Cultural Influences – Literature, Movies, etc

IP#316 Rod Dreher – The Benedict Option on Inside the Pages

We could not be more enthusiastic about bringing forward any book this year than we are with Rod Dreher’s ” The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation”!  Relying on the wisdom of St. Benedict of Nursia, Rod suggests that the answer to the moral chaos that has affected our culture is to embrace the principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer.  These core attributes can become solid foundations of all Chris­tians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—and can transform our lives, families and the culture that surrounds us. “Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do” as so well stated in the book description “Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that have overtaken us. These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.”  Highly recommended!

 

You can find the book here

“A terrific book: provocative in its content, shrewd in its insights, vivid and engaging in its style. The strength of The Benedict Option is not just its analysis of our culture’s developing problems but its outline of practical ways Christians can survive and thrive in a dramatically different America. This is an invaluable tool for understanding our times and acting as faithful believers.”
—Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

 

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GWML#22 – J.R.R. Tolkien “The Lord of the Rings” – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce

GWML#11 William Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice and King Lear) - Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce - Discerning Hearts 2

“In brief, however, the power of Tolkien lies in the way that he succeeds, through myth, in making the unseen hand of providence felt by the reader. In his mythical creations or sub-creations, as he would call them, he shows how the unseen hand of God is felt far more forcefully in myth than it is ever felt in fiction. Paradoxically, fiction works with facts, albeit invented facts, whereas myth works with truth, albeit truth dressed in fancy disguises. Furthermore, since facts are physical and truth is metaphysical, myth, being metaphysical, is spiritual.”

–Joseph Pearce. “J.R.R. Tolkien: Truth and Myth.” Lay Witness (September 2001)  

Joseph Pearce is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is co-editor of the Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (Family Publications) and the United States (Sapientia Press). He is also the author of many books, including literary biographies of Solzhenitsyn, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Oscar Wilde.

 

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IP#163 Vivian Dudro – Evelyn Waugh’s “Edmund Campion” on Inside the Pages

IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro

I love the writing of Evelyn Waugh…his prose are some of the best of our time, if not of all time.  And when that talent is used to pen a biography of the heroic English martyr, Edmund Campion, a tremendous blessing has been given to all who glean it’s pages.  What a story…what a life.  We are joined once again by the wonderful Vivian Dudro to discuss this incredible work, as well as the life and times of this great saint.

edmundcampion-bookYou can find the book here

From the description:

evelyn-waugh
Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh presented his biography of St. Edmund Campion, the Elizabethan poet, scholar, and gentleman who became the haunted, trapped and murdered priest as “a simple, perfectly true story of heroism and holiness.”

 

But it is written with a novelist’s eye for the telling incident and with all the elegance and feeling of a master of English prose. From the years ofsuccess as an Oxford scholar, to entry into the newly founded Society of Jesus and a professorship in Prague, Campion’s life was an inexorable progress towards the doomed mission to England. There followed pursuit, betrayal, a spirited defense of loyalty to the Queen, and a horrifying martyr’s death at Tyburn.edmund-campion-220x300

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IP#137 Vivian Dudro – Sigrid Undset’s “Ida Elisabeth” on Inside the Pages

IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1

Vivian Dudro joins us once again to discuss Sigrid Undset, her life and her times, and some other works of this important author.

To say that Sigrid Undset is compelling would be an understatement. Catholic convert, Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian novelist , her works invoke the poignancy of the fall and the hope that is found in the act of redemptive suffering. “Ida Elisabeth” is a tremendous work. Great literature helps us practice the virtues. We may never encounter the situations the characters do, but watching how they navigate through the emotions and morals of the moments, help us to exercise our own virtues and responses to the underlying sin that propels the characters forward…and helps us to avoid recognize in some way the traps laid before us.

