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Category: The Catholic Culture Podcast

The Catholic Culture Podcast

In our flagship podcast, musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus explores Catholic arts and culture with a variety of notable guests.

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Episode 54 —Fostering Responsible Elites —Jonah Bennett

Today’s guest is Jonah Bennett, editor-in-chief of a fascinating new online magazine called Palladium which is devoted to constructing what could be called the post-liberal synthesis. Palladium Magazine seeks to foster the perspective of a responsible elite, with high-quality, non-ideological coverage of everything from geopolitics to video-game addiction to the crisis in Ivy League institutions.

Episode 53—God Made Us For Order and Surprise—John-Mark Miravalle

A conversation on our moral obligation to delight in beauty, why we are moved by the combination of order and surprise, and the proper way to delight in the beauty of the human body.

Episode 52—Off-Broadway play accurately portrays conservative thought: zoology or spiritual wisdom?

Is Heroes of the Fourth Turning a zoological exhibit for progressives to gape at, or something deeper? Is it ultimately more unsettling to a perceptive Catholic viewer, for whom Arbery’s troubled characters might function as an indictment of a Catholic conservatism that can be focused more on ideas and temporal concerns than on the reality of Christ?

Episode 51—Bringing Melody Back to Pop Music—The Duskwhales

Indie rock trio The Duskwhales formed almost 10 years ago at a small Catholic high school in Virginia. Over that decade, four albums and three EPs, they have forged a distinctly melodic sound in contrast to today’s joyless pop milieu....

Episode 50—A Catholic Composer in Queen Elizabeth’s Court, Pt. II—Kerry McCarthy

One of England’s greatest composers, William Byrd is a fascinating and complicated figure of Catholic musical history. A musician in the Royal Chapel of Queen Elizabeth, he associated with the highest ranks of the Anglican establishment...

Episode 49—A Catholic Composer in Queen Elizabeth’s Court, Pt. I—Kerry McCarthy

One of England’s greatest composers, William Byrd is a fascinating and complicated figure of Catholic musical history. A musician in the Royal Chapel of Queen Elizabeth, he associated with the highest ranks of the Anglican establishment...

Episode 48—Authority and Submission as Gift in Christian Marriage—Mary Stanford

“Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in...

Episode 47—Our Lady’s Habit: Wearing and Loving the Brown Scapular—Fr. Justin Cinnante, O.Carm.

Many Catholics have worn the Brown Scapular at some point in their lives. Some of those people stopped wearing it for one reason or another. Others have continued to wear it but perhaps don’t appreciate its true depth as a sign of...

Episode 46—Sing With Your Children—Roundabout

Emma and Cecilia Black grew up in a large family that sang together constantly. Now these two sisters from Grand Rapids, Michigan, have made an album of folk songs for children. They want people to know that any family can start singing...

Episode 45 —Libertarianism vs. Natural Law on Private Property

Thomas discusses his libertarian past, explains why he abandoned that political philosophy, and summarizes an article on the topic by the Catholic philosopher Edward Feser. Feser, himself an ex-libertarian who has written books on Hayek, Nozick...

Episode 44—Catholics Need Poetry. But Do We Want It?—Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia is one of the greatest Catholic poets working today. In this interview he discusses how Catholic attitudes toward the arts have changed in recent generations, and the revival of interest in poetry in the culture as a whole. Dana reads...

Episode 43—Teaching Children Self-Knowledge Through the Liberal Arts—Matthew Mehan

Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals (M5) is a book of poems intended as an introduction to the liberal arts for children, helping them to grow in self-knowledge, virtue, and the art of charitable rhetoric. It is...

Episode 42—The Missionary of Wall Street—Stephen Auth

Stephen Auth is a highly successful investment manager on Wall Street. In his spare time, he hails down strangers on the streets of Manhattan and convinces them to go to confession. Links Steve Auth, The...

Episode 41—The Neo-Colonial West Is Forcing Abortion on Africa—Obianuju Ekeocha

Western governments and NGOs are pushing the Sexual Revolution on Africa, using strings-attached development aid. Of all the funds from Western nations going to “development” in Africa, the majority are for population control....

Episode 40—Tolkien and Aquinas—Jonathan S. McIntosh

Tolkien is well known to have been concerned with the internal consistency of his fictional world, from geography to history to language. But he was also concerned with another sort of consistency: metaphysical consistency, not only within the...

Episode 39—Composing Liturgical Music That’s Noble, Accessible... and Sacred—Paul Jernberg

Paul Jernberg is a composer of sacred music and director of the Magnificat Institute, which offers education in the patrimony of Catholic liturgical music. He tells Thomas about his career, including an interesting digression about gospel music...

