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Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Highlight clips from the Catholic Culture Podcast
and Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast

These engaging and informative clips on our YouTube channel, taken from longer episodes, provide a wonderful introduction to Catholic Culture’s podcasting program:

James Matthew Wilson's poem "Inhabitants" and sentimentality [7:55] (04/05/2021)
James Matthew Wilson reads and discusses his poem "Inhabitants", from his collection The Strangeness of the Good. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 102—Becoming Cultured Without a Bow Tie—James Matthew Wilson.

The Chosen controversy: Jesus' human knowledge [8:55] (10/11/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Chosen, Season 2: characters and controversies.

Intro to Walker Percy and the Southern Thing w/ Jessica Hooten Wilson [6:01] (08/11/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 112—Walker Percy’s Angelic-Bestial Future—Jessica Hooten Wilson.

Highlights: Indie rock, postliberalism, Mary and the Holy Spirit [1:13:02] (04/27/2022)
This episode contains clips of highlights from episodes 51 and 53-55 of the Catholic Culture Podcast.

An unsentimental depiction of the poor and the rich [5:27] (09/13/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Drama of Holiness: Monsieur Vincent (1947) w/ Steven Greydanus.

How to recite poetry well w/ James Matthew Wilson [5:47] (04/05/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 102—Becoming Cultured Without a Bow Tie—James Matthew Wilson.

The individual dancer's contribution in ballet [5:20] (07/07/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 109—A Catholic in the NYC Ballet—Claire Kretzschmar.

Samuel Hazo reads his poem "Night in the Eye of the Sun" [4:37] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo reads his poem "Night in the Eye of the Sun", from his collection The Next Time We Saw Paris. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Walker Percy's anti-romantic romance [13:08] (06/25/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 108—Walker Percy’s Moviegoer w/ Nathan Douglas.

The Chosen's discomfort with Divine preference [4:54] (10/11/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Chosen, Season 2: characters and controversies.

John Inglesant, the obscure novel Tolkien loved [6"40] (03/29/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 101—The Non-Reactionary Tolkien—Holly Ordway.

Tolkien’s favorite books for young people [4:44] (03/29/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 101—The Non-Reactionary Tolkien—Holly Ordway.

Samuel Hazo reads "Chipmunkian" and other poems [10:39] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo reads his poems “Chipmunkian”, “What Seems, What Is”, “When Being Rude Seems Right”, and “Responses”, from his collection The Next Time We Saw Paris. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Monsieur Vincent, masterpiece of narrative film w/ Steven Greydanus [8:27] (09/13/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Drama of Holiness: Monsieur Vincent (1947) w/ Steven Greydanus.

"An After Dinner Speech" and cultural appropriation [9:18] (04/05/2021)
Here's a conundrum: how do you become cultured if you’re not a participant in a culture? James Matthew Wilson's poem "An After Dinner Speech" relates to this problem. He reads and discusses the poem in this clip, also touching on the absurdity of complaints about "cultural appropriation". Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 102—Becoming Cultured Without a Bow Tie—James Matthew Wilson.

When does a documentary become art? [5:16] (06/29/2021)
Some documentaries are mere vehicles for conveying information. Others are works of art in their own right. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode New Lourdes documentary shows a miracle of mercy.

Tolkien's unlikely modern influences [5:09] (03/29/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 101—The Non-Reactionary Tolkien—Holly Ordway.

Minimalism in the film Thérèse [10:35] (08/27/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Thérèse (1986), and What Makes a Good Saint Movie? .

Can a novelist depict a saint? [9:35] (08/26/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 113—Can a Novelist “Create” a Saint?—Joshua Hren.

H. Rider Haggard's influence on Tolkien [5:19] (03/29/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 101—The Non-Reactionary Tolkien—Holly Ordway.

Sexual confusion in the vacuum of paternal authority [11:30] (12/01/2020)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Abdication of Fatherhood—Dekalog: Four (1988).

Can the action of grace be dramatized? [5:49] (08/26/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 113—Can a Novelist “Create” a Saint?—Joshua Hren.

How A Quiet Place conditions the audience with silence [4:51] (07/17/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Review: A Quiet Place Part II.

William Morris's influence on Tolkien [10:01] (03/29/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 101—The Non-Reactionary Tolkien—Holly Ordway.

In Lawrence of Arabia and Gandhi, Britain reflects on her colonial legacy [4:32] (06/18/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Patron Saint of Boomers: Gandhi (1982).

Humphrey Carpenter's misrepresentation of Tolkien [10:14] (03/29/2021)
Despite a prevailing misconception, Tolkien wasn't a luddite. This perception comes largely from the authorized biography by Humphrey Carpenter, who outright stated he didn’t intend to give an objective portrayal of his subject. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 101—The Non-Reactionary Tolkien—Holly Ordway.

