Patrick Doom: A True Hero Worthy of Imitation

My grandfather recently died on Feb. 6 in this year of our Lord. He was born on St. Patrick's Day in 1925 and thus named after St. Patrick. This weekend, our eleventh annual Feast of St. Patrick will be dedicated...

EIGHTH DAY NEWS

VIP Dinner with Symposium Speakers: Let the Bidding Begin!

Would you like to join Adam Cooper, Hans Boersma, David Ford, and Ephraim Radner for a private dinner? We've got a very special location reserved for this special dinner. In a very cozy atmosphere, you'll be able to see the...

Symposium Synaxis: Preview of Contents

For the last ten days, it's been around-the-clock organizing the Symposium and creating the new issue of Synaxis on "Eros & the Mystery of God." Want to see the table of contents? Check it out here.

2019 Symposium Abstract 12: Fr Paul O'Callaghan - "Adam, Eve & Eros"

Foundational texts in Genesis provide the basis of human sexuality and the erotic dimension of life.  From this basis, an ontology of Eros can be developed from within the Holy Scriptures,

2019 Symposium Abstract 11: Joshua Sturgill - "Art & the Incarnation: Poetry as Chastely Erotic Art"

Though our focus will be poetry, this session will begin with the thesis that poetry and agriculture are the two fundamental arts, expressing the relationship of the soul to heaven and earth, respectively. Further, we will discuss the ‘gender’ of these...

2019 Symposium Abstract 10: Dcn. Aaron Taylor - "Metanoia in Faerie: Ascetic Peregrinatio & the Transfiguration of Eros in Chaucer's 'Wife of Bath's Tale'"

The knight’s quest represents a typical kind of ascetic withdrawal—the peregrinatio—wherein it is only in a state of complete separation from the world that the full control of the passions, and the resulting virtues, cardinal as well as theological, are...

2019 Symposium Abstract 9: Alicia Bradford - "Communion of Love: The Spousal Vocation of Man & Woman in Light of the Trinitarian Nature of God"

John Paul II says that “man and woman, created as a ‘unity of the two’ in their common humanity, are called to live in a communion of love, and in this way mirror in the world the communion of love...

2019 Symposium Abstract 8: Adam Cooper - "When Lovemaking Becomes Liturgy: John Paul II's Reflections on Song of Songs and Tobit"

Pope St. John Paul II’s mammoth Theology of the Body is best understood as a big bible study on Christ and bodily human redemption. In his catecheses on the biblical books of Song of Songs and Tobit, the great pope reflects on...

2019 Symposium Abstract 7: David Ford - "From Garden to the Eschaton: The Eternality of Marriage as Understood in the Orthodox Church"

While a minority view within the Orthodox Church would limit marriage only to this present life, the prevailing understanding has been and continues to be that marriage is meant to last forever – just as Adam and Eve shared a...

2019 Symposium Abstract 6: Ephraim Radner - "How Do We Shape Desire?"

This session will provide a pastoral discussion of the struggles individuals have in ‘controlling their desires’, and what might be involved in such struggles and their resolution in Christian terms. The purpose here is to revisit positively the concept and...

2019 Symposium Abstract 5: Hans Boersma - "8 Theses on Sex"

Throughout the Christian tradition, the number eight has functioned as a symbol of the eschaton. Christ rose on the Eighth Day, and Christians celebrate new life in Christ on the Eighth Day. So, by offering eight theses on sex, I...

2019 Symposium Paper Abstract 4: Adam Cooper - "Can Asceticism Make Us Better Lovers? The Promise & Limits of Maximus the Confessor's Theology of Marriage"

Maximus wants us all to be better lovers, with our desires and energies liberated by Christ and transfigured into holy passion and selfless humility. Only in this way can any marriage become what it really is: a living icon of...

New Quarterly Catechetical Word from the Fathers

Since 2013, we've published five volumes of A Word from the Fathers. ... Beginning this year of our Lord 2019, we will be renaming this publication, slightly emending and amplifying the content, and increasing the frequency of publication. Instead of...

