Welcome to the Ink Desk

Enjoy the ponderings of the Star's contributors and add your own thoughts. As this section develops, we hope it may become a medium for an exchange of ideas among those who are working towards the cultural revival.

  • April 5th, 2012Preview of the Next Issueby Joseph Pearce

    The next issue of the St. Austin Review will be winging its way to the printers in the next few days.

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  • April 5th, 2012The Miracle of Lifeby Joseph Pearce

    StAR's publisher, Bruce Fingerhut, just sent me this link. It's astonishing. It shows the development of a human baby from conception to birth using computer graphics. The images are beautiful in their own right, and well worth watching, but what I found most fascinating was the frank admission by this brilliant mathematician that the statistical odds against such a mechanism ever coming into being by accident were unthinkable, rationally speaking.

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  • April 3rd, 2012Life in the Catholic Writers’ Ghettoby Lorraine V. Murray

    It is somewhat perplexing to be a Catholic fiction writer today. Many Catholic publishing companies simply don’t want to handle fiction, and the few who do take it on don’t promote it with as much gusto as their nonfiction books.

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  • April 3rd, 2012Of All Things - A Good Christian Movie!by Kevin O'Brien

    Why watch a Christian movie? Why go to a Christian play? I mean, either one is going to be awful, right? Well ... right. And that's the problem.

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  • April 3rd, 2012A Poetic Meditation on the Passion of Christby Joseph Pearce

    I really must draw the attention of visitors to this site to a superb article on the Crisis website by Christopher Blum. It focuses on the work of a little known French poet, a contemporary of Shakespeare, who wrote an epic sonnet sequence on the Passion of Christ. As I read it, I couldn't stifle a groan of lament that it does not form part of the forthcoming issue of StAR on the theme of poetry and praise. It would have been a perfect fit beside the articles on St. John of the Cross, St. Robert Southwell, Ben Jonson, George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Roy Campbell and Charles Causley that will be published in the next issue of StAR. In any event, every serious Catholic should know something of the work of the poet of whom Blum writes, a poet whose extraordinary achievement is truly monumental. The article also serves as good meditative reading on the Passion of Our Lord for Holy Week. Having read the article myself I can pay no better tribute to the scale of this poet's vision than to say that he seems to me to be the French Dante. Check it out.

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  • April 1st, 2012Two Views of “Intelligence”by Dena Hunt

    Joseph’s post A New Joke gives an example of how various academic disciplines react to a single emergency event. The joke lies in the fact that they’re all about equally useless. It reminded me of a little talk I used to give to high-school seniors about their prejudice against a vocational curriculum as opposed to the college prep curriculum. So many students mistakenly choose the latter because they think the former is for “dumb” students, for those not in the in-crowd. That prejudice, I told them, is why there are so many bad doctors who would have been good practical nurses; lousy lawyers, who would have been great mechanics, etc. Snobbery not only turns out poor professionals; it also downgrades standards in higher education.


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  • March 30th, 2012Good News from Romeby Joseph Pearce

    William Fahey, President of Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts in New Hampshire, has informed me of the joyous news that two TMC students have just been received into the Church in Rome by His Eminence, Cardinal Burke.

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  • March 30th, 2012A Wee Bit More Arroganceby Sophia Mason

    I hate to beat a dead horse, because I hate people who beat dead horses.  (Yes, I realize that's a lot of hate for one sentence.  Lent is almost over, right???)  So I feel it is incumbent upon me to mention, before the jump, that for anyone who got tired of the Merits of Philosophy ... well, this post is more about the Merits of Philosophy.  But it's also a link to a factual, statistical study by a real live philosopher, so you might want to check it out anyway ...