What holds "saint movies" back from greatness [7:25] (08/27/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Thérèse (1986), and What Makes a Good Saint Movie? .

Inculturation, ecumenism and indifferentism w/ Jean Danielou and Brandon McGinley [20:12] (06/07/2021)
Jean Danielou, SJ's quirky book Prayer as a Political Problem provokes Brandon McGinley and Thomas Mirus to a lively discussion of issues of inculturation, ecumenism and religious indifferentism. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 107—Prayer as a Political Problem w/ Brandon McGinley.

Beyond Maritain, Hildebrand, and Gilson: developing Catholic aesthetics [4:29] (04/05/2021)
Poet-philosopher James Matthew Wilson gives some brief thoughts on how Catholic thinking on art could be developed beyond the work done by great 20th-century philosophers. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 102—Becoming Cultured Without a Bow Tie—James Matthew Wilson.

Samuel Hazo and the International Poetry Forum [8:19] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo talks about the International Poetry Forum he founded in Pittsburgh. It hosted poets from 38 different countries in 43 years, including many who later became world-famous, like Archibald MacLeish, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Seamus Heaney, and Czeslaw Milosz. The Forum was founded on Hazo's conviction that poetry is a universal language, one meant to be heard aloud. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Sergeant-Major Gandhi vs. his Western myth [22:46] (06/18/2021)
Missing in the 1981 film Gandhi's portrayal of a Westerner's ideal Eastern saint is that little-known fellow, Sergeant-Major Gandhi, winner of the British government's War Medal. Though a great man, Gandhi was prone to bizarre contradictions and certainly was not consistently committed to either pacifism or racial egalitarianism. He ultimately admitted that his style of nonviolent resistance could only work against a fundamentally moral people - like the British Empire. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Patron Saint of Boomers: Gandhi (1982).

The role of a writer in a documentary film [5:35] (07/08/2021)
Sixtine Leon-Dufour (writer of the acclaimed documentary Lourdes) explains what exactly a documentary writer does. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Interview with Lourdes writer Sixtine Leon-Dufour.

Poem: "Unseen at Sight" and the hidden greatness of women [6:32] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo reads his poem “Unseen at Sight”, about the hidden greatness of women. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Catholic professors unwelcome at “historically Catholic” universities [9:17] (04/05/2021)
Philosopher and poet James Matthew Wilson describes his experience as an orthodox Catholic professor at Villanova, one of those universities that is described as "historically Catholic” because its Catholic identity today is nominal. This includes being denounced by hundreds of colleagues, and the occasional success in waking a cynical freshman to the heroic meaning of life. (Shortly after this recording, Wilson announced that he was leaving Villanova to found a new MFA program at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.) Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 102—Becoming Cultured Without a Bow Tie—James Matthew Wilson.

Getting unprecedented access to film in Lourdes [3:58] (07/08/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Interview with Lourdes writer Sixtine Leon-Dufour.

Samuel Hazo reads his poems "Who?" and "Thou Shalt Kill" [7:01] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo reads his poems "Who?" and "Thou Shalt Kill", from his collection The Next Time We Saw Paris. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Byrd and Tallis: Medieval Music Mafia [5:10] (12/11/2020)
When you really think about the monopoly on music printing and importation granted by Queen Elizabeth to William Byrd and Thomas Tallis, it's a bit outrageous... Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

8 1/2's protagonist is unable to escape the Church [9:01] (06/01/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Lust kills art: 8 1/2 (1963) w/ Katy Carl.

Samuel Hazo: when poetry melds into speech [6:44] (03/22/2021)
Poet Samuel Hazo is noted for the seemingly effortless natural speaking voice that comes through in his verse - Richard Wilbur called it "a stream of good talk". In this clip he discusses this aspect of his style, his opinion of some contemporary free verse, and the use of profanity in poetry; he then reads his poem "The Fate of Nothing". Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Recording the complete works of St. Hildegard [12:37] (02/21/2021)
Hear Benjamin Bagby talk about recording the complete musical works of St. Hildegard of Bingen with his ensemble Sequentia, and then hear Sequentia's performance of Hildegard's "O Vis Eternitatis". Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 98—An Anglo-Saxon Bard—Benjamin Bagby.

Filming the heart of Lourdes [9:22] (07/08/2021)
Preparing to shoot the documentary Lourdes, writer Sixtine Leon-Dufour and the other filmmakers had to select the pilgrims whose stories would be told in the film. Since their goal was to go deep into the human condition, they also had to convince these men and women to open up their private lives, sufferings, dreams and even prayers. Thanks to the generosity and vulnerability of these pilgrims, the film became a mirror in which we can recognize our own poverty. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Interview with Lourdes writer Sixtine Leon-Dufour.