 

sigrid-undsetida-elisabethYou can find the book here

“Undset is a realist in the truest sense of the word. She sees the real world in which people face the bitter consequences of selfish choices and in which suffering is unavoidable and yet potentially redemptive. In her acclaimed historical fiction, Undset shows us that the acceptance of suffering is the beginning of wisdom and also, paradoxically, the path to peace and lasting joy.”
– Joseph Pearce, Author, The Quest for Shakespeare

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IP#127 Dale Ahlquist – In Defense of Sanity on Inside the Pages

ahlquist

How can you possibly pick the best of G. K. Chesterton’s essays?  Thank goodness for Dale Ahlquist, Joseph Pearce, Aidan Mackey!  Leading authorities on all things G. K. they’ve done it for us…and what a feast!  From cheese to Jane Austen, barbarians to “what is right with the world,” G. K. covers it all.  And the beauty is that it is still as relevant today as it was in his day…that’s the mark of genius, or more accurately, authentic wisdom and grace.  It is always a joy to talk with Dale Ahlquist!  He is the “good son” of G. K.  Have fun with the listen and then read “In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton.”

in-defense-of-sanity-196x300You can find the book here

From the book description:

The variety of topics are astounding: barbarians, architects, mystics, ghosts, fireworks, rain, juries, gargoyles and much more. Plus a look at Shakespeare, Dickens, Jane Austen, George MacDonald, T.S. Eliot, and the Bible. All in that inimitable, formidable but always quotable style of GKC. Even more astounding than the variety is the continuity of Chesterton’s thought that ties everything together. A veritable feast for the mind and heart.

While some of the essays in this volume may be familiar, many of them are collected here for the first time, making their first appearance in over a century.

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IP#302 Mike Aquilina – The World of Ben Hur on Inside the Pages

Mike Aquilina - Fathers of the Church and so much more... 5Thank you Mike Aquilina for complying an incredible book which explores “The World of Ben Hur”!  One of the most popular Christian novels of all-time, “Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ” was penned by Lew Wallace and has served as the basis for plays, television productions, and several film adaptations for over 100 years. The 1959 production starring Charlton Heston still holds up as one of the finest cinematic masterpieces of all time!  Mike not only covers the background of the book, the compelling conversion of its author, and it’s place in our cultural experience, but he also offers us the historical facts of the era and the Christian experience.  As always, Mike’s writing is compelling, thoughtful and inspiring.  A fantastic addition to the Mike Aquilina library of books!

9781622823178You can find the book here

From the book description:

As you strip away centuries of accumulated tradition and look at Jesus of Nazareth with fresh eyes, you’ll also share with Ben-Hur the exciting, confusing, and life-changing experience of meeting Jesus for the first time. Armed with new wisdom and keen insights into the fascinating history of the Roman Empire, you’ll never watch Ben-Hur the same way again.

“Mike Aquilina has done a masterful job placing us in the life and times of Judah Ben-Hur and Jesus Christ. This is a must-read for any fan of Ben-Hur.”
Scott Hahn

IP#302 Mike Aquilina – The World of Ben Hur on Inside the Pages from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

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IP#20 Anthony Burke Smith – The Look of Catholics on Inside the Pages

Anthony-Burke-Smith-2

“The Look of Catholics: Portrayals in Popular Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War” is a fascinating work by Anthony Burke Smith.  In film, radio, print Catholics contributed significantly to the American Imagination during some of the truly toughest years our nation has faced.  It is really interesting how the country turned to the virtuous communal nature of the Catholic identity to lift itself during this time.  From Leo McCarey’s Oscar-winning “Go My Way” to Archbishop Fulton Sheen to Henry Luce (publisher of Life magazine), Anthony covers a vast array of areas in this study.  I loved it and I bet so will you!

 

You can find Anthony’s book at Amazon.com41KXLYk5qbL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_

“Smith’s ambitious and exemplary work demonstrates decisively for all time that Catholics were not only integral players in the formation of modern American popular culture, but that the role of Catholicism itself in the national popular culture was a major issue in the production of that same culture. . . . A wonderfully exciting book that will be widely hailed as a landmark achievement, confirm the author’s stature as the leading scholar of Catholic popular culture, and be consulted by scholars and their students for decades to come.” –James T. Fisher

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GWML#21 T.S. Eliot and “The Waste Land” – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – Discerning Hearts


GWML#11 William Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice and King Lear) - Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce - Discerning Hearts 2Episode 21 – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – T.S. Eliot and “The Waste Land”

(Of special note: excerpts from “The Waste Land” are read by T. S. Eliot)

TS-Eliot“Eliot’s place as a poet of the highest stature is assured. The Waste Land is the quintessential debunking of modernity and is also, simultaneously, a potent antidote to the poison of postmodernism.”