2019 Symposium Announcement: Intro with Speakers and Presentations

2019 Symposium Paper Abstract 3: David Ford - "An Orthodox Theology of Eros, Sexuality & Marriage: The Vision of St John Chrysostom"

Of all the Eastern Church Fathers, the one who spoke the most about eros, sexuality, and marriage was St. John Chrysostom, the powerfully eloquent, late fourth-century preacher of Antioch and Constantinople. As he ministered to the mostly married members of...

2019 Symposium Paper Abstract 2: Ephraim Radner - "There Is No Desire Out of the Desires of Scripture"

The purpose of this talk is to provide an alternative to the general modern claim – shared by many Christians – that human beings are bundles of desires, some good, some bad, some to be refashioned, and that our identity...

#8thDayGivingTuesday: Eighth Day Video Series Launch

As we have been preparing to launch our third annual #8thDayGivingTuesday campaign, Director Doom had the opportunity to sit down with a few Eighth Day Members to ask them what they thought made our community unique. We'll be releasing a...

2019 Symposium Paper Abstract 1: Hans Boersma - "Body, Gender & Sex: Lessons from St Gregory of Nyssa"

Two key convictions drive contemporary debates about body, gender, and sex. The first is that the body is an unmitigated good. Common sentiment, both among Christians and non-Christians, rejects any sort of devaluation of the body. The second is that...

Tolkien Pint Glasses & Inklings Walking Tour

We're delighted to make a new addition to our "Cloud of Witnesses" Pint Glass series: J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of Heroic Worlds. If you join us for the Inklings Walking Tour with toasts by Ralph Wood and Richard Rohlin,...

Inklings Seminars at Oktoberfest: "Not a Bowl but a Book" and "Can the Singer Enter the Tale?"

We are honored to have Richard Rohlin, a philologist and lover of the Inklings, join us from Texas for the Oktoberfest. He'll be with us on Friday evening (Oct 19) for the Inklings Walking Tour, offering toasts to the Inklings,...

Inaugural Inklings Cartography Contest

We are pleased to announce the inaugural Inklings Cartography Contest. The field is wide open to create maps from any world within the literature of any of the Inklings. That means your creativity is unlimited, i.e., you need not limit...


EIGHTH DAY VIEWS

Audite Omnes: On the Holy Merits of Patrick the Bishop in The Works of St. Patrick

Audite omnes [Hear ye all], lovers of God, the holy merits / Of the man blessed in Christ, Patrick the bishop, / How for his good ways he is likened to the angels, / And because of his perfect life...

Theosis & Eros, Celibacy & Marriage

Dr. Adam G. Cooper recently corresponded with Carl E. Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, about his newest books—Naturally Human, Supernaturally God: Deification in Pre-conciliar Catholicism and Holy Eros: A Liturgical Theology of the Body—and his research into salvation, liturgy, theosis,...

Christianity & Eros Revisited: Making Love as Sacramental Act

My friends at the Eighth Day Institute recently recommended to me Philip Sherrard’s 1976 book Christianity and Eros: Essays on the Theme of Sexual Love, and in this short essay I want to offer some reflections on the sacramentality of...

God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas

Part devotion, part art, and part prayer, God With Us is a spiritual summons. Christmas coming ‘round year after year forces us, in the words of Eugene Peterson, to “deal with all the mess of our humanity in the context...

Port and Nuts with the Eliots: A Review of Notes towards the Definition of Culture

There are always two cultural problems: cultural innovation, i.e. how to change a culture for the better, however ‘good’ may be defined; and cultural transmission, i.e. how to transmit what is valuable in a culture from one generation to the...

Lives of the Mind: The Uses and Abuses of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse

Addressing intellectual hubris, critic Roger Kimball counters with a definition of intellectual humility: “Till we can become divine we must be content to be human, lest in our hurry for a change we sink to something lower” (Anthony Trollope). Kimball’s...

Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man

Orthodoxy is surely one of the most famous apologies for Christian orthodoxy of the modern age. Chesterton's dazzling use of metaphor and paradox fits comfortably with his conviction that the world is neither unreasonable nor reasonable, but nearly reasonable, "a...

The Hero Is a Hobbit: A Review of The Fellowship of the Ring

In 1937 there appeared, without any fanfare, a book called The Hobbit which, in my opinion, is one of the best children’s stories of this century. In The Fellowship of the Ring, which is the first volume of a trilogy,...

Christianity & Culture

Eliot's point of departure is clear enough. He names it “the suspicion that the current terms in which we discuss international affairs and political theory may only tend to conceal from us the real issues of contemporary civilization” As poet,...

The God Who Believes: Faith, Doubt, and the Vicarious Humanity of Christ

St Gregory of Nazianzus’ dictum ‘the unassumed is the unhealed’, insisting that the Son of God assumed our humanity in every single aspect except for sin, has been a plumb-line for sound theological thinking for sixteen centuries. Yet it has...

St Macarius the Spiritbearer: Coptic Texts Relating to Saint Macarius the Great

Monks of the fifth century, these four lived in the monastic communities of Lower Egypt (called Wadi al-Natrun) primarily as eremitic ascetics. Ah, but not entirely, else we would never know their names or be privy to their sometimes humorous,...

Cosmic Liturgy: The Universe According to Maximus the Confessor

An extraordinarily bold statement: “Von Balthasar developed his view of the importance of the Confessor within the horizon of patristic thought but also in the broadest possible context of the history of thought. He considers this possible, because he begins...

The Philokalia

The Philokalia is a collection of texts written between the fourth and fifteenth centuries by thirty-six spiritual masters of the Orthodox Christian tradition. Compiled by Sts. Nikodemos and Makarios of Mt. Athos and published in 1782, with other versions and...

God's Plagiarist

In his review in the New Republic, Anthony Grafton describes God’s Plagiarist as “An unforgettable, Daumier-like portrait” of an “enterprising, austere and somewhat crazed merchandiser of sacred learning.” Grafton is right on the mark. This is the story of a...

Discerning the Mystery

Published over twenty-five years ago, this book is still the finest critique of the Enlightenment’s ways of knowing, coupled with a winsome description of a distinctly Christian alternative. Responding to what he sees as a “division and fragmentation” both in...

Egeria's Travels

Somewhere around the year 400, a devout Spanish nun traveled on a Lenten pilgrimage to the Holy Land, keeping a diary of her journey. That diary has become a priceless witness to us of the fourth century Church’s liturgical practices...

The Burning Bush

The first component of Bulgakov’s “minor theological trilogy” develops a Mariology deeply rooted in patristics, liturgical devotion, and Old Testament prefiguration. The great twentieth-century Russian theologian engages the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception as he considers the sinlessness and...

The Spirit of Early Christian Thought

Robert Wilken is one of our finest contemporary writers on early Christianity, one who can communicate with a general readership without condescension (the real test of genuine scholarship). He began this book intending to write a history of early Christian...

The Fellowship

Probably the most comprehensive examination of the Inklings to date. The Zaleskis accomplish the formidable task of creating substantial portraits of Tolkien, Lewis, Barfield, and Williams, all the while weaving them into a coherent and provocative chronicle of the Inklings...

Being As Communion

For twentieth-century Christians, the application of the slogan “No pain, no gain” is appropriate to the painstaking absorption of this sometimes difficult, but immensely rewarding work. Written by the contemporary Orthodox theologian John Zizioulas, these studies represent ground-breaking developments over...


ESSAYS and REFLECTIONS

Festal Epistle for the Year of Our Lord 329: Of Fasting & Trumpets & Feasts

Listen, as in a figure, to the prophet blowing the trumpet; and further, having turned to the truth, be ready for the announcement of the trumpet, for he says, “Blow the trumpet in Zion: sanctify a fast” (Joel 2.15). This is a...