Episode 38—The Sacred Monster—Matthew K. Minerd

The name of Garrigou-Lagrange has long been a byword for a fusty, rigid Thomism of days gone by, allegedly more concerned with centuries of accretions built up by scholastic commentators than with the original teaching of the Angelic Doctor...

Episode 37—Sculpting Two Benedicts—Jago

The young Italian sculptor Jago is best known to Catholics for his marble bust of Pope Benedict XVI, which the Pope himself awarded with a pontifical medal. Upon Benedict’s resignation, Jago radically reworked the piece into its current...

Episode 36—Bridges to Hell or Heaven: “Toxic Femininity” and the Spirit of Anti-Mary—Carrie Gress

One of the core things that has gone wrong with our culture in the past several decades is the denigration of every virtue associated with the perfect woman, Mary. Gentleness, humility, (true) beauty and especially motherhood: these are all...

Episode 35 —Moral Blindness and Abortion —Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson was the youngest clinic director in Planned Parenthood history. After witnessing an abortion on ultrasound, she quit, became a Catholic, and founded And Then There Were None, an organization which has helped over 500 workers leave the abortion industry....

Episode 34—The Memoirs of St. Peter—Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk has written a new translation and commentary of Mark’s Gospel. Mark was relating very recent events, with details only an eyewitness (most likely Peter) would have mentioned. This earliest Gospel set the standard for what...

Episode 33—Structure and Freedom in Music and in Christ—Mark Christopher Brandt

The quest for freedom in structure is fundamental to Catholic spiritual life (particularly during this season of Lent). It’s also fundamental to musical improvisation. How can you be free and spontaneous without giving way to...

Episode 32—Antoni Gaudí, Patron Saint of Architects?—Gabriela Gonzalez-Cremona

For many people who have never been to Spain, their only image of the country may be the strange spires of Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudí. It is certainly the best-known building in Spain, despite still not...

Episode 31—Some Jazz You Should Hear

You may or may not know that I have a background in jazz piano (I wrote and performed the intro and outro music for this show, for example). In this episode I introduce you to about ten of my very favorite jazz albums. This is an experimental...

Episode 30—What Tolkien’s Visual Art Tells Us About His Creative Mind—John McQuillen and Holly Ordway

While Tolkien’s brilliance as a world-builder and storyteller is well-established, fewer people are aware of just how unique (and obsessive) his creative process was, or that he was a gifted visual artist. That is changing thanks to an...

Episode 29—Catholic Feminism: Should We?—Abigail Rine Favale

Today there is more pressure than ever before on both women and men to embrace feminism. In her outstanding memoir, Into the Deep, Abigail Rine Favale gives a resonant account of her journey from an evangelical childhood to a Christian...

Episode 28: An Introduction to Maritain’s Poetic Philosophy—Samuel Hazo

This episode is not to be missed! There is an ongoing and much-needed revival of Jacques Maritain’s philosophy of art. Accomplished poet Samuel Hazo makes a most valuable contribution to that revival with The World Within the World:...

Episode 27: Always Wanted to Study the Great Books? Here’s How You’ll Actually Follow Through—Scott Hambrick

Many people want to study the great books of the western world in a group setting, but are unable to study at a Great Books college like St. John’s, and it’s not easy to find people willing to commit to read and meet to...

Episode 26: The Arts, Contemplation and Virtue—Basil Cole, O.P.

Fr. Basil Cole returns to discuss what he has been teaching the student brothers at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., in a course on the arts, contemplation and...

Episode 25: Phil Lawler, Dr. Jeff Mirus and Thomas V. Mirus on Our Favorite Books of 2018

Phil Lawler, Dr. Jeff Mirus, and Thomas V. Mirus discuss selections from their list of their favorite books and other media of 2018. Links Full list: The best books we read in 2018

Episode 24: Talking A Capella with VOCES8’s Barnaby Smith

VOCES8 is a critically acclaimed a capella octet from the UK, focusing on medieval and Renaissance works as well as their own arrangements of modern pop tunes. This episode is an interview with the...

Episode 23: How the Laity Must Respond to the Abuse Crisis—Fr. Roger Landry

Fr. Roger Landry returns to the show to talk about what the laity can do to address the abuse crisis. Along the way we discuss the concerns that might make even good bishops hesitant to remove bad...

Episode 22: Newman’s Idea of a University—Paul Shrimpton

Bl. John Henry Newman was, among many other things, a lifelong teacher. Not only did he found the Catholic University of Ireland and England’s first Catholic public school, he was a highly...

Episode 21: Gosnell, the Abortion Story No One Wanted Told—Ann McElhinney

The new feature film Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, about the investigation, trial and conviction of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, has defied opposition from...