–Joseph Pearce -from Nov. 22, 2010  St. Austin Review 

You can find the complete poem here

An excerpt from “The Waste Land” by T. S. Eliot

If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?

Joseph Pearce is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is co-editor of the Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (Family Publications) and the United States (Sapientia Press). He is also the author of many books, including literary biographies of Solzhenitsyn, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Oscar Wilde.

 

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IP#150 Vivian Dudro – Jose Luis Olaizola’s “Fire of Love” on Inside the Pages

IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro

What a delight to be joined once again by Vivian Dudro to discuss the work of Spanish novelist Jose Luis Olaizola and his book “Fire of Love: A Historical Novel on the Life St. John of the Cross”!  Olaizola is an award-winning Spanish writer, who is known for his acclaimed works on great historical figures such as El Cid, Hernan Cortes, Bartolome de las Casas, and Patricio Escobar.  In this book, he richly offers the life of the the great Spanish mystical doctor of the Church, St. John of the Cross.

Jose Luis Olaizola
Jose Luis Olaizola

Fire-of-love-195x300

You can find the book here

This historical novel paints a striking portrait of one of the most revered saints in history, in a landscape that makes the life and times of John of the Cross relevant to our own age. Here is an extraordinary adventure that explores the thorny challenges that every soul must face: avoiding the trappings of this world that lead to darkness, and embracing the radiance of the fire of Divine Love. Having performed the life of this great saint as an actor, I found Jose Luis Olaizola’s portrayal very true to the passion and dramatic intensity of this great mystic. Fire of Love rekindled in me the fire ignited by Saint John of the Cross in his poetic plea, ‘Love Him intensely, as He deserves to be loved.’ May all who read this literary work examine their own souls profoundly, in order to have the greatest of all adventures – finding God Himself. —Leonardo Defilippis, Film Actor & Director, John of the Cross

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IP#136 Vivian Dudro – Gertrude von le Forte’s “The Song at the Scaffold” on Inside the Pages

IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro

“The Song at the Scaffold” by Gertrude von le Forte’s is one of the best novella’s…ever!   Vivian Dudro, writer and editor at Igantius Press, engages in a wonderful conversation about the work of German author Gertrude von le Forte who was a writer of novels, poems, and essays.  A convert  to Catholicism in 1926, most of  von le Forte’s work came after her conversion. In 1952 she won the Gottfried-Keller Prize, an esteemed Swiss literary award.

Set during the French Revolution, this classic novella is based on the true story of the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne, who offered their lives for the preservation of the Church in France. The Song at the Scaffold was the original inspiration for the opera Dialogues of the Carmelites written by Francis Poulenc, which premiered in 1957. The opera was based on a libretto with this same title written by Georges Bernanos.

Gertrude von le Forte
Gertrude von le Forte

As Vivian points out in our discussion, von le Forte’s work is as relevant today as it was in the last century. In the course of our conversation, we discuss the influence of the Carmelite tradition and it’s influence on Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) and Bl. John Paul II, as well the role of redemptive suffering in the life of the Christian.

A novella in it’s truest sense, this book contains as much meaning as any tome made up 10x the pages.  A NOT TO BE MISSED READ.

You can find it at Ignatius.com

One of the great Christian classics of all time. —Michael O’Brien, Author, Father Elijah

A poignant reminder that, for the Christian, fearlessness lies on the far side of Gethsemane and the Cross. —George Weigel, Author, Witness to Hope

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IP#291 Robert Royal – A Deeper Vision on Inside the Pages

Robert-RoyalWhen I saw the author, Robert Royal, and then the title of the book, “A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century” on the front cover, I knew this was going to be a great adventure in reading.  I was not disappointed.  In fact, this book is incredible!  DO NOT be intimidated by the subject matter, on the contrary, embrace it as a cherished gift for the mind and heart!