A lifelong pursuit of Beowulf [5:54] (02/21/2021)
Benjamin Bagby discusses his experience performing the medieval epic Beowulf for four decades. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 98—An Anglo-Saxon Bard—Benjamin Bagby.

Love, divorce and art in Fellini's 8 1/2 [11:38] (06/01/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Lust kills art: 8 1/2 (1963) w/ Katy Carl.

Setting Beowulf to music [9:45] (02/21/2021)
Modern-day bard Benjamin Bagby explains how he comes up with the modal melodies to which he chants the text of the medieval epic Beowulf. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 98—An Anglo-Saxon Bard—Benjamin Bagby.

Don’t substitute Church politics for spirituality [14:33] (04/05/2021)
Philosopher and poet James Matthew Wilson is concerned about what he sees as a narrowing of Catholic intellectual life, related to a sort of philistinish online traditionalism more concerned with finding modernism everywhere than with a deep engagement with Catholic doctrine. He also notes a problem afflicting Catholics more generally: the substitution of engagement with Church politics for a real spiritual life. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 102—Becoming Cultured Without a Bow Tie—James Matthew Wilson.

Samuel Hazo reads his poem "The Servitude" [5:19] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo reads his poem "The Servitude", from his collection The Next Time We Saw Paris. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Leo XIII's special love for German Catholics [9:20] (04/20/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 103—Pope Leo XIII’s NYC Hotel.

Reconstructing the Anglo-Saxon harp [17:04] (02/21/2021)
Benjamin Bagby explains and demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon harp, reconstructed based on an instrument found in a ship burial, which he uses when he performs the medieval epic Beowulf. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 98—An Anglo-Saxon Bard—Benjamin Bagby.

Life forms evolved to more perfect imitation of the Trinity [12:21] (02/09/2021)
Catholic geneticist Daniel Toma describes how increasingly advanced forms of life, in their manner of sex differentiation and procreation, come to closer approximations of community and imitations of the Holy Trinity. Then he relates this to the Eastern Christian notion that all beauty in creation is infused from the glory of Christ's Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 97—The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science—Daniel Toma.

Gandhi kept Christ at arm's length [8:31] (06/18/2021)
Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Patron Saint of Boomers: Gandhi (1982).

How to reconstruct a medieval epic [5:55] (02/21/2021)
Benjamin Bagby is famous for his performances of the medieval epic Beowulf, which he chants in Old English while accompanying himself on a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon harp. He has put decades of study into reconstructing what an Anglo-Saxon bard might have sounded like. But how is that possible? Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 98—An Anglo-Saxon Bard—Benjamin Bagby.

Evolution aims for intelligence, not just survival [11:24] (02/09/2021)
It is often said that the fossil record shows that evolution aims toward survival as its highest value. Catholic geneticist Daniel Toma contends that this interpretation is a matter of philosophy, and that it is an equally valid interpretation to see the fossil record as directed toward the higher end of intelligence. One can also see it leading toward the development of greater interiority, greater individuality, and greater community. These are material developments, but they seem to stretch toward the spiritual in ways that are not fulfilled until God intervenes in creating the ensouled human being. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 97—The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science—Daniel Toma.

Postmodernism is the academics’ class ideology [5:48] (12/22/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Discerning when cinema becomes pornographic [14:47] (05/07/2021)
When does depiction of sexuality in a movie become pornographic? Does the director's intent (artistic vs. salacious) matter? Conventional wisdom would say so, yet the Catechism does not mention intent in its definition of pornography, which it says "consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties". It seems, then, that certain things may never be displayed, even for an artistic or moralizing purpose. On the other hand, the Catechism's definition does not exhaust all the varieties of sexual immorality found in media, because it would not include mere nudity in a film, even if the nudity were clearly intended to provoke lust. Dekalog: Six, included on the Vatican's 1995 list of important films, includes scenes that, though not entirely explicit, call for discernment from a Catholic viewer. It is clear that, whether strictly pornographic or not, certain aspects of the film cross the moral line, and also clear that the Vatican did not intend to endorse these depictions in including the Dekalog series as a whole on its list. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode A Short Film About Love—Dekalog: Six (1988).

Samuel Hazo reads his poem "Once" [1:08] (03/22/2021)
Samuel Hazo reads his poem "Once", from his collection The Next Time We Saw Paris. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 100—The Singular—Samuel Hazo.

