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Human Nature

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 108

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Guests on Volume 108: Thomas Albert Howard, on why many nineteenth-century Europeans were nervous about the shape of American religious life; Jean Porter, on how natural law provides a rationale for the rule of law and for legislative and judicial authority; Peter Augustine Lawler, on how neither ancient philosophy nor modern science explains human nature (but the Logos does); Hans Boersma, on why Christians should reject the modern separation of Heaven and Earth and recover a "sacramental ontology"; Felicia Wu Song, on how online communication systems shape relationships and community; and Elias Aboujaoude, on how life online makes us think we’re bigger, badder, and smarter than we really are.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 107

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Guests on Volume 107: Victor Lee Austin, on why authority is not a barrier to true freedom and is necessary for human flourishing (and will be forever); Ellen T. Charry, on why happiness has been underplayed in Christian theology (and why it shouldn't be); Anthony Esolen, on the explicit and implicit teaching that has caused many young people to be cynical and unhappy; Ferdinand Schlingensiepen, on the ambivalence of postwar Germans to the anti-Nazi resistance movement (and to Dietrich Bonhoeffer); Allen Verhey, on why it's dangerous to draw too stark a line between nature and supernature; and Calvin Stapert, on the historical, theological, and musical elements that combined to produce Handel's Messiah.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 106

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Guests on Volume 106: Adam Briggle, on how Leon Kass's leadership of the President's Council on Bioethics attempted to reframe public thinking about ethical matters; John C. Médaille, on why economics should be concerned with ethical matters from the bottom up; Christopher Page, on how the presence of choral music in the Church shaped the rise of the West; Christian Smith, on why sociologists need a richer understanding of human nature and human personhood and should recognize "love" as an essential human attribute; Herman Daly, on why he and Wendell Berry are disturbed by the lack of attention paid by classical economics to the realities of the material world; and Thomas Hibbs, on the dark nihilism in the films of Woody Allen.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 101

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Guests on Volume 101: James Davison Hunter, on how the most prominent strategies of Christian cultural engagement are based on a misunderstanding about how cultures work; Paul Spears, on why Christian scholars need to understand their disciplines in ways that depart from conventional understanding; Steven Loomis, on why education needs to attend more carefully to nonquantifiable aspects of human experience; James K. A. Smith, on how education always involves the formation of affections and how the form of Christian education should imitate patterns of formation evident in historic Christian liturgy; Thomas Long, on how funeral practices have the capacity to convey an understanding of the meaning of discipleship and death; and William T. Cavanaugh, on the distinctly modern definition of "religion" and how the conventional account of the "Wars of Religion" misrepresents the facts in the interest of consolidating state power.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 99

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Guests on Volume 99: Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, on how the abuse of language creates distrust in the power of words and on how we can be better stewards of the gift of language; Paul A. Rahe, on the heresy of progressivism, which abandons vital convictions about human nature and political order and invites the advent of "soft despotism"; James L. Nolan, Jr., on how European countries have adopted the American model of "problem-solving courts" (and what they also get in the bargain); Andrew J. Cherlin, on why the twin American commitments to marriage and to expressive individualism hurt families; Dale Kuehne, on the faulty assumption that intimate relationships demand sexual involvement, and on how the essentially relational nature of the Gospel is ignored; and Alison Milbank on how the fantasy writings of G. K. Chesterton and J. R. R. Tolkien are intended to reconnect readers with reality.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 98

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Guests on Volume 98: Stanley Hauerwas, on the public witness of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus and on why Neuhaus abandoned his 1960s radicalism to become a leading "theoconservative"; Clarke Forsythe, on why prudence is a lost political virtue and on why and how the pro-life movement needs to broaden its educational efforts; Gilbert Meilaender, on the necessity of a concept of human dignity and on why Americans no longer seem able to defend it; Jeanne Murray Walker, on how her students learn to understand poetry and on how metaphors are at the heart of poetic expression; Roger Lundin, on how the disenchantment of the world led to new forms of doubt and self-expression; and David Bentley Hart, on the feeble and confused arguments of the recent crop of outspoken atheists and on how a misunderstanding of the nature of freedom is at the heart of their revulsion at religion.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 27

Deadly Legacy: Alan Jacobs on Original Sin

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Literary critic and C. S. Lewis biographer Alan Jacobs has enriched our understanding of Christian faith and its consequences with his thoughtful book Original Sin: A Cultural History (2008). The book looks at beliefs about human waywardness and its sources through much of Western history, and how those beliefs have affected literature, politics, music, education, and other spheres of human culture. In this Conversation, Jacobs explains how belief in original sin (in its Augustinian form) offers resources for comfort and community. 60 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 12

Mickey Craig & Jon Fennell, "Love in the Age of Neuroscience"

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(from The New Atlantis, Fall 2005)

When Tom Wolfe's novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, was originally published in 2004, most of the reviews concentrated on the story's sexual escapades. The book was received by social conservatives as an indictment of collegiate promiscuity and dismissed by progressives as a tired and embarrassing display of peephole prurience by a once-vital writer now in his grumpy 70s. Mickey Craig and Jon Fennell argue that sexual confusion is simply a symptom of a larger crisis prominently explored in the book. "The novel invites us to ask: Is love possible in the age of neuroscience? Or have we unmasked human beings only to discover that love is an illusion?" Read by Ken Myers. 38 minutes. $2.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 93

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Guests on Volume 93: Alan Jacobs, on practical consequences of belief in original sin (and the five distinct components of that belief); James A. Herrick, on redemptive myths advanced by science fiction and speculative science and on evolution as a religion; J. Daryl Charles, on the commitment by the magisterial Reformers to the idea of natural law; Robert C. Roberts, on the role of emotions in ethical and spiritual life; Allan C. Carlson, on how the industrial revolution changed the shape of households (including their floorplans) and the understanding of marriage; and Sheila O'Connor-Ambrose, on the work of Elizabeth Fox-Genovese in defending marriage against the various claims of individualism.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 89

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Guests on Volume 89: Thomas Hibbs, on the theme of the possibility of redemption in film noir and similar film genres; Barrett Fisher, on the films of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman; Fred Turner, on 1960s dreams of countercultural change and the rise of the Whole Earth Catalog; Dan Blazer, on why psychiatric disorders require attention to the story of patients’ lives; Christopher Lane, on the complex characteristics of anxiety and the tendency to treat the absence of ease with drugs; and Jerome C. Wakefield, on how psychiatry began ignoring causes of mental suffering and so defined sadness as a disease.

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