Sacred and Profane Love Episode 42: Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter

In this episode, I speak with professor of theology Fritz Bauerschmidt about Graham Greene’s novel, The Heart of the Matter. We discuss the moral psychology of sin, and how it is that human beings are able to knowingly act against their own good (in this case: knowingly and deliberatively choose their own eternal damnation). How can someone find what is evil good? The answer in this case is a deft exploration of the interplay between pride and pity, self-deception and self-conceit.

As always, I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Frederick C. Bauerschmidt is Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland. He is the author of many books, including The Love That Is God: An Invitation to Christian Faith, 2020, Catholic Theology: An Introduction, 2017, Thomas Aquinas: Faith, Reason and Following Christ. Oxford, 2013, and Holy Teaching: Introducing the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas, 2005. You can follow him on Twitter @BauerschmidtC

Jennifer Frey is an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and PsychologyHer writing has also been featured in Breaking Ground, First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyThe Point, and USA Today. She lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband, six children, and six chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @jennfrey.

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Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. The podcast is generously supported by The Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and produced by Catholics for Hire.

Audio Edited & Music Produced by Anthony Monson

Sacred and Profane Love Episode 40: The Tragic Vision of Eugene O’Neill

In this episode, I speak with the journalist Damon Linker about the Pulitzer prize winning American playwright, Eugene O’Neill. Our conversation mostly centers around A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, the semi-autobiographical account of the tortured dynamics within in his own family. We discuss O’Neill’s uniquely Catholic variety of atheism, of how his work resonates with themes from Simone Weil, in her essay, “Literature and Morals,” the difference between a transcendence that orders the self to the good and the transcendence that is ordered towards the obliteration of the self, and finally, O’Neill’s his tragic vision of the human person.

Damon and I had originally planned to discuss The Iceman Cometh as well, but we ran out of time. Happily, we got back together to record a PATRONS ONLY episode on Iceman. If you’d like to support the podcast, and listen to our discussion of Iceman, please sign up to be a patron here:

https://www.patreon.com/eudaimoniapod

As always, I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Damon Linker is a senior correspondent at The Week.com. In recent years, he has taught in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania and worked as a consulting editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press and as a senior editor at Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Until November 2014 he was a contributing editor at The New Republic. Linker is the author of The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege and The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other leading publications. He has edited First Things magazine, served as a speechwriter for New York’s Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, and taught political philosophy at Brigham Young University. Linker studied history, philosophy, and writing at Ithaca College, graduating with a BA in 1991. He went on to earn an MA in history from New York University and a Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University. Born in New York City, Linker lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two children.

Jennifer Frey is an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and PsychologyHer writing has also been featured in Breaking Ground, First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyThe Point, and USA Today. She lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband, six children, and six chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @jennfrey.

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Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. The podcast is generously supported by The Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and produced by Catholics for Hire.

Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

Episode 39 Sacred and Profane Love: Gabriel Marcel’s Thirst

In this episode, I speak with Michial Farmer about the philosopher and playwright Gabriel Marcel–more specifically, we discuss his play, Thirst, and one of his essays, “The Mystery of the Family.” We talk about how Marcel’s plays give him the materials for his later philosophy, and how Marcel differs from other existentialist philosophers, like Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Kierkegaard.

I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Michial Farmer is one-third of the Christian Humanist Podcast. He is the author of Imagination and Idealism in John Updike’s Fiction, and his essays have appeared in The Front Porch Republic, The Cresset, Christ and Pop Culture, and Touchstone.

Jennifer Frey is an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and PsychologyHer writing has also been featured in Breaking Ground, First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyThe Point, and USA Today. She lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband, six children, and six chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @jennfrey.

Subscribe

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Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. The podcast is generously supported by The Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and produced by Catholics for Hire.

Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

Bonus Episode Sacred and Profane Love: Matthew Mehan on Children’s Literature

Sometimes, you just need to do something fun, and this episode reflects one of those times. I was in DC this summer for a week teaching, so I popped into the Hillsdale College recording studio (where I’ve been before to chat Walker Percy) to talk with one of my favorite children’s lit authors, Matthew Mehan. We discuss children’s lit generally and also discuss his own books (which I highly recommend!): The Handsome Little Cygnet and Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals.

I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Dr. Matthew Mehan is the Director of Academic Programs for Washington D.C. and Assistant Professor of Government for the Van Andel Graduate School of Government. He has been teaching and designing humanities curricula for twenty years. Dr. Mehan is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the valedictorian of his class. He received a B.A. in politics, an M.A. in English, and a Ph.D. in Literature (with honors) for his dissertation on Shakespeare, Thomas More, and the education of leading citizens. For the last five years, he has also taught for the College’s Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program for undergraduates.

Dr. Mehan has consulted for national leaders and heads of state. He has written for various outlets both scholarly and popular, including Moreana and The Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals, an illustrated, best-selling book of poems that one critic called “a new classic” in children’s literature. His lovely wife and their passel of children live in Virginia. He graduated from Okemos Public High School in Okemos, Michigan, and he misses Michigan summers.

Jennifer Frey is an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and PsychologyHer writing has also been featured in Breaking Ground, First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyThe Point, and USA Today. She lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband, six children, and six chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @jennfrey

Subscribe

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Preview on iTunes

Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. The podcast is generously supported by The Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and produced by Catholics for Hire.

Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5


Episode 35, Sacred and Profane Love: Morten Hoi Jensen on Jens Peter Jacobsen

In this episode, literary critic Morten Høi Jensen and I discuss the Danish novelist and poet, Jens Peter Jacobsen, and his beautiful novel, Niels Lyhne. Niels is a man searching for love and for God, but who finds that God does not answer his prayers and concludes that the universe is without a creator and cannot offer us any consolation. Originally titled The Atheist, Jacobsen’s novel is an honest exploration of atheism and its paradoxical nature as parasitic upon the faith it rejects and a new faith in its own right.

I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Morten Høi Jensen is a literary critic and the author of A Difficult Death: The Life and Work of Jens Peter Jacobsen, which was published by Yale University Press in 2017 with a foreword by James Wood. His writing has also appeared in the New York Review of Books, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Point, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Commonweal, and The American Interest, among others. He is currently writing a book about Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain.

Jennifer A. Frey is an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and PsychologyHer writing has also been featured in First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyPloughThe Point, and USA Today. She lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband, six children, and six chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @jennfrey

Subscribe

Become a Patron!

Preview on iTunes

Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. The podcast is generously supported by The Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and produced by Catholics for Hire.

This episode of Sacred and Profane Love is sponsored by The Classic Learning Test, which provides an to alternative standardized tests rooted in tradition. Featuring passages selected from great works across a variety of disciplines (including St. Augustine, Dante, and Flannery O’Connor), the CLT suite of assessments provide a highly accurate and rigorous measure of reasoning, aptitude, and academic formation for students from diverse educational backgrounds. The exams are taken online in just two to three hours, and all three assessments (traditional CLT, CLT10, CLT8) give test results within 24 hours. (Please note that scores for the new remote-proctored CLT are available 1-2 weeks after testing.) The CLT also provides colleges and secondary schools with detailed information about student learning trends, to facilitate decisions about admissions, curricula, and instruction. The CLT unites a dedicated group of educators, businesspeople, and scholars, all in service to a shared passion: to reconnect intellectual pursuit with the pursuit of virtue.

Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5.

Episode 34 Sacred and Profane Love: Dante’s Paradiso

Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens...” Talking Heads

OK, friends, we are finally in Paradise, with our faithful guides Beatrice, St. Bernard, and of course, Professor Matthew Rothaus Moser. It turns out that perfect happiness is resting, delighting, and dwelling in the good. How does Dante manage to write 33 more cantos about rest? You should listen to find out, of course!

As always, I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Matthew Rothaus Moser joined the Honors College faculty at Azusa Pacific University in Fall 2020 after teaching for seven years in the Theology Department at Loyola University Maryland. He has won two awards for excellence in teaching: the first from Baylor University (2013), the second from Loyola University Maryland’s Center for Humanities (2016). In addition to essays and book chapters on the theology of reading, theological aesthetics, and theology and literature, he has also published Love Itself is Understanding: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theology of the Saints (Fortress Press, 2016) and the forthcoming Dante and the Poetic Practice of Theology (Wipf & Stock Publishers). You can follow him on Twitter @M_Rothaus_Moser

Jennifer A. Frey is an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and PsychologyHer writing has also been featured in First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyPloughThe Point, and USA Today. She lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband, six children, and six chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @jennfrey

Subscribe

Become a Patron!

Preview on iTunes

Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. The podcast is generously supported by The Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and produced by William Deatherage.

This episode of Sacred and Profane Love is sponsored by The Classical Learning Test, which provides an to alternative standardized tests rooted in tradition. Featuring passages selected from great works across a variety of disciplines (including Dante!), the CLT suite of assessments provide a highly accurate and rigorous measure of reasoning, aptitude, and academic formation for students from diverse educational backgrounds. The exams are taken online in just two to three hours, and all three assessments (traditional CLT, CLT10, CLT8) give test results within 24 hours. (Please note that scores for the new remote-proctored CLT are available 1-2 weeks after testing.) The CLT also provides colleges and secondary schools with detailed information about student learning trends, to facilitate decisions about admissions, curricula, and instruction. The CLT unites a dedicated group of educators, businesspeople, and scholars, all in service to a shared passion: to reconnect intellectual pursuit with the pursuit of virtue.

Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5.By Jennifer A Freyin Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life534 WordsLeave a commentEdit

Episode 33 Sacred and Profane Love: Dante’s Purgatorio

2021 marks the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death in Ravenna. This is the second of three episodes exploring Dante’s The Divine Comedy, with Professor Matthew Rothaus Moser (Theology, Honors College, Azusa Pacific University). In this episode, we discuss Dante’s vision of Purgatory, a place where sin is healed and the soul purified, so that a person can become truly free to enjoy the good.

I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Matthew Rothaus Moser joined the Honors College faculty at Azusa Pacific University in Fall 2020 after teaching for seven years in the Theology Department at Loyola University Maryland. He has won two awards for excellence in teaching: the first from Baylor University (2013), the second from Loyola University Maryland’s Center for Humanities (2016). In addition to essays and book chapters on the theology of reading, theological aesthetics, and theology and literature, he has also published Love Itself is Understanding: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theology of the Saints (Fortress Press, 2016) and the forthcoming Dante and the Poetic Practice of Theology (Wipf & Stock Publishers). You can follow him on Twitter @M_Rothaus_Moser

Jennifer A. Frey is an associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and PsychologyHer writing has also been featured in First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyPloughThe Point, and USA Today. She lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband, six children, and six chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @jennfrey

Subscribe

Become a Patron!

Preview on iTunes

Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. The podcast is generously supported by The Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and produced by William Deatherage.

Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5.By Jennifer A Freyin Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life534 WordsLeave a commentEdit