Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.
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Last spring, I got a puppy, whom I named Ziva. At the beginning, like any baby, she was tiny and slept most of the time. I took her to a couple of seminars and she dozed at my feet. During the last seminar of the year, she hit the doggie version of the terrible twos. Ziva pulled my shoes off each of my feet in turn, took them to the middle of the space created by four sqared off tables, and proceeded to shake them to kill them, and after they were well and truly dead, to chew on them with great enthusasiasm.
I finished three big projects recently, and my brain is, well, fried. So, since I can't go on a nature vacation just now (and, anyway, my idea of a nature vacation includes a nice lodge with a spa) I am turning to television to let my brain rest. Sorry, Joseph Pieper.
In his comment on Michael Peppard's post "Transcending Polarization" below, Peter Steinfels writes; "The Catholic Common Ground Initiative was the first major effort to address the issue of polarization in the U.S. Catholic church. I think that its charter statement bears rereading." Joe Komonchak made the same point in the thread.
The boys of summer are back in Boston, although it still looks and feels like winter. However, Ziva, my new puppy, is hopeful about the new season, although she is quite mystified about the disappearance of all the white stuff she has known as ground cover ince her birth.
She already knows she needs to root for the Red Sox.
The immensely learned Rita Ferrone has called attention to a recruitment video (in Spanish with English subtitles) that is very different in tone than that of Father Barron. I think a compare and contrast is in order.
What struck me most was the invitational quality of this video. The candidates are being invited into a mystery, not a clearly defined web of doctrinal propositions or a certain command and control structure. It inivtes to a kind of camaraderie of service, I think.
I have no doubt Father Robert Barron is having a tough time with the change in papacy, as well as the change in the Archbishop of Chicago. His sensibilities seem far more attuned to the JPII and Benedict eras than the poor church of the poor called for by Francis. That's fine- we all don't need the same sensibilities.
The best commercial during Sunday's game was the "Brady Bunch" Sinickers ad. For those of us of a certain age, that is. The making of the commercial is astonishing. Look at the physics behind this; it must be extraodrdinarily complicated.
I just love Steve Buscemi in everything he does--whether it's Fargo or Boardwalk Empire or The Brady Bunch.
Thanks to everyone for commenting on the post "The Status of Animals" below I was about to try to focus the question, but Jean Raber has already brilliantly and incisively done the work. So I am reposting her comment as the focus for a new thread:
I'd like to see less heat and snark in this discussion and more people addressing what I see as these larger emerging questions:
This is Molly Kaveny. She is a two-year-old labradoodle who lives in the house I grew up in, with my parents and sister—about an hour away from my house now.
Over the past several months, I have been increasingly convinced that Mollyis a person—a non-human person, but a person nonetheless. She has emotions. She has moods. She has reason, and will. She has goals—and she pursues them with astonishing success.
This picture offers an example. I had come home for a weekend visit. Wandering into the bedroom, Molly nuzzled into my partially zipped suitcase, and removed a pair of (clean) stockings. She then padded into the den, and over to me, rightly figuring that of the five or six people in the room, I would have the most interest in them. She is presenting me with a choice: Either I can chase her round and round the chair, as in a crazy cartoon sequence, or I can ransom the stockings immediately with a treat. Either way, from Molly's perspective, it is all good.
The Annual Meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, a professional society of approximately one thousand people who teach and write and work in the areas of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology, will meet next week at the Palmer House in Chicago. The SCE, which includes members from a wide variety of traditions within Christianity, meets annually in conjunction with the Society of Jewish Ethics and the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.
Because I am the president of the SCE this year, I got to set the theme: Law and Christian Ethics. And I am so delighted with the result!
As you can see if you peruse the program, we have a great set of papers to hear, on topics related to the theme and on other topics as well.
The two plenary sessions should be fascinating.
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