What’s in a Name? “I am weird” vs. “Defining Issues”

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Nov 12, 2012

At the end of last week we tried an experiment. In early October we had released a collection of essays by Peter Mirus in an eBook entitled “You are weird. God is odd”, featuring the CatholicCulture.org pencil drawing of Peter on the cover. The title for the collection was taken from an essay Peter had written back in July of 2005, which had elicited an enthusiastic response.

But almost nobody purchased this ebook during its first month on sale and we wondered whether that was because of its unusual title and cover. Perhaps potential readers never got past this unusual bit of quirkiness to read the description, which emphasizes the wide range of topics covered in the collection. Hence the experiment.

We have now repackaged this book as Defining Issues: Social, Familial and Personal Perspectives on a Catholic Life, complete with cover art drawn from Murillo’s wonderful 17th century portrayal of the Holy Family on the flight into Egypt. We’ll see if this marketing shift makes a difference.

Here, in order of appearance, is a list of the essays included in this collection:

  1. Pornography and the Internet: Are Your Children Safe?
  2. Manifestations of Modernism
  3. Valentine’s Day: Love It or Hate It?
  4. We Are All Liars
  5. Catholic Superheroes
  6. Half Measures in a Crazy World
  7. Liberal Diplomacy and the Church
  8. Building a Catholic Action Plan for Reform
  9. No, He’s MY Personal Jesus
  10. Catholicism and Buddhism: Compatible Beliefs?
  11. I Just…Can’t…Take it Anymore!
  12. Catholic Environmentalism
  13. I Just Don’t See It
  14. Spam, Pornography, Fertility and the American Way
  15. Was Pope JPII an Effective Governor?
  16. You are Weird; God is Odd
  17. Behold the Great Outdoors
  18. Dual Parenting Action
  19. Federal Social Programs and Catholic Principles
  20. The Truth About Catholic Social Teachings
  21. Principled Catholic Social Action
  22. Hope and Serenity Among the Thorns
  23. Do You Love To Argue?
  24. The Worst We've Ever Had It. Apocalypse Now?
  25. The Chastisement, Revisited
  26. Inspirational Saints of the Liturgy
  27. Tolkien and His Trees
  28. Prayer: When Asking is . . . Not Asking?
  29. The Clergy and the Laity: Who's Responsible for Whom?
  30. Hear No Evil: My Perspective on Rock Music

In editing the collection, I was reminded of how good and helpful these essays are—solid content with a personal touch. Of course, it is true that Peter is my second-oldest son, but he has been involved with CatholicCulture.org from the first, and is responsible for much of the programming, design and marketing strategy. Educated at Christendom College and by nature an entrepreneur, Peter is a member of our Board of Directors, but makes his living from his own technology marketing consulting firm, STA Tech Marketing.

Defining Issues by Peter Mirus

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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