Fulton Sheen's "law of assimilation" in the hierarchy of being [5:48] (02/09/2021)
In his writings on the philosophy of science, Abp. Fulton Sheen described what he called the "law of assimilation", inspired by a passage in Aquinas's Summa Contra Gentiles. Life is higher according to its ability to assimilate other beings into its own without destroying them—Plants break down everything they assimilate. Animals can sense things without breaking them down physically, but do not perceive the whole form, only sensory patterns. Human beings can assimilate a whole form by conforming their mind to it. Angels comprehend things starting with their universal form, not with particular instantiations of that form. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 97—The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science—Daniel Toma.

Transgenderism vs. transracialism: why the double standard? [10:20] (12/22/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Without fatherhood, motherhood lacks proper boundaries [8:53] (07/29/2021)
In Kieslowski's film Dekalog: Seven, a grandmother and a mother battle for custody of a child while the father and grandfather stand by, doing nothing to stop things from spiraling out of control. One possible reading of the film is that motherhood requires fatherhood to set its proper boundaries so that it does not turn in on itself and become a devouring thing. But the film, inspired by the seventh commandment "Thou shalt not steal", is also about a young woman having her motherhood "stolen" from her, raising the question: in what other ways does society rob women of motherhood? Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Theft of Motherhood—Dekalog: Seven (1988).

Liturgical structure in the hierarchy of living things [8:37] (02/09/2021)
"The more interior something is, the more it is alive." Geneticist Daniel Toma joins modern science to Aquinas, Dionysius and the Church Fathers, showing the relationship between the hierarchy of living things and the liturgical structure of being. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 97—The Hierarchy of Being in Natural Science—Daniel Toma.

Hillbilly Thomists: Death, apocalypse and bluegrass [6:11] (02/01/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 96—Hillbilly Thomists—Joseph Hagan, O.P..

The deliberate incoherence of queer theory [9:01] (12/22/2020)
Within postmodernism, the word "queer" does not necessarily refer to sexuality. It is a verb, whereby to queer something means to break down categories and destroy the tyranny of normality in any given area. Queer theory does not posit, for example, that gays and lesbians should be accepted as normal within mainstream society, but rather that the very concept of normality is oppressive and needs to be continually subverted. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Fear of hell and fear of the Lord w/ Ralph Martin [8:14] (01/25/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 95—Fighting Pervasive Religious Indifferentism—Ralph Martin.

How the Hillbilly Thomists' life of prayer informs their recording process [5:01] (02/01/2021)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 96—Hillbilly Thomists—Joseph Hagan, O.P..

Highlights: Authority in marriage, anti-libertarianism, the scapular and more [1:14:03] (11/23/2021)
This episode contains clips of highlights from episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on authority and submission as gift in Christian marriage, on the problems with libertarianism, on the brown scapular, and on English Catholic composer William Byrd.

Polyphony as "scholastic gloss" on chant [6:59] (12/11/2020)
The composers of Renaissance polyphony often used Gregorian chant as the deep structure of their works. In some cases, the polyphony functions analogously to a scholastic commentary or gloss on a Scripture text. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

Principles and themes of the postmodernist left [13:42] (12/22/2020)
Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay have written Cynical Theories, a very helpful primer on the development of modern activism from 1960s postmodernist philosophy. They note how the various activist "studies" make use of a consistent set of postmodernist principles and themes. Postmodern principles: 1. Radical skepticism about the ability to know anything, cultural constructivism 2. Society is formed of systems of power and hierarchies which decide what and how things can be known Postmodern themes: The blurring of boundaries, the power of language, cultural relativism, loss of the individual and the universal Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Andrei Rublev: the whole of a life in a fragment [10:39] (03/16/2021)
The film Andrei Rublev, about Russia's greatest icon painter, consists of narrative fragments whose unity only becomes clear at the end of the film. In this, the film reflects life itself, whose full meaning does not reveal itself except in its consummation. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Sanctification of an Icon Painter: Andrei Rublev (1966).

Spiritual similarities between Marxism and postmodernism [9:31] (12/22/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 94—Understanding Postmodern “Social Justice”—Darel Paul.

Walls of sound: renaissance vs. baroque polyphony [4:37] (12/11/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

What the movie Calvary gets right about priesthood [13:11] (04/23/2021)
Fr. James Searby talks about the portrayal of the priesthood in the movie Calvary, and his experience showing it to students in a film class at a secular university. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Crucifixion of a Parish Priest: Calvary (2014).

The poet's vocation: to spiritualize matter [9:26] (12/02/2020)
Translator Jonathan Geltner discusses a major theme of Paul Claudel's Five Great Odes, which is the poet's role as the voice of the cosmos. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 92—Claudel’s Cosmic Vision—Jonathan Geltner.

