“Take Me to Church”: Hozier and Man’s Innate Religious Impulse

Perhaps pagan, apparently agnostic, undeniably unchristian—whatever category you apply, Hozier’s music is fundamentally religious. Rather than divorcing faith from art,  Andrew Hozier-Byrne, who performs under the stage name Hozier, brings religion to center stage. He wrestles with God in both of his albums, inviting his audience to actively contemplate the afterlife and critically analyze the nature of worship alongside him. His disdain for institutionalized Christianity, … Continue reading “Take Me to Church”: Hozier and Man’s Innate Religious Impulse

Imitation, Graced: Ovid on Fine Art

… for earth without heaven cannot find the path of its orbit, nor the influences that give it fruitfulness. —A.G. Sertillanges, O.P., The Intellectual Life     Have you ever wondered what art actually is? Our instinctive answer might be something like “self-expression;” and according to our venerable OED, we’d be on the right track: Art, it says, is the “expression or application of creative skill … Continue reading Imitation, Graced: Ovid on Fine Art

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The Risky Business of Loving

And now I’m terrified of loving ‘Coz I’m terrified of pain And of missing out on human things By cowering away ~ (Gang of Youths, Go Farther In Lightness, “Fear and Trembling”) I stumbled across these lyrics over Christmas break and was immediately struck by the struggle expressed here and its relevance to the human condition. Here the singer, David Le’aupepe, vocalizes his deep fear … Continue reading The Risky Business of Loving

Making Shelfspace for the YA Genre

Young people of the twenty-first century do not just play video games and sit on their phones and engage in debauchery—they also read. Some quick Google searches show that an estimated 447 million copies of books in the Harry Potter series have been sold as of 2016. Similarly, about 120 million copies of the Twilight saga, and 65 million copies of The Hunger Games. This … Continue reading Making Shelfspace for the YA Genre

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A More Honest Relationship with Reality: Finding New Meaning in my Studies

You can find plenty of common, scholarly reasons to study history in textbook introductions, education philosophy books, or in the classroom on the first day of a history class. However, these were not the reasons that prompted me to declare a history major my freshman year. What motivated me was an idealism which claimed that if we could just understand history and teach it correctly, … Continue reading A More Honest Relationship with Reality: Finding New Meaning in my Studies

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Talk Less, Listen More: A Reevaluation of Our Conversational Life

We live in a culture of prescribed opinions. We are so set on our beliefs that we have already decided we do not agree with someone even before they have had a chance to defend themselves. That is like declaring the accused guilty before the trial has even started. These behaviors are not necessarily universal, but they are highly prevalent in our society and need … Continue reading Talk Less, Listen More: A Reevaluation of Our Conversational Life

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Metaphysical, Not Political

One of the best–known works of John Rawls, a Harvard scholar known for his prolific political writings, especially in the field of criminal justice, is entitled: Justice as Fairness: Political, not Metaphysical. In this work, Rawls presents a famous analogy which he refers to as the “veil of ignorance.”He argues that, in juridical procedure—such as the trial of a criminal—one must deliberately put aside all … Continue reading Metaphysical, Not Political

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The Negative Space of Music: Jacob Collier’s Djesse Vol. 3

If you’ve had a conversation with me about music recently, it’s likely that Jacob Collier has come up. His most recent album, Djesse Vol. 3, has become somewhat of an obsession of mine—I haven’t been able to stop listening since its release this past August. The extent to which Jacob Collier has captured my imagination is rather odd, because his music is, well, rather odd. … Continue reading The Negative Space of Music: Jacob Collier’s Djesse Vol. 3