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Metaphysics

Areopagus Lecture 6

D. C. Schindler: “For Freedom Set Free”

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Philosopher D. C. Schindler discusses the Christian notion of religious liberty as a synthesis of the Jewish, Roman, and Greek traditions. In the Jewish tradition, one receives a theological understanding of freedom understood as freedom from bondage and from sin in order to more fully enter into a loving covenant with God. In the Roman tradition, freedom exists in relation to one’s membership within a polis and is established through legal codes. This objective political presence is internalized and personalized through the education of virtuous citizens. And in the Greek tradition, freedom is understood in relation to nature, on the one hand through membership in a tribe by kinship, and on the other hand, through participation in the Good, which is at the source of all being. Christianity, argues Schindler, is precisely the “receiving, healing, and transforming [of these] three distinct traditions” and Christian freedom is their “flourishing integration.” $4

Areopagus Lecture 4

Paul Tyson: Escaping the Silver Chair

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Philosopher Paul Tyson’s talk, entitled “Escaping the Silver Chair: Renewed Minds and Our Vision of Reality,” explores how the Christian responsibility “to repent” involves more than expressing feelings of regret for moral wrong-doing and the desire to reform. Rather, the New Testament call to “repentance,” the English rendition of the Greek word metanoia, is inseparable from radically reenvisioning what is “really real.” St. Paul’s admonition that we be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” — in other words, metanoia — invokes a process that demands the recognition and rejection of various false enchantments of this world. With the help of C. S. Lewis’s story The Silver Chair, however, we realize that identifying and then escaping the ways in which we are bewitched is no easy task. $4.

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 16

David Bentley Hart, "A Perfect Game: The Metaphysical Meaning of Baseball"

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(from First Things, August 2010)

In this playful article from First Things, theologian David Bentley Hart muses on what is arguably America’s greatest contribution to civilization: baseball. Baseball, as Hart would have it, is the Platonic ideal of sports, “a game utterly saturated by infinity,” a game not contrived by our own artifice, but a discovery long kept secret in the dark mysteries of Reality. Contrary to what Hart disparagingly dubs “the oblong game” — the spatial and temporal confines of which are “pitilessly finite” — baseball in its shape and motion stretches towards endless vistas, unfolding organically according to its own narrative and inner logic while at the same time striving to complete the most perfect of shapes, the circle. Read by Ken Myers. 27 minutes. $2.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 132

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Guests on Volume 132: David I. Smith, on how metaphors assumed by teachers lead them to imagine the vocation of teaching; Susan Felch, on how the metaphors of gardens, building, and feasting can inform the task of education; D. C. Schindler, on philosopher Robert Spaemann's understanding of a teleological nature; Malcolm Guite, on his seven sonnets based on the ancient “O Antiphons” sung traditionally during Advent; J. A. C. Redford, on setting Malcolm Guite’s “O Antiphon” sonnets to music

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 115

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Guests on Volume 115: Arlie Russell Hochschild, on how the reliance in personal life on professional consultants establishes market-shaped models for imagining personal identity; Andrew Davison, on why a fully Christian approach to apologetics requires a Christian understanding of reason; Adrian Pabst, on why only a Christian understanding of God and Creation can provide the ground for understanding the order of reality; Gary Colledge, on the centrality of Christian belief to the writings and social concerns of Charles Dickens; Linda Lewis, on how Charles Dickens assumed in his readers a basic Biblical literacy, and so constructed his stories in a sort of conversation with the teaching of Jesus; and Thomas Bergler, on how the Church's captivity to youth culture eclipses concern for (or even a belief in the possibility of) Christian maturity.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 114

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Guests on Volume 114: Susan Cain, on how the 20th-century displacement of character by "personality" encouraged Americans to sell themselves (and marginalize introverts); Brad S. Gregory, on the danger of assuming that previous epochs of history have no lasting influence, and how unintended consequences of the Reformation shrunk Christian cultural influence; David Sehat, on why the story of religious liberty in America is more complicated than is often acknowledged; Augustine Thompson, O.P., on the myths and realities of St. Francis of Assisi; Gerald R. McDermott, on how love and beauty are more fundamental in the thought of Jonathan Edwards than the image of an angry God; and Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, on lessons in The Scarlet Letter about wise ways of reading complex texts.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 103

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Guests on Volume 103: Steven D. Smith, on how the law only makes sense in the context of certain metaphysical beliefs, and on why we aren't allowed to talk about such things in public; David Thomson, on the American Dream, acting, loneliness, the moral complicity of movie audiences, and the genius of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho; Adam McHugh, on how American culture distrusts introverts and on why their place in the Church needs to be valued; Glenn C. Arbery, on the Vanderbilt Agrarians, poetry, and the moral imagination and the shaping of virtue; Eric Miller, on Christopher Lasch's intense commitment to understand the logic of American cultural confusion; and Eric Metaxas, on how Dietrich Bonhoeffer's early experiences prepared him for his heroic defiance of the Third Reich.