illuminate

In my previous five columns I have been trying to promote great literature and other arts and to comment on how they can be a great help in the life of a religious believer.

All Are Entrusted With The Task of Crafting Their Life

I have been reading a wonderful book entitled “Western Civilization: A Global Comparative Approach: Volume II: Since 1600” (New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2012). I wanted to read an intellectual history, a book that would relate historical events with what was going on in philosophy and other liberal arts when those historical events were happening. 

Encountering God Through the Arts

Writing this series of columns on art and religious faith has helped me to appreciate art in a new way. The importance of the artistic vocation boggles my mind. In a previous column in this series I made a distinction between two types of judgment that might be made about a work of art.

Treasures in Excellent Works of Art Can Enrich

I came across a statement by Mark Van Doren that I hope will shed light on what I am trying to emphasize in this series of columns on art and its relation to religious faith. Van Doren was a professor at Columbia University and was something of a legend as a professor. 

Religious Faith and Art Strongly Influence Each Other

Perhaps it is due to my vocation, but I want to do this series of columns both as a confession of my own interest in art, film, theater, literature, music, and painting, and as encouragement for others to take advantage of the revelation of God that can appear in art. 

A Community of Those Who Are Beloved by God

In his “Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World” (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1992, 156 pp., $17.95), Henri J.M. Nouwen offers insights into how we can make awareness of God’s amazing love for us the center of our attempts to grow closer to God.

Experiencing the Loud Thoughts of Self-Rejection

While I am strongly recommending Henri J.M. Nouwen’s “Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World” (New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1962, pp. 156, $17.95) to many friends and to readers of this weekly column, there was one section of the book that I had to read several times to catch Nouwen’s point.