How telling people what you do for a living affects your personality

The newly republished book by Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Art of Living, includes two beautiful essays by his widow, Alice, on the topics of communion and hope.

The chapter on communion is marvellous and incisive. She begins by discussing the various crises of communion in our contemporary society. There are different types of solitude. Sometimes being alone can be a source of anxiety and other times it can be a relief. The peculiar and unsettling loneliness is that of being alone in a crowd, which Hannah Arendt discussed as the social realm (neither the public nor the private sphere but some collapsed in-between) and which Sherry Turkle discusses in the context of technology in her book Alone Together.
Continue reading “How telling people what you do for a living affects your personality”

Apply: Greek Studies on Site

Around this time last year, I travelled to Greece to participate in a ten-day winter school themed “Athens through the Ages” organized by Greek Studies on Site.

The program was led by an Athenian named Georgia Sermamoglou who wrote her doctoral dissertation on Plato in the Classics department at the University of Virginia. She’s an amazing teacher and guide. Continue reading “Apply: Greek Studies on Site”

A Protestant and a Catholic discuss 465-year-old relic of St. Francis Xavier’s Arm

I arrived to Toronto to visit my Protestant friend for the week. She greeted me wishing me a happy new year and asking how I’d spent it.

“Well,” I explained, “At the conference from which I just came, we venerated a relic of St. Francis Xavier’s right arm, the arm with which he baptized 100,000 people.” Her first question was not “Why do Catholics venerate relics?” but rather “So, how did his arm come off?”

Continue reading “A Protestant and a Catholic discuss 465-year-old relic of St. Francis Xavier’s Arm”