Episode 20: Carl Schmitt, Painter of Vision—Andrew de Sa

The American Catholic painter Carl Schmitt (1889-1989) made fascinating innovations in the use of color. He wrote extensively on the artist’s vocation, arguing for seeking holiness through...

Episode 19: Understanding the Church’s Abuse Crisis—Fr. Roger Landry

The faithful have many questions about the ecclesiastical sexual abuse crisis: What did Church authorities do right in responding to the previous wave of scandals, and what did they fail to do? How...

Episode 18: Acedia, the Forgotten Capital Sin—RJ Snell

Once included among the capital sins, acedia has been identified with both sloth and sadness. St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, defined it both as “disgust with activity” and...

Episode 17: A Civics Lesson for Catholics—Bob Marshall

Many Catholics have become cynical about the possibility of changing the political landscape, but perhaps we’ve given up before we’ve really tried. It’s not just about electing...

Episode 16: Extremely Specific Middle-earth Q&A with The Tolkien Professor—Corey Olsen

In part two of my interview with Corey “The Tolkien Professor” Olsen, we discuss several extremely specific questions about Middle-earth, including: What is “magic” in...

Episode 15: Online Education with The Tolkien Professor—Corey Olsen

Corey Olsen, aka The Tolkien Professor, started out putting his college lectures out in podcast form, and ended up founding an online master’s program devoted to the study of imaginative...

Episode 14: Priest & Actor—George Drance, S.J.

What’s it like to be both a priest and a professional actor? George Drance, SJ is the artist in residence at Fordham University, where he teaches acting, a resident artist in La Mama’s...

Episode 13: Progressives Are Trying to Take Over Medieval Studies—Rachel Fulton Brown

The critical theorists and social justice warriors are trying to do to medieval studies what they’ve done to other disciplines, and if you don’t get on board, you’re a white supremacist. Over the past...

Episode 12: A Career in Poetry & Prose—Mike Aquilina

Mike Aquilina has been a highly successful freelance writer for over three decades. He is best known for his popular books on the Fathers of the Church, but he is also a poet and has co-written songs with the...

Episode 11: Music and Morals—Fr. Basil Cole, O.P.

Are music and morals connected? If so, what is the nature of that connection? Are certain musical sounds morally bad or good in themselves, or are they neutral? Could the influence of music on...

Episode 10: How to Start an Institutional Apostolate, Part 2—Jeff Mirus

This episode is for anyone who believes he is called to found a Catholic apostolate, or anyone who is overseeing one already. In this second part of a two-part interview, CatholicCulture.org...

Episode 9: How to Start an Institutional Apostolate, Part 1—Jeff Mirus

This episode is for anyone who believes he is called to found a Catholic apostolate, or anyone who is overseeing one already. You may know Jeff Mirus as the founder of CatholicCulture.org, but he...

Episode 8: How to Stop Public Porn—Abriana Chilelli

Abriana Chilelli had to drive her children past a lewd strip club advertisement every day on their way home from school in downtown Denver. But instead of taking a fatalistic attitude and a detour,...

Episode 7: Inflation Is a Sin—Guido Hülsmann

It would not occur to most of us to imagine that monetary policy has a moral component. Catholic prelates are as silent about matters like fiat money, central banking and inflation and as are the...

Episode 6: 150 Years of Holy Preaching—Fr. John Maria Devaney, O.P.

The Dominicans have just celebrated the 150-year jubilee of their ministry on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Fr. John Maria Devaney, OP, host of the Order’s Word to Life program...

Episode 5: Hospital Dreams—Chris Baker

One of the most creative rock bands around today is Virginia-based indie trio The Duskwhales. Drummer/singer Chris Baker joins me to talk about their new EP, Hospital Dreams, a set of...

Episode 4: The Marian Option—Carrie Gress

There is an easy, short, perfect and sure way to save our failing Western civilization that is often overlooked in the endless slew of books and articles penned by Catholic intellectuals: Turn to...

Episode 3: Native American Catholicism & the New Evangelization

The history of Catholicism in the native American nations is little known, but is rife with lessons for lay spirituality, inculturation, and the New Evangelization. Today’s guest, journalist...

Episode 2: The Largest Civil Disobedience Movement in U.S. History

Operation Rescue is the largest civil disobedience movement in American history. It even dwarfs the civil rights movement, with over fifty thousand people having been arrested between 1988 and 1992...

Episode 1: A Working Actor’s Working Faith

Tony Mockus, Sr. has been Catholic his entire life, and an actor for almost as long. He has worked with countless great performers including Henry Fonda, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert De Niro and...

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