In this conversation with Robert Royal, we can only touch the tip of this towering mountain.  Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Paul II, Hans Urs von Balthasar are just some of the great “thinkers” we discuss.  We also talk about the challenges faced in communicating an authentically catholic (universal) balanced truth. What principles dictate the expression? And how can we navigate through hazardous traps of opinion and punditry that is presented to us today by “would-be” theologians and intellectuals who appear to “specialize” in presenting Catholic thought though the use of the internet and other media outlets?  If we are not familiar with the basic principles, vocabulary, and virtues of Catholic thought we could be doomed to fall into unfortunate intellectual (and possibly heretical) traps.

This is a tremendous work, so very well done! Thank you to Ignatius Press for once again serving up an incredible spiritual feast! Highly, highly recommended!

A-Deeper-VisionThe book can be found here

From the book description:

Royal presents in a single volume a sweeping but readable account of how Catholic thinking developed in philosophy, theology, Scripture studies, culture, literature, and much more in the twentieth century. This involves great figures, recognized as such both inside and outside the Church, such as Jacques Maritain, Bernard Lonergan, Joseph Pieper, Edith Stein, Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, Romano Guardini, Karl Rahner, Henri du Lubac, Karol Wojtyla, Joseph Ratzinger, Hans Urs von Balthasar,Charles Peguy, Paul Claudel, George Bernanos, Francois Mauriac, G. K. Chesterton, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christopher Dawson, Graham Greene, Sigrid Undset, J. R. R. Tolkien, Czeslaw Milosz, and many more.

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IP#285 Rod Dreher – How Dante Can Save Your Life on Inside the Pages

Rod-Dreher“How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem” is a compelling work that is more than just a Dante reader!  Author Rod Dreher shares his own personal journey and the gift found in the spiritual insights offered by Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy.

Dreher’s approach helps make Dante’s work accessible.  While never claiming to be a literary scholar, he offers plenty of excellent academic commentary on the legendary 12th century poem.  But more importantly, he helps us to see how Dante can aid us in the treacherous journey from “the head to the heart”.  For Dreher, The Divine Comedy is “a fantasy about a lost man who finds his way back to life after walking through the pits of hell, climbing up the mountains of purgatory, and ascending to the heights of heaven. But it’s really a story about real life and the incredible journey of our lives, yours and mine.”

After hearing our discussion with Rod Derher and reading this wonderful book, you to may find yourself seeking out the wisdom found in the spiritual treasure chest known as Dante’s “Divine Comedy”.

How-DanteYou can find the book here

From the book description:

Inspiring, revelatory, and packed with penetrating spiritual, moral, and psychological insights How Dante Can Save Your Life is a book for people, both religious and secular, who find themselves searching for meaning and healing. Dante told his patron that he wrote his poem to bring readers from misery to happiness. It worked for Rod Dreher. Dante saved Rod Dreher’s life—and in this book, Dreher shows you how Dante can save yours.

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IP#229 Dr. Mitchell A. Kalpakgian – The Virtues We Need Again on Inside the Pages

“The Virtues We Need Again: 21 Life Lessons from the Great Books of the West” is a gem! Mitchell I love a good book on the virtues.  I love a good book on great books.  And when a work comes along which contains both elements and is written with joy and enthusiasm for the subject…well, I can’t help but find myself in a reader’s paradise.  What a delight to talk with Dr. Kalpakgian about some of the topics found in this work.  Engaging the heart and the mind, this is a must have book for the discerning reader.

The-Virtues-We-NeedYou can find the book here

“[Mitchell Kalpakgian] always delights the reader with a luminous wisdom and a literary flourish that enlightens even as it entertains.”  —Joseph Pearce, author, Tolkien: Man, Myth and Literary Life
“Reading Dr. Kalpakgian is like being served an exquisite new wine made from grapes in your own backyard or uncovering an ancient and mysterious map that happens to be of your own country. It is a discovery, a delight, and an adventure among things that are right in front of you. It is the excitement of tradition, the love of family, the joy of literature, and the realization that this vale of tears has been touched by a good and beautiful God who loves us.”  —John M. DeJak, Dean and Latin Teacher, Saint Agnes School, St. Paul MN & Director, The Wanderer Forum Foundation

