On May 22, 2018, American Novelist Philip Roth died at the age of 85. His passing marks the end of an era in American literature, when “serious” fiction and popular celebrity were not entirely distinct, and “important” books had a broad cultural impact. This week, the podcast looks back at the career of one of America’s most important artists. What does Newark, NJ and American Jewishness have to do with Roth’s work? Should he have received that Nobel? What was distinctive about his style and subject matter? What exactly have we lost as a culture, and how might Roth’s approach to fiction help us find it? Michial Farmer of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Matthew Shipe, President of the Philip Roth Society join for this humorous, enlightening discussion about an seminal figure in American letters.
Philip Roth Society
“Remembering Philip Roth: A Giant of American Literature,” by Adam Kirsch
“The Day the Genius Died,” by Megan Garber
“The Plot Against America,” by Chris Gehrz
“What Roth Didn’t Know about Women Could Fill a Book,” by Dara Horn
One more dive into the philosophical and moral depths of Marvel’s Infinity War. For this episode Kristen Filipic and Kim Anderson join the show to discuss Thanos’s utilitarianism against the ethical and theological backdrop of Pope Francis’s encyclical about consumerism and the environment, “Laudato Si.” Tune in to hear: highlights from the first Infinity War episode, some context about “Laudato Si” and how it relates to consumption and Christian ethics, an exploration of the motif of self-sacrifice in the Avengers: Infinity War, the role of Wakanda in this moral play, the difficult realities of a truly “pro-life” politics, and some thoughts about Distributism. As always, please take the time to respond to what you hear!
Kristen Filipic’s “Perfect Balance”
William Cavanaugh on Pope Francis and Economics at Saint Mary’s College
Pope John Paul II “Centesimus Annus”
In 1988 John Carpenter, auteur of genre classics like Halloween, The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China, wrote and directed a powerhouse cult classic movie called They Live. Starring professional wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, the film crossed the sci-fi, horror, action, and lowbrow comedy genres while making a potent political statement about Ronald Reagan’s America and capitalism in the late Twentieth Century. The film follows an unemployed construction worker who discovers sunglasses that reveal the subliminal messages in our advertising and the alien invaders who are manipulating mankind’s fate. Now, thirty years after its release, what does the film have to say about our world?
Zizek on Ideology and They Live - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVwKjGbz60k
William Cavanaugh on Religious Violence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS2VVLpDyWE
William Cavanaugh on Consumerism - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh22rJpL7zM&t
Special thanks to the band They Live Exclamation Point: Find them and their stuff at the following links:
Live show link:
Recently the United States Congress has passed a law that mandates all podcasts to do an episode on Infinity War (Disney’s pernicious influence, no doubt).
So for this episode, good patriot Danny Anderson is joined by Nathan Gilmour and Kristen Filipic to discuss the biggest superhero movie of them all. Why is it that this movie has struck such a powerful chord with moviegoers? What are the theological questions it asks? What does death really mean in this universe? Plus, Pope Francis makes his way into this one!
In 2013, the late Mark Fisher wrote an essay that immediately became a lightning rod in Left politics. “Exiting the Vampire Castle,” took aim at a leftism which Fisher saw as replacing class interests with a moralizing, liberal identity politics. In many ways, the essay predicted the aftermath of Trump’s election and the Clinton/Sanders debates. More importantly, however, it offers us a chance to think about how political discourse is changed by social media. Joining the Sectarian Review Podcast for this episode is C. Derick Varn. In addition to his long history of being involved in leftist political debates, Varn has special insight into this particular essay, as he was one of the editors who originally commissioned it in the first place. Sit back and take a deep dive into a fascinating conversation about political discourse.
“Exiting the Vampire Castle,” by Mark Fisher
“Out of a Castle, Into a Pit,” by C. Derick Varn
Russell Brand Versus Jeremy Paxman on the BBC