20 Dec 2014

Weekly Reads (December 20)

Hello, readers! This week Conciliar Post underwent a redesign! If you haven’t already, please browse around our site to see some of the new changes. Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their

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15 Dec 2014

The Immaculate Conception and Martin Luther

Last week, the Roman Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. While there is common confusion that the immaculate conception celebrates the conception of Christ without sin, the doctrine actually refers to the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary without original sin. Because Mary was destined to be the Mother of God, God by his grace intervened so that Mary would be free of the stain of original sin. The immaculate conception officially

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13 Dec 2014

Weekly Reads (December 13)

Hello, readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet.

Laura Norris 0
06 Dec 2014

Weekly Reads (December 6)

Hello, readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet.

Laura Norris 0
01 Dec 2014

Why Study Church History?

I recently completed my Master of Arts in Theological Studies at the University of Dayton. My emphasis was not in the traditional systematic theological studies, where I contemplated the Trinity, the Incarnation, and grace; nor did I focus on Biblical Studies, delving into the ancient languages, the context, and the literatures that produced what we understand as the Word of God (although I did dabble in Hebrew for three semester and can discuss the influence

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29 Nov 2014

Weekly Reads (November 29)

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! We hoped you had a blessed and relaxing holiday with your families. While this is not directly relevant to theology, if you haven’t already, watch the newly-released trailers for Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Conciliar Post George Aldhizer, “Lecrae’s Theology of Quality” Chris Casber, “Through the Internet, Darkly” Father Gregory Owen, “Treasure of the Inner Life” Jacob Prahlow, “Book Review: Genesis of the Dead“ (new book from our own Chris Casberg) Benjamin

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22 Nov 2014

Weekly Reads (November 22)

Hello, readers! Below you will find though-provoking articles on theology and religion from our own authors at Conciliar Post and from other blogs across the internet. If you enjoyed an interesting article this week that does not appear on the list, please share it with us in the comments section.   Conciliar Post Laura Norris, “John Wesley and the Imitation of Christ” Jacob Prahlow, “Reflections on Suffering (Part One)” Ryan Shinkel, “In Defense of Nagel

Laura Norris 0
17 Nov 2014

John Wesley and the Imitation of Christ

One of the most significant debates during the centuries surrounding the Reformation (15th-18th centuries) concerned salvation, grace, and human works. It is an oversimplification to present a dichotomy between Reformation Protestants believing in salvation by faith alone and Counter-Reformation Catholics believing in salvation through faith and good works. In fact, as this article will examine, John Wesley, who founded the Protestant denomination known as Methodism, emphasizes the imitation of Christ as key for salvation. This

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15 Nov 2014

Weekly Reads (November 9-15)

The editors at Conciliar Post wish to add a new feature to the blog: a round-up of interesting articles from our own website, our authors’ personal websites, and across the web for your reading pleasure. If you’ve read a thought-provoking piece that did not make the list, please share it in the comments below. Conciliar Post George Aldhizer, “On Being Annoyed” Chris Casberg, “Empiricism, You Got Some ‘Splaining To Do” Fr. Gregory Owen, “Reaching Out

Laura Norris 1
13 Nov 2014

Round Table: Image of God

Round Tables are where several Conciliar Post writers get together and offer their thoughts on a particular topic or question. These forums are intended to demonstrate the similarities and differences between various Christian viewpoints, to foster civil and meaningful discussion, and to provide a place to wrestle with important issues. At the heart of all discussions are central questions, sometimes explicit, but more often assumed: Is there a God? Where do we come from? Why

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03 Nov 2014

Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer holds a special place in Christian practice and worship. According to Scripture, it is the prayer handed down from Jesus Christ himself. Christians have prayed it since the conception of the Church, and over the centuries theologians have analyzed its spiritual meaning. One of the greatest and most renowned theologians, Saint Thomas Aquinas, emphasized the Lord’s Prayer as the prayer which cultivates right worship of God and brings the believer closer to

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Dante
20 Oct 2014

Dante: Poet or Mystic?

In my previous article I discussed medieval mysticism and some of the many factors surrounding its rise, including an increased literacy among lay people and the booming presence of vernacular languages in literature. When considering late medieval literacy and the rise of vernacular literature, the beloved poet Dante Alighieri is one of the most renowned and remarkable examples. His Divina Commedia journeys through hell (Inferno), purgatory (Purgatorio), and heaven (Paradiso). Dante is known now as

Laura Norris 1
06 Oct 2014

Medieval Christian Mysticism

In my last post, I discussed Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe in the context of English vernacular mysticism. Mysticism is one of the two dominant fields of medieval theology along with scholasticism, and throughout the centuries of the Church has been an important mode for expressing spirituality, theology, and Christian practice. In this article I provide a bit of background on medieval Christian mysticism, in hopes to be able to engage my readers in

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22 Sep 2014

Julian of Norwich, Margery Kemp, and English Vernacular Mysticism

Most historians of Christianity will note that mysticism peaked in the later centuries of the Middle Ages. Christian mystics experienced direct encounters with God, often through ecstatic visions of heaven and the divine. In relation to the increase in literacy of the laity during these centuries, many mystics wrote in their vernacular languages and gained followings among the laity. Thus mysticism itself bears different traits depending upon the region and language. Furthermore, while there were

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08 Sep 2014

Five Ways to Pray in Everyday Life

To be completely honest, it is much easier to cultivate a healthy prayer life during the major liturgical seasons than during the most ordinary days of ordinary time. Aside from morning Scripture readings, blessings before meals, and nighttime Our Fathers, most of us do not pray a lot during the day, especially days outside of Lenten fasting and Advent devotionals. Prayer, however, ought to be central to the everyday life of the Christian, even in

Laura Norris 1
03 Sep 2014

Round Table: Christian Warfare

Every month Conciliar Post offers a Round Table discussion, bringing together various Christian voices to reflect upon an important question or topic. Today’s Round Table considers the following question: Are Christians ever justified in supporting or advocating warfare, either on their own behalf or by the nation of which they are a part? Represented in this Round Table are some fascinating perspectives, including that of a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and that

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25 Aug 2014

My Spiritual Guide, Tolkien

I was a fan of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit years before I discovered the beautiful example of faith in the life and writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. I first read the Lord of the Rings as a middle schooler and frequently watched Peter Jackson’s screen interpretations, but I did not learn about Tolkien’s Catholic faith, his Eucharistic devotion, and the Christian truth driving the myth of his sub-creation of Middle Earth until my

Laura Norris 1
11 Aug 2014

The Virgin Mary in “The Lord of the Rings”

Author’s Note: This post falls as part of a series on female saints, but since there is so much that can be said about the greatest of all saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary, I chose to focus on her as represented in the literature and movies of the Lord of the Rings, which provides a familiar common ground for many of us. The Lord of the Rings books and movies depict some of the strongest

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06 Aug 2014

Round Table: Christian Unity

A central task of Conciliar Post involves the gathering together of Christians from various traditions in order to reflect upon important issues. As author Stephen Sutherland reminded us in a post a few weeks ago, however, we must understand the purpose and appropriate use of ecumenism: “If good rules make for good neighbors and housemates, maybe a clearer understanding of what it means to be ecumenical can do the same here.” The topic of this

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28 Jul 2014

Writing as an Act of Charity

The newsfeed on Facebook (or any social media) is a troubling place. News of bombed planes, war in Gaza, murdered clergymen, and school shootings have all claimed prominent space over the past couple months as I scroll through my newsfeed. To quite literally add insult to injury, people post and comment on Facebook in a degrading, self-righteous, and outright obnoxious manner. Most people accompany the news of violence in the world with violence in their

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