Great art transcends the corruption of its patrons [8:43] (03/16/2021)
The film Andrei Rublev shows that art and artists can transcend the impure motives of their patrons, because the true commissioner of the work is God. History bears this out too, as in the Renaissance, when many of the Church's great treasures of sacred art were commissioned by very worldly popes, who may have been as interested in bolstering their own worldly reputation as in giving glory to God. The film also depicts the artist's struggle against his own impurity, especially in the forms of vanity and envy. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Sanctification of an Icon Painter: Andrei Rublev (1966).

Why overanalyzing moral culpability is counterproductive [10:29] (01/25/2021)
Ralph Martin critiques the current focus on analyzing subjective culpability at the expense of preaching the moral truths of the Gospel. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 95—Fighting Pervasive Religious Indifferentism—Ralph Martin.

The lost world of plainsong, interrupted by the Reformation [9:55] (12/11/2020)
Kerry McCarthy describes the thriving tradition of plainsong in medieval English choral schools, which was violently disrupted by the Reformation. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

Sympathy for the devil in modern depictions of the Temptation of St. Anthony [15:17] (11/13/2020)
Art historian Elizabeth Lev discusses two modern paintings of the Temptation of St. Anthony, one by Max Ernst and another by Salvador Dali. In many older depictions we see Anthony totally at peace despite the demonic chaos around him. Ernst's painting is more typical of the modern approach, where we are really uncertain who is going to win in the conflict between saint and demons, and furthermore, we are uncertain whose side the painter is on. But Dali, despite his surrealist approach, gives us something markedly more traditional and Catholic in spirit. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 91—The Temptation of St. Anthony—Elizabeth Lev.

Balthasar, von Speyr and hell w/ Ralph Martin [11:31] (01/25/2021)
Ralph Martin discusses Hans Urs von Balthasar's controversial thesis on the population of hell. Balthasar said that modern man was incapable of believing in a God who would send people to hell. Did this belief lead him to muddy the waters of Scripture and tradition as part of a misguided apologetic? Balthasar insisted that his thought could not be separated from the mystical testimony of Adrienne von Speyr. There are some reasons to believe that there was a serious lack of discernment in their relationship, a lack of oversight which could have allowed deceptions to enter in. One of Balthasar's less admirable qualities was his habitual denigration of saints who did not fit with his intellectual tendencies (Augustine, Josemaria Escriva, the author of the Imitation of Christ), and there is a parallel with Speyr's claimed ability to mystically enter into and critique the prayer lives of great saints like Thomas Aquinas. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 95—Fighting Pervasive Religious Indifferentism—Ralph Martin.

Hear Paul Claudel's poetry in English and French [7:15] (12/02/2020)
An excerpt from one of Catholic poet Paul Claudel's Five Great Odes, read by translator Jonathan Geltner. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 92—Claudel’s Cosmic Vision—Jonathan Geltner.

Tarkovsky: a cinema not Soviet but Russian [9:08] (03/16/2021)
Discussing one of the great masterpieces of spiritual cinema, Andrei Rublev, filmmaker Nathan Douglas takes a moment to place its director, Andrei Tarkovsky, in the overall context of Russian cinematic history. One major contribution of Russian cinema was "montage theory", the idea that films create meaning not by spelling everything out but by juxtaposing images in such a way that the viewer generates the meaning of the film in his own mind. This technique was often connected with the spread of Soviet ideology, but Tarkovsky went deeper further back in history to discover something about the Russian spirit, telling the story of Russia's greatest icon painter in a series of seemingly disconnected vignettes whose unity only becomes clear at the conclusion of the film. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Sanctification of an Icon Painter: Andrei Rublev (1966).

Bosch's Triptych of the Temptation of St. Anthony w/ Elizabeth Lev [19:47] (11/13/2020)
Art historian Elizabeth Lev discusses Hieronymus Bosch's most famous depiction of the Temptation of St. Anthony. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 91—The Temptation of St. Anthony—Elizabeth Lev.

Good priests suffer from the sins of evil ones [3:06] (04/23/2021)
While discussing a scene from the 2014 film Calvary, Fr. James Searby recounts something similar that happened to him when he was a seminarian. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Crucifixion of a Parish Priest: Calvary (2014).

The miracle of Western self-criticism w/ Robert Royal [8:49] (10/10/2020)
Robert Royal discusses how even as some Spaniards in far-flung lands mistreated native populations, the Spanish crown was condemning the enslavement of natives and Spanish thinkers were developing the ideas of universal human rights and international law. It is strange to condemn Western civilization as a whole based on some Westerners having violated standards of universal human rights that would not exist but for the West. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 88—On Columbus—Robert Royal.