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IP#270 Jay Richards – The Hobbit Party on Inside the Pages

Jay-RichardsWhat fun!  I love reading and discussing great authors and their work (especially if it’s someone of the caliber of J. R. R. Tolkien) . Throw into the mix the fundamentals of Catholic Social teaching, a bit of religion, history and politics  and suddenly you have a party…“The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot “ to be exact.   Much has written about Tolkien’s religious connotations in “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”, but authors Jay Richards and Jonathon Witt delve interestingly enough into the political aspects of the novels.  For fans of the books (and/or the movies for that matter), this a wonderful source of light which illuminates yet another facet of Tolkien’s incredible literary diamond.  Dr. Jay Richards is always great to talk with and what a joy to engage on this topic.

The-Hobbit-Party

You can find the book here

“J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the most widely read but arguably misunderstood of the twentieth century’s literary geniuses. In this book, Witt and Richards lift the veil on Tolkien and reveal a political and, yes, economic thinker who constantly surprises readers and whose insights are even more valuable for our time than his own. Tolkien fans who read this book will never think about this great author the same way again.”
— Samuel Gregg, Research Director, Acton Institute Author, Becoming Europe

“This book is a ‘drop everything and read it’ book. Richards and Witt have opened up an often ignored aspect of Tolkien’s work, namely the sense in which his myth bespeaks a political and economic order that stands in stark, even violent, contrast to the presiding power structures that dominate this unhappy globe. It should be made required reading in all courses in political philosophy. It’s a glorious book.”
— Thomas Howard, Author, Dove Descending: A Journey into T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”

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IP#53 Sir Gilbert Levine – The Pope’s Maestro on Inside the Pages

Sir-Gilbert-LevineA very special “Inside the Pages” with Sir Gilbert Levine, who shares from his heart, this compelling tale of faith, friendship, and the healing power of music to bring people together. “The Pope’s Maestro” is an extraordinary and inspirational story of the unlikely friendship of  Sir Gilbert Levine and Pope John Paul II, who collaborated on symbolic acts of reconciliation: a series of internationally broadcast concerts designed to bring together people from all religious backgrounds under the auspices of the Vatican. Sir Gilbert  invites us all in to share in the special relationship bonded in music, prayer, and…love. Pope's Maestro

You can find more about this wonderful book here

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WOL4 – David Hume, The Scottish Enlightenment and the Culture of Death – Reflections on the teachings of Pope John Paul II w/ Dr. Carson Holloway – Discerning Hearts

WOL4 – Episode 4 –  The Scottish Enlightenment…what was it and why was it such an important movement to understand.  The influence of David Hume – Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist.  The flaw in Hume’s philosophy –  that self-interest is  stronger than sympathy, and if morality, according to Hume’s thinking,  is derived from the passions, then ultimately self-interest is a greater worth and motivator than sympathy.  This conflicts with the Christian understanding of the “Golden Rule” and fuels the Culture of Death…those in need become very vulnerable in the culture.

The Way of Life, Carson Holloway examines the fundamental philosophers of modernity-from Hobbes to Toqueville-to suggest that John Paul II’s critique of modernity is intended not to reject, but to improve. Thus, claims Holloway, it is appropriate for liberal modernity to attend to the Pope’s thought, receiving it not as the attack of an enemy but as the criticism of a candid friend.

  

For other episodes in the series visit Dr. Holloway’s Discerning Hearts page

This series is based on Dr. Holloway’s book “The Way of Life”

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WOL2 – What is “Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)” -The Way of Life – Reflections on the teachings of Pope John Paul II w/ Dr. Carson Holloway – Discerning Hearts

WOL2 – Episode 2 – What is “Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)”?  What does this have to do with Liberal Modernity?  What is wrong with public culture we now have?  What is the Culture of Death?  Are there defects that go at the deepest foundational levels of our culture that have led to this behavior?  Human dignity has to be recognized on all levels.  Who was Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher and proponent of absolute government?  His life and times? And what are the damaging effects  of his thought on the value of the human person?  What would be Bl. John Paul’s response?

