Socrates, arguably the father of ancient Philosophy, was put to death by the City of Athens in 399 BC, which is almost 2,500 years ago. Last May of this year, the New Trial of Socrates was enacted in Athens and the panel of 10 judges were split evenly on the verdict, so by default he was acquitted.
Just to give some perspective, the Catholic Church condemned Galileo as a heretic in 1633. He was placed under house arrest and all his works were banned. This ban was completed lifted by 1835. By 1939 Galileo was praised for his work by Pope Pius XII and in 1992 Pope John Paul the Great issued a declaration admitting all the errors committed by the Catholic Church tribunal that condemned Galileo and his works.
So it only took the Catholic Church less than 400 years to admit it’s errors in judgement, but it took the City of Athens almost 2,500 years to deliver a corrected judgement, albeit by default. So what, exactly, did Socrates do to deserve the infamous death sentence by suicide?
The charges against Socrates: “Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and he believes in other new divinities of his own.”
The reasons for the trial and condemnation of Socrates continue to be a subject of dispute to this day. Suffice it to say that it is well worth the effort to read up on it and see if the human race is all that different today than it was 2,500 years ago.
See the trial here…
(Recently published online at Homiletic & Pastoral Review)
One of the most vexing issues facing ministers in the Church is the raging debate in our media and schools over evolution, and its implications for those of us who believe that God created “the heavens and the earth.” At the heart of this vexation lies a fundamental issue: The nature of sacred doctrine and how it relates to the disciplines of science. There probably isn’t a better thinker to turn to for this issue than St. Thomas Aquinas. At the very beginning of his Summa Theologiae, he lays the foundation for the study of sacred doctrine and its relationship to the rest of the sciences. We will begin with a careful look at Aquinas’ starting point and then see how it might be applied to some scientific platforms which have seemed to conflict with sacred doctrine. Continue reading
Posted in In Depth Articles, Philosophy, Religion, Science, Science & Religion
Tagged Catholic, Evolution, faith, Galileo, God, Science, science and religion
All of us Sherlock fans in the USA saw Sherlock take a dive from a high building to paint the pavement below with his brains last Sunday. I’m sure I was not alone in my dismay when this happened… but the real mind-blower (no pun intended, ahem) was the final scene that revealed Sherlock, alive and well, looking on as Dr. Watson grieved at his graveside.
So the mystery is set for season 3: How did Holmes survive the dive and what is the story going on here?
I believe I have a plausible answer. Continue reading
On May 6, 1984, Pope John Paul II canonized the Koreans who were martyred for their faith in the 19th century.
Christianity entered Korea via a Korean. In 1603, Yi Gwang-jeong, a Korean diplomat, returned to Korea from China with books of theology written by Matteo Ricci, SJ, the renowned missionary to China. He began to spread the information until Catholicism was outlawed in 1758. Later in 1785 Yi Seung-hun began evangelizing in Korea following his return from a visit to China. Yi Seung-hun is the first Korean known to be baptized (while in China) and, taking the name “Peter”, is therefore also known as Peter Yi, or Peter Li.
Peter Li was martyred, along with more than 300 others, in 1801. Persecution continued until it culminated in the Catholic Persecution of 1866, when 8,000 were killed across Korea. Continue reading
This is a shot looking up Market towards the Embarcadero. I took this about 12 years ago. I’m planning on posting some more from that time. They were all taken on film and I’ve given this one a sepia tone for fun.
My article “Science & Faith” has been published at the Homiletic & Pastoral Review. Here is an excerpt:
One of the most vexing issues facing ministers in the Church is the raging debate in our media and schools over evolution, and its implications for those of us who believe that God created “the heavens and the earth.” At the heart of this vexation lies a fundamental issue: The nature of sacred doctrine and how it relates to the disciplines of science. There probably isn’t a better thinker to turn to for this issue than St. Thomas Aquinas. At the very beginning of his Summa Theologiae, he lays the foundation for the study of sacred doctrine and its relationship to the rest of the sciences. We will begin with a careful look at Aquinas’ starting point and then see how it might be applied to some scientific platforms which have seemed to conflict with sacred doctrine.
I essentially argue for the Thomistic position, which really gave birth to the scientific method, that science and faith do not conflict.
Sacred doctrine, then, is a science in the sense that it is a rational reflection upon the principles received through revelation. It’s not a science in the sense that the Trinity was discovered as a result of experimentation in a laboratory. The Real Presence isn’t proposed as a scientific theory, or law, as the result of studying a consecrated host under a microscope. The doctrine of the Real Presence is based on Sacred Scripture, wherein Jesus declared: “This is my body, this is my blood.” Sacred doctrine is the science that takes revelation as it’s principle, proceeding to explain what this means for us who are communicants.
How does this science of sacred doctrine differ from the other sciences? As already mentioned, the object, or thing studied in sacred doctrine, is something beyond the reach of the natural sciences. The natural sciences deal with matter as it is available to us through our senses. Yet, God is not available to our senses. Since knowledge of God is, in part, beyond the reach of sense experience and reason, God has decided to reveal it to us through sacred scripture and doctrine. Thus, our knowledge is supplemented by sacred scripture so that we may know what is necessary for salvation.
Read the entire article and let me know what you think!
Posted in Philosophy, Religion, Science, Science & Religion
Tagged Evolution, intelligent design, Philosophy, Religion, Roman Catholic, Science, St. Thomas Aquinas, Theology, thomism
This is inside the chapel of St. Albert’s Priory in Oakland, CA. This is where the student Dominican’s worship while in formation and studies.
This is a picture I took of one of the carvings on the confessionals. Grand prize to the one who guesses what scene from the Bible this is depicting. More photos here…
Mission Buenaventura, which is located in Ventura, CA the shortened version of it’s full name, San Buenaventura, CA. This city was named after the Franciscan theologian and saint, actually a Doctor of the Church, St. Bonaventure. More photos here…
Just discovered an outstanding article for Advent by Fr. Michael Dodds, O.P. It deals with the sin of “acedia” or the absence of care, as treated by Kathleen Norris in her book Acedia and Me.
Kathleen Norris presents acedia, not just as an affliction of ancient monks, but as a major contemporary problem. (A quick google search for “acedia” shows that quite a few people share her opinion— over 952,000 websites in two nanoseconds.) Acedia looks like the polar opposite of the Beatitudes. Acedia makes even the smallest step towards God, or the spiritual life, or even simple human flourishing, seem impossible, not worth the effort. The thought of God does not awaken joy, but sadness. The Beatitudes, on the other hand, begin with eight seemingly impossible propositions, and proclaim that they not only lead to happiness, but are themselves portraits joy.
It’s well worth the read, so go here and dive in!