Dominican on his vocation: "I would blame Mary and the Rosary" [5:43] (02/01/2021)
Fr. Joseph Hagan, drummer for the Hillbilly Thomists, says his vocation as a Dominican friar was partially inspired by the Rosary. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 96—Hillbilly Thomists—Joseph Hagan, O.P..

Expose your kids to art above their level [2:45] (02/17/2021)
As a child, James was bored and baffled by the movies he saw his father watching. Yet he knew that there must be something in them that his father could see and he could not. Thus began his fascination with the art of cinema. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Wild Courtesy: Dersu Uzala (1975).

Tallis's romp through the medieval modes [21:17] (12/11/2020)
Among Thomas Tallis's most appealing music is his set of modal settings for English psalm translations by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker. (As it happens, Parker's ordination was the specific case studied by Rome to determine the validity of Anglican orders.) These pieces provide a good opportunity to ask scholar Kerry McCarthy about the medieval modes and the ethos associated with each one. Parker's commentary on the latter is particularly interesting. After the discussion of the modes, you will hear the whole set of psalm tones performed by Chapelle Du Roi (used with permission). Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 93—An Introduction to Thomas Tallis—Kerry McCarthy.

How St. Anthony beat the Devil [11:57] (11/13/2020)
The Desert Father St. Anthony was attacked by Satan in just about every way you can imagine—by the sorts of temptations and discouragements most of us have experienced, then escalating to visual illusions and painful physical attacks by demons resembling wild beasts. Yet he defeated the Evil One soundly every time. His weapon was very simple: absolute, undisturbed confidence in the power of God. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 91—The Temptation of St. Anthony—Elizabeth Lev.

Cinema in communist Poland vs. the cinema of the free market [10:28] (01/17/2021)
Filmmakers in Soviet Poland had to be very creative to get their message through the Communist censors. Problems of censorship aside, the historical record forces us to recognize begrudgingly that state funding for cinema in this period removed the artists' concern for profit and made room for some great art dealing with serious issues in a non-sensationalistic way - even on public television! - that is seldom seen in the United States. But it was not only the economic circumstances, but the great suffering of the Polish people, that made their cinema markedly different from the products of Hollywood. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode A Short Film About KillingDekalog: Five (1988).

Using film to teach the value of human life [8:30] (01/17/2021)
Kieslowski’s film Dekalog: Five, or A Short Film About Killing, is inspired by the Fifth Commandment. Film scholar Maria Elena de Las Carreras uses it to make her secular students reflect on the value of human life. Her writing on Kieslowski's work was "read with great interest" by Pope St. John Paul II. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode A Short Film About KillingDekalog: Five (1988).

Why artists loved to paint St. Anthony's demonic encounters w/ Elizabeth Lev [7:32] (11/13/2020)
Art historian Elizabeth Lev explains the historical importance of St. Anthony of the Desert and why he became so popular in religious art, especially in outlandish scenes portraying his conflicts with demons in animal form. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 91—The Temptation of St. Anthony—Elizabeth Lev.

Where The Chosen falls short in reverence [10:05] (03/26/2021)
A very moving scene in season 1 of The Chosen depicts Nicodemus's secret nighttime meeting with Jesus. However, the scene has a significant flaw which may reflect, for whatever reason, a certain discomfort with solemnity. Any dramatic portrayal of Jesus will necessarily be an incomplete reflection of a perfect, Divine Personality, but in one respect this scene crosses the line into error. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Chosen, an Education in Meditation.

Pope Leo XIII: Absolute free speech is bad, actually [11:33] (10/30/2020)
Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 90—Leo XIII on the State’s Duties Toward the Church—Thomas Pink.

Highlights: Garrigou-Lagrange, Dana Gioia, Tolkien’s metaphysics, and more [1:30:20] (08/18/2021)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on the great theologian Garrigou-Lagrange, abortion colonialism in Africa, Tolkien's metaphysics, and interviews with Catholic poet Dana Gioia and sacred music composer Paul Jernberg.

Highlights: How men can help the angry feminist in their lives, and more [1:04:38] (06/14/2021)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on how men can respond to feminism, a new translation of the Gospel of Mark, moral blindness and abortion, and the sculptor whose bust of Pope Benedict XVI received an award from that very Pope.

Highlights: Feminism and ideology; intuition, temperance and art; Great Books; Tolkien’s visual art [57:20] (04/27/2021)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on feminism and ideology, Maritain's philosophy of poetry; the arts, contemplation and virtue; studying the Great Books online; and Tolkien's visual art.