The Way of Life, Carson Holloway examines the fundamental philosophers of modernity-from Hobbes to Toqueville-to suggest that John Paul II’s critique of modernity is intended not to reject, but to improve. Thus, claims Holloway, it is appropriate for liberal modernity to attend to the Pope’s thought, receiving it not as the attack of an enemy but as the criticism of a candid friend.

 

For other episodes in the series visit Dr. Holloway’s Discerning Hearts page

  

This series is based on Dr. Holloway’s book “The Way of Life”

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IP#232 Alissa Jung – Mary of Nazareth on an Inside the Pages Special

What an absolute to delight to speak with actress Alissa Jung about her performance in the breathtaking film “Mary of Nazareth”. Alissa-Jung The German actress is luminous in her portrayal  of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Alissa shares the challenges and the joys she encountered in taking on this challenging role.  She also shares with us the work of her very special non-profit organization “Pens, Paper, Peace” which funds much needed schools for the children of Haiti.

“Stunning in its beauty, breathtaking in its scope! Mary of Nazareth is simply a joy for the heart. This is the film we have been waiting for. This is the Blessed Mother we have come to know in our hearts and the depiction that we want not only our families and friends to see, but all the world as well. A joy-filled expression of faith, hope and love. The Mary of this film is no ‘pouty teenager’ or ‘hapless victim’ as she is too often portrayed in film today. No, this is our Mary, who says with trust a glorious ‘Fiat’ to the will of the Father. This work, with its gorgeous cinematic qualities and touching performances, is worthy to honor the one who would say, “I am the Handmaid of the Lord”. Kris McGregor

Mary-FilmTo learn showtimes in your town or how you can bring the movie to your area visit www.maryfilm.com

The most stunning portrayal of the Virgin Mary on film. It will make you want to love her more than ever. An absolute masterpiece! Yes, my friends, I can assure you that we finally have a movie that gets Mary totally right! Trust me, I am super hard to please when it comes to any portrayal of Mary in film, but this one nailed it entirely! Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC

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IP#224 Dr. Robert George – Conscience and It’s Enemies on Inside the Pages

“Conscience and It’s Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism” is one of the best articulations of today’s battle over religious liberty and Dr.-Robert-Georgetraditional morality.  Dr. Robert George’s clarity and insight is indispensable for  understanding where we have been, where we are going, and what paths we could be traveling down if we fail to action on the leading morality challenges facing as individuals and citizens.  Pass by this book and it’s message at your own risk.

As the book description states: “In defending what James Madison called the “sacred rights of conscience”—rights for which government shows frightening contempt—George grapples with today’s most controversial issues: abortion and infanticide, same-sex marriage, genetic manipulation, euthanasia and assisted suicide, religion in politics, judicial activism, and more. His brilliantly argued essays rely not on theological claims or religious authority but on established scientific facts and a philosophical tradition that extends back to Plato and Aristotle.”

ConscienceYou can find it here

“One of the nation’s most respected legal theorists . . . Even people who profoundly disagree with some of his conclusions [respect] his sheer brilliance, the analytic power of his arguments, the range of his knowledge . . . [and] a deeply principled conviction, a profound and enduring integrity.” —Elena Kagan, Supreme Court justice

“One of the most incisive legal and moral thinkers working today.” —First Things

“One of contemporary conservatism’s intellectual pinups.” —George F. Will

“Professor George has helped strengthen our nation’s system of ordered liberty by exploring enduring questions of American constitutional law and Western political theory.” —President George W. Bush, in awarding the Presidential Citizens Medal

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IP#222 Joseph Pearce – Shakespeare on Love on Inside the Pages

Another outstanding addition to the Joseph Pearce canon!   “Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Joseph-Pearce-1Juliet” is a terrific read.  Once again Jospeh Pearce helps us to see that the story we thought we knew is something very different when viewed with the Catholic Shakepeares len’s.   Is Romeo a hero or a self indulgent cad?  Is Juliet a  free thinking woman or a relationship starved 13 year old victimized by an adult male predator?  And how about those adults?   Just look at what happens when Eros runs a muck, and virtue is replaced blindly in favor of vice!  Let us not forget  to mention the tragedy which occurs from bad parenting.  Sexual desire and the gift of reason are explored in this compelling work by the prolific Pearce.  Who would have thought a book about a  500 year old play would contain such important lessons for our lives today.

