All posts tagged: jaymartin

Nourishing the Imagination: Science & Religion

As anyone reading this article is likely to know already, the McGrath Institute for Church Life is dedicated to nourishing the Catholic imagination and renewing the Church. The past three years of my work in the MICL have made the claim that we are in fact serving the Church in this way very easy to believe. Yet, what has escaped my attention until fairly recently is the fundamentally biological nature of the metaphor of nourishment. To nourish is a particular function, more interior and deliberate than merely to feed. To nourish assumes an understanding of nutrition and digestion, as well as organicity, ecology, that is, it assumes a whole biology, and a dynamic and integrated one at that. In his 1844 Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen, Johannes Peter Müller, an eminent German physiologist and comparative anatomist, made a then startling claim about the nature of nutrition and its relationship to human physiology. He claimed, quite simply, that “nutrition is not an object of microscopial research.” Müller saw in the standard fare of the physiological science …

And the Nominees Are… Bridge of Spies

Editors’ Note: In anticipation of the 88th Academy Awards on February 28, we present a series exploring the philosophical and theological elements in each of the eight films nominated for Best Picture. (Caveat: spoilers ahead.) I am old enough—just old enough—to have gone to elementary school in the 1980s when nuclear bomb drills were still a thing, when under the broad aegis of “emergency preparedness” grade school students would on a monthly basis “duck and cover” under their desks at the sound of an emergency siren, or occasionally evacuate to the hall to lay down with hands over their heads, making the nuclear drill functionally identical to a tornado drill. Fire, tornado, nuclear attack—all were on equal par, equally arbitrary and equally incomprehensible. To the minds of elementary school children, the drills were all equally effective in preventing the demise of Mrs. Sanders’ second-grade class, and should even the worst happen, we imagined that we would still ride the school bus home that afternoon to our families, no worse for the wear. More than the cruel irony of the Cold War era “duck and …