Author: David Cloutier

Economic Inequality: Complicated (in a Good Way)

Economic inequality is a stubborn problem. In a recent interview, economist Angus Deaton offers some very insightful comments about the complexity of the problem. Deaton, who is pro-globalization, but whose work with Anne Case documented the rising mortality rates among working-class middle-aged people, presents a model for the kind of engagement we really need in order to address economic problems in their complexity. As the blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago writes: …[Deaton] suggested in a recent piece for Project Syndicate, it’s possible that the term “inequality” itself might be ill-fitting. A better term might be...

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Germain Grisez: A Tribute from a Fellow Mount Professor

The following is a guest post from Dr. Joshua Hochschild, Msgr. Robert Kline Professor of philosophy at Mount St. Mary’s University. Germain Grisez, philosopher and theologian, died yesterday.  I expect tributes to pour in, as his influence on Catholic intellectual life has been strong for six decades.  His students and collaborators, and even many of his critics, will have things to say about his momentous contributions.  I want to add something from the perspective of the place he called home for thirty years. For many people, the first thing they knew about Mount St. Mary’s is that Germain Grisez...

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Beth Haile and Catholic Moral Theology

The following is a guest post about our friend and charter blogger, Beth Haile, written by Dr. Brian Matz, currently the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Chair in Catholic Thought at Fontbonne University. Brian was Beth Haile’s colleague when they both taught at Carroll College in Helena, Montana. If you are interested in helping support the medical expenses of the Haile family, please consider donating at the GoFundMe page set up on their behalf. The world of Catholic moral theology is losing a good friend. Dr. Beth Haile, a founding member and longtime contributor to this blog, has...

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The Incarnation and Public Moral Conflict

The new year is always an opportunity to get back to basics. I don’t know about you, but I found 2017 difficult… and sometimes disorienting. One can hope that such disorientation is for the good, but it can also be worrisome. We live in a morally tense time. Conflicts in both church and world rise to the surface, and charity becomes harder and harder to come by. In such times, it is more important than ever to remind ourselves of the basics, and in this season of Christmas, one such basic is the Incarnation, the Word made flesh who...

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1st Sunday of Advent: How Long Must We Wander?

Readings: Isaiah 63:16-19, 64:2-7; Psalm 80; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37 This week’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah recalled one of my best early memories of Church music. Father John Foley’s Redeemer Lord bases its haunting verses on this plaintive cry of the prophet, simultaneously lamenting God’s absence and yet trusting in God’s deliverance. Foley captures this dynamic unusually well by pairing the dramatic verses – I remember the phrase “sunder the heavens” stuck in me with enormous power – with a quite different refrain that with the relentless power of a mantra responds to the lament with the assurance of Psalm 23. As we enter the Advent season, this song of my youth points us to two things that might fittingly start our Advent journey. One is the moral importance of precisely things like this. I haven’t heard that song in many years, but I had no problem knowing every word, nor could I avoid the chills as I listened to the YouTube video. And so there is a way in which I really can’t imagine the formation of my whole Catholic identity without that song, and the community of my contemporary choir that “gave” it to me. I am certain some would listen to the song and roll their eyes at its obvious gestures toward ‘70’s folk music or musicals. Let me just say in reply:...

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