Notes Towards the Definition of Patriarchy

How might Christians think about the difficult and divisive topic of patriarchy?  In current political and cultural discussions, patriarchy is purely negative. The word is used (without precision) as a category for defining and dismissing any form of social organization in which...

God Is Agape & Eros: Pope Benedict XVI's Message for Our Mad Nietzschean World

You and I live in a Nietzschean world, friend, and from an opposing, Chestertonian perspective, that means that we live in a mad world. Because we Christians remain largely ignorant of the Nietzschean forces at work in our culture, we...

The Hatred of Purity

There’s something about purity that attracts the malicious delight of those who don’t share it. Even when purity is just minding its own business, it still makes for an irresistible target. The appreciation of purity hasn’t increased over the intervening...

The Ascetics of Authenticity: Following Maximus the Ironman of Early Christianity

The Christian tradition gives us an alternative vision of reality. In baptism a particular identity is conferred that is essentially one of discipline, sacrifice, and radical charity. In turn, Christians are reoriented to an authentic way of being in the...

A Message from Ralph Wood: On Cultural Renewal at Eighth Day Institute

Eighth Day Institute attempts to renew our culture in a radical new sense—i.e., to help make it possible for the Gospel to be heard, received, and embraced afresh, unblocking the doors that secularists have thrown up.... Eighth Day Institute does...

The New Year: Look at the True Light for Genuine Happiness

It's an old custom: on New Year’s Eve, while the clock strikes midnight, we think of our aspirations for the new year and try to enter the unknown future with a dream, looking forward to the fulfillment of some cherished...

A Message from Hans Boersma

Not too long ago, a friend asked me, “What’s your favorite place to go to for a conference?” I didn’t have to think about the answer. “Wichita, Kansas,” I immediately responded. Anyone who has ever attended one of the events...

The Time of Advent

The central idea of Advent is that it is the ‘coming’ of the Lord Jesus. One might perhaps feel that this term ‘coming’ is purely symbolic, for in fact Christ comes to us at all times, and even lives in...

For the Time Being

The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory... / But, for the time being, here we all are, / Back in the moderate Aristotelian city / Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid's geometry / And Newton's mechanics would account...

Santa Claus: The Divinely Good St Nicholas

The extraordinary thing about the image of Saint Nicholas in the Church is that he is not known for anything extraordinary. [...] In a word, he was a good pastor, father, and bishop to his flock, known especially for his...

Thoughts After Lambeth: Excerpts on Asceticism, Ecumenism & Cultural Renewal

The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved...

Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy: Commemorating Saints in a Secular Age - Part 2 of 2

If secularism is an age in which there are many options, an age in which sustaining one’s Christian faith is one of the most difficult options, then what hath the commemoration of saints to do with a secular age? Let...

Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy: Commemorating Saints in a Secular Age - Part 1 of 2

G. K. Chesterton once said there are only two things that never get boring: stories and persons. Averil Cameron, Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine History, takes Chesterton’s assertion a step further. In her book, Christianity and the Rhetoric of...

Hall of Men: A Local Fellowship Hall Where the Men Break Bread, Tap the Keg & Toast Their Heroes

The meeting is about to come to order here at the Hall of Men, where heroism is celebrated and masculinity is encouraged. The men, seated at an oak table that nearly fills the room, push away their soup bowls. “Gentlemen,”...

The Rolling English Road

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode, // The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road. // A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire, // And after him the parson ran,...

G. K. Chesterton's Non-Fictional Prose

I have always enjoyed Chesterton’s poetry and fiction, but I must admit that, until I started work on a selection for a publisher, it was many years since I had read any of his non-fictional prose. The reasons for my...