Shakespeare-on-LoveYou can find the book here

“Joseph Pearce’s book on Romeo and Juliet stands like a lighthouse in the murk of modern literary criticism. His approach challenges the assumptions that govern popular ‘scholarly’ work on Shakespeare in our time. It is massively researched, convincing, intelligent, and (happily) interesting. I commend it highly to all possible readers.” —-Thomas Howard, Author, Chance or the Dance?

 

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IP#190 John West – The Magician’s Twin on Inside the Pages

“The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism” is fascinating.  I love discussing anything surrounding the thought of C. SJohn-West. Lewis, and this particular conversation with John West,  brought great insight on Lewis’ thought about the dangers of “scientism”.   This extensive book offers warnings by the beloved writer concerning the influence of unleashed science and its various fields and it’s potentially troubling effect on mankind.  A wonderfully engaging read…don’t miss.

Magician's-Twin

You can find the book here

Here is the link to the site that is dedicated to the book:  C.S. Lewis Web

From the book description:

Beloved for his Narnian tales and books of Christian apologetics, bestselling British writer C. S. Lewis also was a perceptive critic of the growing power of scientism, the misguided effort to apply science to areas outside its proper bounds. In this wide-ranging book of essays, contemporary writers probe Lewis’s prophetic warnings about the dehumanizing impact of scientism on ethics, politics, faith, reason, and science itself. Issues explored include Lewis’s views on bioethics, eugenics, evolution, intelligent design, and what he called “scientocracy.” Contributors include Michael Aeschliman, Victor Reppert, Jay Richards, and C. John Collins.

 

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IP#155 Elizabeth Kantor – The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After on Inside the Pages

What great fun and an outstanding resource all in one fantastic book.  I love Jane Austen…I love this book.  Elizabeth Kantor gets it so right!  The book description says it best:

Women today are settling for less than we want when it comes to men, relationships, sex, and marriage. But we don’t have to, argues Elizabeth Kantor. Jane Austen can show us how to find the love we really want.

In The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After, Kantor reveals how the examples of Jane Austen heroines such as Elizabeth Bennett, Elinor Dashwood, and Anne Elliot can help us navigate the modern-day minefields of dating, love, relationships, and sex. By following in their footsteps—and steering clear of the sad endings suffered by characters such as Maria Bertram and Charlotte Lucas—modern women can discover the path to lifelong love and true happiness.

Charged with honesty and humor, Kantor’s book includes testimonies from modern women, pop culture parallels, the author’s personal experiences and, of course, a thorough examination of Austen’s beloved novels.


You can find the book here

 

“This book would have helped me avoid a few broken hearts for sure! Kantor teaches you how to guard your emotions in an independent, sophisticated, and empowered way through Jane Austen’s works. She offers timeless wisdom for the modern woman, and most importantly, encourages us to take our relationships seriously.”

—Amy Bonaccorso, author of How to Get to “I Do”

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IP#111 – Anthony Esolen – 10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child on Inside the Pages

No one writes quite like Anthony Esolen.  He never, ever, fails to provoke thought and reflection; he verifies what we know in our hearts to be true…we just didn’t know how to express it.  In “10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child” he holds a magnifying glass up to our hearts and minds and says to us all “Do really you see what we are doing?” Anthony points how we are extinguishing the minds (and souls) of our children in ten easy steps.

Play dates, soccer practice, day care, political correctness, drudgery without facts, television, video games, constant supervision, endless distractions: these and other insidious trends in child rearing and education are now the hallmarks of childhood. As author Anthony Esolen demonstrates in this elegantly written, often wickedly funny book, almost everything we are doing to children now constricts their imaginations, usually to serve the ulterior motives of the constrictors.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child confronts contemporary trends in parenting and schooling by reclaiming lost traditions. This practical, insightful book is essential reading for any parent who cares about the paltry thing that childhood has become, and who wants to give a child something beyond the dull drone of today’s culture.