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  • March 28th, 2012A New Jokeby Joseph Pearce

    A few weeks ago my post "The Joke's On You" caused an almighty controversy raging for many days and becoming increasingly irate. I note that Tom Leith has just posted a new comment to that post. Since the post is now old, if not dead, and will be revisited by very few people, I thought I'd post Tom Leith's new joke to the main site, as a post in its own right. I suspect that this is intended purely for light relief and should not be the cause of renewed controversy - unless there are some very over-sensitive stastisticians lacking a sense of humour visiting the site.

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  • March 28th, 2012Lucifer’s Letter on Gary Gutting and the New York Timesby Paul Adams

    I find it impossible these days to think of Gary Gutting, philosophy professor at the University of Notre Dame, without being reminded of C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters.  I imagine a letter from Lucifer to his nephew Snipe, the agent in charge of undermining Catholic education, something like the following.

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  • March 28th, 2012Feser’s Reasonby Robert Asch

    Allow me to try my hand at turning Richard Dawkins's sinister antics to good account by introducing StAR-gazers to the superb Catholic philosopher, polemicist, and Dawkins-baiter Edward Feser:

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  • March 28th, 2012Exterminating the Untermenschenby Joseph Pearce

    Further to my recent post about atheist "rationalism" leading to the Guillotine, the Gulag and the Gas Chamber, we should not forget  that today's atheist "rationalists" are promoting their own contemporay holocaust in the form of abortion. We should also remember that abortion especially targets the weak, the poor and the disabled. This article about the systematic exterminaiton of babies with Down's syndrome should be a wake-up call to the horrors of atheist "rationalism" and the secular fundamentalism that it advocates.

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  • March 28th, 2012Irrational “Reason” Leads to Madnessby Joseph Pearce

    I was grimly amused and somewhat irritated by Richard Dawkins' call at the recent so-called atheist "Reason Rally" in DC for Catholics to be mocked and ridiculed in public, as reported by Dena in her recent post to this site. The grim amusement arose from the irony inherent in a demagogue at a so-called "reason rally" calling for his "rational" comrades to abandon rational dialogue with their opponents in favour of ridicule, hatred and contempt. There is, however, nothing surprising about the contradiction.

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  • March 28th, 2012Update on the Lewis & Tolkien Film Projectby Joseph Pearce

    Further to my recent post about the new film project on the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis, I've just received an update from the film's script-writer, Louis Markos. Here's the latest news on the project:

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  • March 27th, 2012Mock Themby Dena Hunt

    “Mock them [the Catholics[,” he told the crowd. “Ridicule them! In public!”

    So Dawkins encouraged the crowd at the “Reason Rally,” a meeting of some 20,000 atheist activists in Washington, D.C.

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  • March 26th, 2012Screwtape and a Possible Theological Error by C.S. Lewisby Joseph Pearce

    I've recently received a query from someone who is puzzled by a section in Letter Thirteen of The Screwtape Letters. I consider this particular section to be a theological faux pas on Lewis' part.

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  • March 26th, 2012October Baby: A New Pro-Life Movieby Joseph Pearce

    I haven't seen this new film yet but plan to do so this week. I've heard from a number of people that it's a film that deserves the support of all pro-lifers. Here's the e-mail about the film sent by Tony Ryan of Ignatius Press.

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  • March 26th, 2012From War Hero to Convertby Joseph Pearce

    Pavel Chichikov sent me this wonderful and inspiring story about a hero from the Falklands War, who won the Military Cross for his bravery, and subsequently became a Catholic convert. It's remarkable.

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  • March 25th, 2012What Science Can and Can Not Doby Kevin O'Brien

    You'll find here at the Ink Desk Sophia Mason's interesting summary of "philosophy versus science", a debate which has been raging at the Ink Desk since Joseph Pearce had the audacity to criticize a joke, something I would never do ("speaking as a comic in all seriousness," as Bobby Bitman used to say).

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  • March 24th, 2012Exciting New Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Film Projectby Joseph Pearce

    Visitors to this site will probably be well aware of the excellent work being done by Louis Markos. Now, however, I'm excited to announce that he has written a film script for a proposed movie focusing on the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis.

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