Alcohol, Drunkenness & Drinking

For in so far as drinking is really a sin it is not because drinking is wild, but because drinking is tame; not in so far as it is anarchy, but in so far as it is slavery. Probably the...

Cheese

My forthcoming work in five volumes, “The Neglect of Cheese in European Literature,” is a work of such unprecedented and laborious detail that it is doubtful whether I shall live to finish it. Some overflowings from such a fountain of...

The Flying Inn: Chesterton on Alcohol & the Sacramental Imagination

Chesterton anticipated many of our problems in 1914 when he published The Flying Inn, just before the outbreak of the First War. It’s a very funny book that deals, among many other things, with the question of alcohol. To say...


the DAILY WORD

St Patrick: Do You Walk in the Strength of God Trusting His Direction and Providence?

One night I heard in my sleep a voice saying to me: “See, your ship is ready.” And it was...

St Patrick: Are You Silent About the Great Benefits & Grace Bestowed by the Lord?

While captive in Ireland, the Lord opened the sense of my unbelief that I might at last remember my sins...

St John of Kronstadt: How Do the Saints See Our Needs and Hear Our Prayers?

How is it that the saints see us and our needs and hear our prayers? Let us make the following...

St Gregory of Nyssa: Have You Heard the Mysteries of the Song of Songs

You who have “put on” our Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Gal. 3:27) together with His holy garb and with Him...

St Maximus the Confessor: Do You Love God?

He who loves God prefers knowledge of Him to all things made by Him; and by desire ceaselessly devotes himself...

St Basil: O Human, What Should We Do with You?

O human, what should we do with you? When God remains in the heights, you do not seek Him. When...

The Holy Fathers: Do You Sing of the Glory of the Fathers and Desire Salvation?

O come you who love the festivals, Come gather and sing the praises of the fair beauty of bishops, The...

Fr. Thomas Hopko: Are You an Abode of Heaven Like Mary?

In the festival of the entrance of Mary into the temple we have seen how Christ’s mother is continuously hymned...

Archimandrite Vasileios: Do You Honor the Fathers?

The Fathers of the Church are honored and known as the great luminaries who reveal to us liturgically that “the...

G. K. Chesterton: Do You Realize the Good News as New?

It is not easy to regard the New Testament as a New Testament. It is not at all easy to...

Charles Williams: When Did the Historical Church Begin?

Historically, its beginning was clear enough. There had appeared in Palestine, during the government of the Princeps Augustus and his...

St John of Damascus: Do You Have Ears to Hear that the Union of God & Humanity Comes from the Holy Spirit & the Virgin Mary?

Today the ‘Son of the carpenter’ (Mt. 13.55), the universally active Word of Him who fashioned all things through Him,...

T. F. Torrance: Did You Know that When Christ Offered Himself He Offered You?

Christ is priest and oblation in one. Atonement is Christ’s self-offering. That unity of person and work, of priest and...

St Gregory Palamas: Do You Praise the Memory of the Just Mother of God?

If “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps. 116.15), and “the memory of...

St Macarius of Egypt: Are You Manfully Fighting Passions & Enduring Trials?

For this reason did the Lord come in order that he might deign to give these spiritual gifts to those...

St Macarius of Egypt: Are You a Source of Edification to All Everywhere?

But those who pray in tranquility are a source of edification to all everywhere. A person ought to labor to...

Hans Urs von Balthasar: Have "We Done Everything" for Unity?

Precisely in a real confrontation will we be forced to spell out our differences in all their clarity and consequences....

Hans Urs von Balthasar: Do You Feel Division as a Daily Wound?

The essence, and not merely the name, of the Church is agape: unity in love. So every lapse from this...

Evagrios the Solitary: Are Your Friends Holy Fathers?

If have friends, avoid constant meetings with them. For if you meet only on rare occasions, you will be of...

Fr Georges Florovsky: Did You Know Your Body Is Consubstantial with Christ's Body?

Men are more similar to Christ – they are truly participants in the human nature of the Logos. Christ is...