Podcast Highlights: The abuse crisis, acedia and more [1:03:37] (08/12/2020)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: from one of the most popular episodes ever, on acedia, the forgotten capital sin; Fr. Roger Langry on how the laity must respond to the abuse crisis; an interview with one of the writers of a film about mass abortion murderer Kermit Gosnell; and a piece of music by a capella group VOCES8.

Highlights: Music and morals, Tolkien and more [1:13:16] (04/20/2020)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes of the Catholic Culture Podcast: on music and morals with Basil Cole, O.P.; on being a priest and actor with George Drance, S.J.; a civics lesson for Catholics with Bob Marshall; and clips from two interviews with Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor.

Podcast Highlights: Native saints, Operation Rescue and more [1:29:41] (03/16/2020)
This is an episode-length compilation of highlights from old episodes from the Catholic Culture Podcast, on the topics of Native American saints, the pro-life civil disobedience movement, and Mary; plus clips from interviews with a Catholic actor, a musician, and CatholicCulture.org founder Jeff Mirus.

Jonathan Roumie's Childlike Performance as Jesus [5:43] (03/26/2021)
Actor James Majewski and Br. Joshua Vargas praise Jonathan Roumie's performance as Jesus in season 1 of The Chosen. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Chosen, an Education in Meditation.

The Functions and Dangers of Horror [12:37] (10/29/2020)
James Majewski discusses the appeal of horror and its cathartic function, but also its dangers and the potential of images to damage and traumatize the viewer. In particular, there must be a due gravity and sobriety in cinematic treatments of the occult. James mentions the films of Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar) as negative examples. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Reverence and the Occult: Nosferatu (1922/1979).

Materialism Freezes in the Face of Evil [11:06] (10/29/2020)
James Majewski discusses the appeal of horror and its cathartic function, but also its dangers and the potential of images to damage and traumatize the viewer. In particular, there must be a due gravity and sobriety in cinematic treatments of the occult. James mentions the films of Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar) as negative examples. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Reverence and the Occult: Nosferatu (1922/1979).

Why bother animating a movie? w/ Tim Reckart [5:29] (11/21/2020)
Catholic animator Tim Reckart discusses a common question in the world of animation: why animate something at all rather than film live action? In discussing a segment from Disney's Fantasia (1940), he comes to the conclusion that certain kinds of spectacle—such as dance sequences and fight scenes—tend to be less interesting when animated because we are aware that no real physical feats are being performed. Some additional magic is necessary to make something worth animating. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Fantasia (1940) w/ animator Tim Reckart.

Social hierarchy in Disney’s Fantasia w/ Tim Reckart [11:05] (11/21/2020)
Walt Disney didn’t animate his own movies after a certain point, but they continued to be Walt Disney movies. Likewise, a conductor doesn’t play a note, but he still gets the credit for the orchestra’s performance. Catholic animator Tim Reckart thinks this concern for social hierarchy pervades the 1940 Disney film Fantasia, which was produced around the time of a major animators’ strike and offers a series of analogues to the Disney studio organization, beginning with the conductor and proceeding to dancing mushrooms and an army of magically animated brooms. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Fantasia (1940) w/ animator Tim Reckart.

Groundbreaking animation in Disney’s Fantasia w/ Tim Reckart [7:00] (11/21/2020)
Catholic animator Tim Reckart explains some of the ingenious animated effects, enchanting even today, used in Disney’s 1940 film Fantasia. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode Fantasia (1940) w/ animator Tim Reckart.

Documentary film and privacy under the Soviet police state [4:19] (12/01/2020)
The great Polish filmmaker Kryzstof Kieslowski started his career making documentaries, but switched to making feature films to avoid violating the privacy of real people (especially because he was living under a totalitarian regime). But the privacy of actors can be abused as well. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Abdication of Fatherhood—Dekalog: Four (1988).

Why realistic acting isn’t always best [9:13] (12/09/2020)
Realistic or naturalistic acting is the norm in today’s movies, but non-realistic acting, such as that found in silent movies, can express things inaccessible to realism. The 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis is a great example, using the grotesquely striking techniques of German expressionism to convey, among other things, the dehumanizing aspects of industrial labor. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Machine-Whore of Babylon: Metropolis (1927).

Echoes of Biblical Apocalypse in the sci-fi classic Metropolis [16:05] (12/09/2020)
The 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis, by lapsed Catholic director Fritz Lang, is chock-full of Biblical imagery and allusions, particularly related to the Apocalypse. Particularly prominent are references to Moloch, the Whore of Babylon, and Mary. The movie is also prophetic of evils in society today, such as the porn epidemic, transgenderism’s mockery of womanhood, increasingly transparent Satanism in popular culture, and more. Clip from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, episode The Machine-Whore of Babylon: Metropolis (1927).

