Death and Deception: “Longford” and “Dead Man Walking”

By |2019-05-11T09:20:47-05:00May 10th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Death, Dwight Longenecker, Evil, Film, Justice|

While the films “Longford” and “Dead Man Walking” are ostensibly about the death penalty, the real value of both films is their profound exploration of the depth of human evil. On June 7, 1998 a Texan, John William King, along with friends Shawn Berry and Lawrence Brewer, killed African American James Byrd. They beat [...]

“Ballade of Assisted Suicide”

By |2019-02-19T13:38:21-05:00February 19th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Death, Poetry|

He’d had that thing for years – some dreadful woe – I can’t remember what it’s called – I guess he’d had enough, although I don’t know all the details. Was he bald? I haven’t seen him for a while; he crawled Into the doctor’s once, all short of breath; I would have helped [...]

The House of Usher & the House of Poe

By |2019-01-19T00:11:03-05:00January 18th, 2019|Categories: Death, Edgar Allan Poe, Literature, Tragedy|

There is a notable nightmarish and intangible quality to “The Fall of the House of Usher,” as there is in many of Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic masterpieces—a vague sense of foreboding, a floating uneasiness, or shadowy moodiness that is beyond the power of words to express... Edgar Allan Poe. Enigmatic. Eccentric. Erratic. Melancholic. Alcoholic. Neurotic. [...]

Death to the Death Penalty? René Girard’s Challenge to Thomas Aquinas

By |2018-11-23T23:38:59-05:00November 19th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Death, Justice, St. Thomas Aquinas|

Is acceptance of the death penalty contrary to the modern understanding of the dignity of the human person? The anthropology of René Girard allows for a rereading of Thomas Aquinas’ defense of capital punishment... The Catholic Church’s recent definitive revocation of the death penalty[1] suggests that something in the zeitgeist demands a rethinking of one [...]

Death and Blind Hopes

By |2019-05-23T10:51:54-05:00October 23rd, 2018|Categories: Death, Hope, Mathematics, Theology|

Because of intense fear, we refuse to acknowledge that nothing in this world is permanent, that everything perishes, that soon we will be no more. Lodged within every human heart is the blind hope that death comes to others, not to us... Prometheus was the one Olympian god to rebel against Zeus’ plan to wipe [...]

G.K. Chesterton’s “A Ballade of Suicide”

By |2018-10-28T21:50:37-05:00October 14th, 2018|Categories: Christian Humanism, Death, G.K. Chesterton, Literature, Poetry, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Titus Techera as he reflects on the meaning of G.K. Chesterton's "A Ballade of Suicide." —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher G.K. Chesterton published "A Ballade of Suicide" in his journal, The Eye-Witness, September 21, 1911. This is a ballade, an old French form [...]

Distracting Ourselves From Death

By |2018-09-14T22:02:52-05:00September 14th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Death, Philosophy, Religion|

Although the prospect of death makes us miserable, it forces us to confront our mortality and search for a remedy, if we do not immediately numb ourselves with the drug of distraction... "Soles occidere et redire possunt [Suns are able to die and rise again]" —Gaius Valerius Catullus, Carmen 5.[1] One morning, as I walked out [...]

O Sting, Where Is Thy Death?

By |2018-08-28T13:13:52-05:00August 28th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Death, Existence of God, Joseph Pearce, Music|

In a somewhat bizarre recent interview with the National Catholic Register, the aging rock star, Sting, who eons ago had been lead singer of the rock band The Police, waxed in a bemused and confused way about his relationship with the Catholic faith, in which he was raised but which he has abandoned. He gave [...]

The Wages of Sin: Jean-Pierre Melville’s Doomed Universe

By |2018-07-25T17:12:26-05:00July 25th, 2018|Categories: Death, Film|

In Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Doulos, it is as if there is an existential darkness present throughout. In this world, no matter how cunning the schemes or how fail-safe the get-away plans are, for all concerned there is a retribution coming. In Melville’s cinematic universe the wages of sin are always death… Recently, at London’s British Film [...]

Madness and Death: Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck”

By |2018-07-14T22:11:46-05:00July 14th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Death, Music, Theater|

Alban Berg's Wozzeck (first premiered in 1925) tells the story of a man who is slowly breaking due to insanity. Let us draw our attention to Act III Scene IV of the opera. In this late scene, extreme musical conventions accelerate the story and seem to lead the deranged titular character to his death. The [...]

The Death of God and the New Stories

By |2019-03-28T13:27:51-05:00May 20th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Death, Existence of God, Great Books, Religion, Science, St. John's College|

The narratives of science and Christianity are obviously not novels, nor works of fiction, for both claim to tell the true story of humankind—where we came from, what we are, and where we are going. To determine if either of these narratives is true, we must assess the plot… In 1882, Nietzsche’s madman ran [...]