Evangelicalism and Conservatism: From Doctrine Back to Disposition

If you have been paying attention, you will notice that there have been two particular examples of fragmentation that have coincided with each other, a fragmentation of the conservative movement, and a fragmenting of evangelical Christianity. In the heart of conservatism, there is a disagreement between the centrists who have complex sensitivities and more radical … Continue reading Evangelicalism and Conservatism: From Doctrine Back to Disposition

Writing in the Active and Passive Voice

I am a fan of good writing. Good writing communicates ideas to the minds of your readers. When people read your writing, they don’t just interpret its meaning through the words you chose. They also interpret it through your writing’s tone. This tone, just like your tone of voice when you’re speaking, is largely shaped … Continue reading Writing in the Active and Passive Voice

Hannah Arendt: Politics – Authenticity, Mass Society and the Private Realm

Arendt invokes the realm of privacy, which is the realm of persons who are significant others to the individual.  These significant others are the context for the emergence of an individual. In other words, the realm of privacy includes our social sphere where each of those significant others has a reciprocal relationship with each other.  Not only do these significant others constitute our identity as individuals, but each individual also has some responsibility to act as a significant other to the other members.  I would call this “community”.

Limitations on Rights: a Bicentennial reminder from Hegel’s “Elements of the Philosophy of Right”

Among the books of the nineteenth century that have something important to say to us now Hegel’s  Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820) deserves a prominent place. It’s not the obvious contender for a popular read in the 21st century. He doesn’t make it easy for himself if getting readers was the aim as his … Continue reading Limitations on Rights: a Bicentennial reminder from Hegel’s “Elements of the Philosophy of Right”

The Assiniboine, the Stone Sioux

Abundant and loving Creator, present in a sacred, given River Assiniboine, the Stone Sioux: a river, a rock that holds us here  Born on one side of the river, on one side of history Born unaware: the River holds tragedy’s tears. Christian capitalists conserving cherished concepts Christian self-interest defecates idolatrous violence  Desecrated cubicles leading to … Continue reading The Assiniboine, the Stone Sioux

Game Theory, COVID and the Good Life

https://youtu.be/p6NNo3HIRrU What I would like to consider today is what COVID has taught us about human flourishing. What should we learn from the experience of COVID, and how ought we do things differently next time? I want to expand on Malcolm Gladwell’s idea in his talk for Google Zeitgeist in June of 2020. And recently … Continue reading Game Theory, COVID and the Good Life

Social Mobility and Liberal Education

*image credit: https://www.davidklassenfineart.com/about https://videopress.com/v/MyIgpYsq?preloadContent=metadata In 2020 and 2021, the cross-pressures on undergraduate education were phenomenal, and they raised so many fears and anxieties that it seemed that we couldn’t be anything but in a CONSTANT state of fear.  Individually, we have worn masks and washed hands because we have been afraid to catch and spread … Continue reading Social Mobility and Liberal Education

Different Cultures, Different Kinds of Happiness

In Christian languages, happiness gets a less honorable reputation than joy and well-being. But life would hardly be worth living if there weren’t moments of happiness along the way. A universal framework for well-being is far from universal. Here are four models to help clarify your own understanding of happiness and a bit of the … Continue reading Different Cultures, Different Kinds of Happiness

A Corporate Agenda Part 4: 1958

Technocratic rationality, then, needs to be recognized as a feature of mass society and as a systemic threat to our freedom, and its oligarchic substitution of a human artifice for a real-world with unmarked graves; the original sin of assuming that man is the measure of all things, makes its appearance there. It makes its appearance in the controlling of society to restore the economy - an oligarchic and technocratic rationale so obvious that it is surprising there isn’t more protest.

The Corporate Agenda Part 3: The Failure of Technocratic Rationality in Peacebuilding

...quietly observing what the conflict is doing to you before you can ponder the opposite, what you might do to it. Rather than be active, you have to slow down and see what moves in and around you. ‘A lot of it is about listening,’ says Herbert, ‘listening to people, but also listening to yourself to find your balance.’

Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time

The demand to be authentic is so commonplace that it has lost its meaning. ‘Today, there is little premium placed on being authentic,’ writes the American philosopher Gordon Marino in his moving meditation The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age (2018). The increasing prevalence of social media constructions of ourselves, … Continue reading Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time

The Sickness Before the Infection, Part 2: Preservation or Carrying On?

The seeming inability of recent generations to purchase either home or land is known to be a first-order symptom of this historical system of wealth acquisition, like having shortness of breath and a fever are first-order symptoms of having acquired the corona virus. At least two full generations of people who do not know how to grow food is another first-order symptom of the failure of a system of wealth acquisition.

The Sickness Before the Infection: Why we Want Social Distancing

Part 3 This is a continuation of Part 1: https://idealsandidentities.com/2020/03/28/the-sickness-before-the-infection/ and Part 2 https://idealsandidentities.com/2020/04/10/the-sickness-before-the-infection-part-2-preservation-or-carrying-on/ I am continuing to write it, and will publish the entire “The Sickness Before the Infection” upon completion.  This is the up-to-date edit of Part 3. What amazes, and sometimes perplexes, me is what will be carried on after the coronavirus … Continue reading The Sickness Before the Infection: Why we Want Social Distancing

The Sickness Before the Infection, Part 1: Urgently Stopping the Sniffles.

In other words, there is no identifiable locus of the virus. It doesn’t matter whether the virus is transmitted among the community, or brought in on a plane or train. It doesn’t matter whether we have been globally exposed or locally situated, the virus is all around, and it could be transmitted by any of us. And even though I might feel well, I have been infected and have transmitted it to others before I even knew I was sick. How terrifying is that?

Heroes of Faith: The Story of Jephthah

Prefatory remark - This message, and the one that follows it, were preached at Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton, on February 11th and 18th respectively. This first installment of the two messages came as the closing message on Faith-based on the characters mentioned in Hebrews 11. The second installment introduces an agreed Lenten focus … Continue reading Heroes of Faith: The Story of Jephthah

Adam Smith: The Moral Dimensions of Economic Life

 Personally, I am informed by both a Continental-Philosophical tradition and a communitarian Christian religious background that criticized Adam Smith as hostile to charity and a theoretical bastion of “self-interest”; it would not be a stretch to say that both modern economics and its critics have failed to connect Smith’s moral anthropology to his more famous economic theory.

Our Goods vs. My Interests – Call for Papers

I am grateful to be a part of this project and am looking forward to thinking about these issues in 2022/23. We are pleased to announce that the theme for the Interdisciplinary Studies Conferences for 2022-23 is “Collective Moral Conversations”. This will be broken up into two conferences; the title of the fall conference is … Continue reading Our Goods vs. My Interests – Call for Papers