Was Karl Marx a Satanist? w/ Paul Kengor [13:12] (09/29/2020)
Paul Kengor, author of The Devil and Karl Marx, goes over some of the evidence (in biographies published by mainstream and academic presses) that Marx may have been a Satanist, including his valorization of the demonic in his own writings, his obsession with the Faustian bargain, his friends and family's description of him as a demonic figure, and more. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 86—Karl Marx, “Monster of Ten Thousand Devils”—Paul Kengor.

Marx's Family Life —Why Philosophers' Moral Lives Matter w/ Paul Kengor [14:51] (09/29/2020)
Paul Kengor, author of The Devil and Karl Marx, details Karl Marx's wretched family life, his willful refusal to support his wife and children and his hypocritical selfishness about money. Then he and Thomas discuss the relevance of the personal lives of philosophers in evaluating their thought, arguing that the modern separation of moral and intellectual life is fraudulent. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 86—Karl Marx, “Monster of Ten Thousand Devils”—Paul Kengor.

Comedy Humbles the Proud w/ Jeremy McLellan [9:51] (10/05/2020)
Catholic comedian Jeremy McLellan discusses the social role of comedy in taking people outside their comfort zone and humbling the proud, but also the limits of comedy. Comedians are often contrarians without a positive vision of reality to replace what they’re critiquing, and the result can be nihilistic (even if, at times, pleasantly anti-woke). Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 87—The Jester Is Not The King—Jeremy McLellan.

Uncomfortable Jokes and Endless Euphemisms w/ Jeremy McLellan [14:23] (10/05/2020)
Catholic comedian Jeremy McLellan recounts the funniest joke he ever heard, which was told by a guy with Down’s Syndrome. Then, reflecting on his experience working with people with mental disabilities, he suggests that one reason for the endlessly changing euphemisms for disabilities is not so much a desire to be inclusive, but discomfort with the very existence of disability and the disabled. So long as disabled people are not included in mainstream society, but segregated and shunted off, we will attempt to put a band-aid on the problem by coming up new, ever-more-sensitive terms for THEM. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 87—The Jester Is Not The King—Jeremy McLellan.

Early pagan and Jewish attacks on Mary w/ Mike Aquilina [4:56] (10/22/2020)
An examination of how the pagans and Jews attacked the mother of Christ from the first. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 89—Mary and the Blues—Mike Aquilina.

Early belief in Mary’s Assumption w/ Mike Aquilina [7:41] (10/22/2020)
A look at how the first Christians regarded the Assumption of the Blessed VIrgin. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 89—Mary and the Blues—Mike Aquilina.

What was the agape meal and why did it disappear? w/ Mike Aquilina [5:02] (10/22/2020)
Mike Aquilina explains two early Christian religious practices involving food, both of which disappeared in the early centuries of the Church: the agape meal and the refrigerium. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 89—Mary and the Blues—Mike Aquilina.

Leo XIII, Vatican II and Religious Liberty—Continuity or Contradiction? [19:14] (10/30/2020)
Prof. Thomas Pink discusses the relationship between Vatican II’s declaration on religious liberty (Dignitatis Humanae) and the prior teachings of Pope Leo XIII and other popes on the relationship between Church and State. Are they actually or only seemingly contradictory? The decree manages to be consistent with prior teaching by confining itself to statements about the civil order—that is, the authority that the State, in itself, possesses over religion, which is nil. In this way, Dignitatis Humanae is ironically a Leonine document insofar as its treatment of the civil order is drawn from his distinction between the two powers. At the same time, however, it dodges the whole question of legitimate religious coercion (of heretics, etc.) by the State not of its own authority but when acting as agent of the Church. This is how the progressive party at the Council influenced the document—not by getting it to contradict past teachings, but by preventing it from specifically enumerating those teachings. As a result, even most conservative Catholics today are either unaware of or uncomfortable with the traditional teachings on Church and State. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 90—Leo XIII on the State’s Duties Toward the Church—Thomas Pink.

Two Coercive Powers: Church and State w/ Thomas Pink [5:34] (10/30/2020)
Discussion of the coercive authority of both Church and State. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 90—Leo XIII on the State’s Duties Toward the Church—Thomas Pink.

Leo XIII: States must profess the true religion [8:09] (10/30/2020)
A discussion of the religious obligations of the State, with Thomas Pink. Clip from the Catholic Culture Podcast, episode 90—Leo XIII on the State’s Duties Toward the Church—Thomas Pink.