A Review of William Ophuls’ Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology

Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology, William Ophuls, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2012, 256 pp.

Joshua Paetkau

At the heart of every recent political discussion is an increasingly insurmountable problem; the challenge of ecological scarcity. At the heart of the ever-deepening ecological crisis is the uncomfortable reality that the way we live today, the consumptive choices we make and the way we organize ourselves socially and politically, may be denying our grandchildren a future. The fact that consumer/industrial society has so eagerly jumped on the “green” bandwagon makes our situation that much more ridiculous, as though slapping on a few eco-friendly labels could radically alter the destructive consumptive patterns to which we have become accustomed.

William Ophuls confronts this ecological challenge, in Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology, with a powerful mixture of ingenuity and wisdom. Continue reading

Bishop to Speak on Church and Politics

“The most serious deficit Canada faces as a nation is its leadership deficit. This national challenge goes far beyond the political parties and includes the major institutions that operate within Canadian society. The heart of the problem is found in our complete rejection of making public decisions based on the concept of the ‘Common Good’.”

So says Canadian Anglican bishop and former member of the Ontario Legislature, The Rt. Rev. Dennis Drainville, who will be presenting a lecture on February 29th, at 7:00pm, entitled “Where Have all the (Good) Leaders Gone?” It will be held at Seeley Hall, Trinity College, in Toronto, Ontario. All are welcome.

See poster here.

The Didache and the Ordo Romanus Primus

Their Social Imaginaries and Contemporary Liturgical Implications

Jeffrey Metcalfe

“A Human being is by nature a political animal.”1

-Aristotle

As the Canadian scholar James K. Smith has argued, one might equally say that human beings are “liturgical animals,”2 for our politics do not proceed first from a theoretical idea, but are always and already arriving from a set of pre-cognitive practices, “carried in images, stories, and legends.”3  According to Charles Taylor, these precognitive practices combine to construct a social imaginary which posit answers to the question “what constitutes a fulfilled life,”4 thus creating the ground upon which political choices will be made.  If then, as Smith suggests, liturgy is a practice which operates on the precognitive level, forming a particular kind of social imaginary, then it follows that liturgy will be both a reflection and a production of political reality. Continue reading

The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory

Joshua Paetkau

At the heart of Christian teaching on prayer there is a sense of responsibility. Christ, teaching the disciples to pray, uses language that decenters the one praying. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Within this language, opening its speaker to the divine, there is also a sense of being placed. Prayer creates a rhythm, it orders the world in a certain way. That the language used in the Lord’s prayer, in both the gospel of Matthew and Luke, is political and spatial should lead us to attend to a certain reality of prayer. Continue reading

The Politics of Prayer

Practicing the Ignatian Examen

Edmund Lo, S.J.

Introduction

As Christians, we try to align our lives with the commandments of God, to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. That being said, what we desire may or may not be what God desires; God may or may not be at work when things go our way. God’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Hence the quality of our lives and our inherent desires should not be gauged by worldly standards, but that of the Lord’s. Fair enough; but how do these translate into concrete, daily life matters? Continue reading