Learn more about this book here

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IP#109 Fr. Robert Barron – Catholicism on Inside the Pages

Fr. Robert Barron’s “Catholicism: a journey to the heart of the faith” is wonderful. A beautiful exploration of the Roman Catholic faith and it’s gift to the world and to culture.

From randomhouse.com

What is the Catholicism? A 2,000 living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith.
Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christ’s incarnation, life, and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism – from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the Apostles, and Saints, to grace, salvation, heaven, and hell – using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy, and history to present the Church to the world.
Paired with his documentary film series of the same title, Catholicism is an intimate journey, capturing “The Catholic Thing” in all its depth and beauty. Eclectic, unique, and inspiring, Father Barron brings the faith to life for a new generation, in a style that is both faithful to timeless truths, while simultaneously speaking in the language of contemporary life.

  Find out more about the book Fr. Barron’s website :  wordonfire.org

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IP#101 Joseph Pearce – Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile on Inside the Pages

The revised and updated version of what I think is a classic work, “Solzhentisyn: A Soul in Exile”, is a tremendous gift to us all.   With all of the impressive clarity and tender insight you have come to expect from Joseph Pearce, this biography of the great Russian writer covers the lifespan of this incredible figure of the 20th century.    Joseph goes to the “heart” of the man, his Christian faith. With that illumination, he sheds a whole new understanding of his contribution to literary thought, Catholic Social Doctrine, and the value and dignity of each human person.  He allows Alexander Solzhenitsyn to speak for himself, and what he has to say is so important it shouldn’t be missed.

You can find the book here

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IP#88 Amy Welborn – Flannery O’Connor, her life and work on Inside the Pages

Flannery O’Connor is challenging, engaging, funny and heartbreaking, she is a spiritual master and one of America’s greatest writers. She is absolutely one of my favorite writers of all time!  She is NOT to be missed.  Flannery O’Connor has said that “Grace must wound, before it can heal”.  That is what her work does; she holds a mirror up to our faces and asks, “So…who (or what) do you see?”

Amy Welborn is a master apologist for the work of Flannery O’Connor.  I could think of no one better to talk to about O’Connor’s work.  Be sure to check out Amy’s blog “Charlotte was Both”.  I love it and visit everyday!  I’ll go out on the same limb with Amy and say I think she is a saint (just not declared as one…yet).


 

 

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IP#59 Dr. Thomas Howard – Narnia and Beyond on Inside the Pages

Narnia And Beyond: A Guide to the Fiction of C. S. Lewis” by Thomas Howard is fantastic. Dr.  Howard is regarded as one of the leading authorities on the works of C. S. Lewis,  and with remarkable clarity he shares with us all the Lewis that has touched the hearts and minds of so many generations, both young and old.  It is always a joy to talk with Thomas Howard, but this conversation was particularly enlightening.

You can check out the book at igantius.com


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IP#30 Gary Giddins – Warning Shadows on Inside the Pages

I love the movies as much as a good book; unfortunately there are fewer “good” movies than there are “good” books.  So it was great to talk the history of film and what makes for a good movie, as well as, what are some of the best of the old and new in cinema today with Gary Giddins. This interview was a blast for me.  If you love the movies, or even if you don’t but you want to have a fun and enjoyable movie going experience, home alone or in the theater, check out “Warning Shadows”

 

For more on “Warning Shadows:  Home Alone with Classic Cinema”

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IP#9 Benjamin Wiker – “10 Books Every Conservative Must Read” on Inside the Pages

It’s always great fun to talk with Dr. Benjamin Wiker.  Intelligent and disarming, Dr. Wiker has a way of helping us see past the sound bite of the day to the heart of the matter…to the heart of the Church…to the heart of Truth.

Do you think you know what it means to be a “conservative”?  Do you really?  Read this first, and then let’s talk….

Visit Dr. Benjamin Wikers’s site:  www.ameaningfulworld.com

Here are just some of the conversations Bruce and I have had with Benjamin:

Dr. Benjamin Wiker 10 Books That Screwed Up the World.mp3
Dr. Benjamin Wiker Darwin Myth.mp3
Dr. Benjamin Wiker Meaningful World .mp3
10-04-07 – Dr. Benjamin Wiker – Reason.mp3

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