Thomas Hibbs
Thomas Hibbs
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Benedictine Monks Roll Up Their Sleeves and Relish Manual Labor

August 5, 2017  •  National Review Online

In his justly celebrated new book, The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance, Senator Ben Sasse recommends manual labor as a way for children to inculcate self-reliance and overcome habits of passivity. Sasse broaches issues here that are developed in greater detail in Matthew Crawford's popular book Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. Both tap into a wisdom with roots in the ancient, Benedictine monastic tradition. Combining ora et labora, prayer and work, the Benedictines cultivate silence and reverent speech alongside meaningful, productive work, two practices that for many of us are fading from our world.

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Facing Extinction, Iraqi Christians Look to America

July 28, 2017  •  National Review Online

In March 2016, the Obama administration, with the encouragement of a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives, declared that ISIS was committing genocide against religious minorities in the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry observed that the terror group "is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology, and by actions — in what it says, what it believes, and what it does." Republicans lambasted the Obama administration for taking so long to make the declaration and, in the wake of the declaration, for having no response plan. The absence of any follow-up was particularly embarrassing for an administration that featured as its ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who wrote the book on genocide, making a scathing indictment of government failure to act.

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An evening with a monk of Norcia and the author of "The Benedict Option"

June 12, 2017  •  Catholic World Report

During his recent talk in Dallas at a dinner for the Benedictine monks of Norcia, Italy, Rod Dreher, author of the much-debated book The Benedict Option, said,

I believe with all my heart that the Church of the future is being born right now in the ruins of Norcia, in the community of men who have given their lives to the service of Christ, following the rule of St. Benedict.... If you go there, you want what they have: above all, the peace of Christ.

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review of T2: Trainspotting

April 1, 2017  •  National Review Online

In one of the many reunion scenes in T2: Trainspotting, the sequel to the 1996 indie hit film Trainspotting, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) tells his old friend Simon, a.k.a. Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), that after a heart attack, he had a stent inserted that will ensure that he lives 30 more years. He then laments his longevity. He would know what to do with two or three years, but he has no idea what to do with 30. "I'm 46 years old," he moans, "and I'm f****d!" As with all the major characters in the Trainspotting universe, Renton's experience is framed by the emptiness of time in a world where meaning has been reduced to arbitrary consumer choice, a world in which, as Renton boldly proclaimed in his famous "choose life" speech in the original, it makes as much sense to be on heroin as not to.

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review of Silence

February 25, 2017  •  National Review Online

Decades in the making, Martin Scorsese's Silence, based on Shūsaku Endō's 1966 novel, about 17th-century Jesuit missionaries to Japan, is ambitious and alternately gorgeous and horrifying. It is surprising that a film of this magnitude would be all but completely snubbed for Oscar nominations, particularly in the now-expanded category of Best Picture, where the competition is soft indeed. Silence's sole Oscar nomination is for cinematography, and that is well deserved. With its focus on valleys and mountains shrouded in fog, the film often has the look of the movies of the great Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.

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Books by Thomas Hibbs

Cover of Rouault-Fujimura: Soliloquies Cover of Arts of Darkness Cover of Aquinas, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion Cover of Virtue's Splendor Cover of Shows About Nothing Cover of Dialectic Narrative In Aquinas

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