A Canticle for Leibowitz, with apologies to Matt Fradd

Episode 271 · December 4th, 2020 · 1 hr 24 mins

About this Episode

Luke and I discuss the astounding book, A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter Miller Jr. Written in the 1950's at the height of the Cold War, Miller saw the specter of nuclear annihilation before him and penned this, one of the most insightful post-apocalyptic books ever written. We explore the themes as well as the original Dark Ages, and the drama of faith and reason. Then Luke ends with a VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

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  • In Praise of the Gods - The Map is Mostly Water — Rational insight is a powerful tool, and one of our worst excesses. When it becomes the only tool it brings about a mixture of certainty and naivety that makes minds brittle. Since Descartes’ time, rationalist thinking has ascended beyond primacy, to become an attempt at vacating not only other faculties, but also other motivations and desires. This over-applied rationality is a cognitive stupor, the drunken delirium of reason. To append an -ist or -ism and declare it one’s ideology can be forgiven as a phase of youth, since all of youth is a stupor of one thing or another. But after that it becomes cringe, or a kind of heartlessness, or simply the absence of wisdom. 
  • Amazon.com: A Canticle for Leibowitz (Audible Audio Edition): Walter M. Miller Jr., Tom Weiner, Blackstone Audio, Inc.: Audible Audiobooks — In a nightmarish, ruined world, slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infantile rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From there, the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes.
  • Ratzinger Excerpt — From John Hayward's Twitter account, @johnhw "Come Holy Spirit, synergise those key deliverables." He then follows it up with a picture of this fantastic Ratzinger excerpt.
  • What I Saw at the Abbey of the Genesee: The Crisis in the Church and the Universal Call to Holiness — Article Luke referenced by Dr. Larry Chapp, that Fr. Harrison from Clerically Speaking shared with Luke and Gomer
  • The Coen Brothers Take on "The Life of the Mind" — Clip from the fantastic film, Barton Fink. WARNING: This scene does contain violence
  • Gratuitous Simpsons Clip
  • Emergency Pod: Did Movie Theaters Just Die? Why Warner Bros. Is Dropping Its 2021 Releases on HBO Max — From the Ringer Podcast Network Warner Bros. has announced it will stream all of its new films in 2021 on HBO Max, including Godzilla vs. Kong, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, and Matrix 4. Why did this happen? What does it mean for movie theaters? Will other studios follow suit? Amanda and Sean do their best to parse a historic day.
  • The Ratzinger Option - Crisis Magazine — Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new.
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller: Review » Renai LeMay — Reading A Canticle for Leibowitz is a little like reading other satires such as George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Sometimes it can be a little challenging to get through the pages because the real story of the novel is told between its lines, in the reader’s interpretation of its many satirical allusions, which are, of course, presented with a straight face.
  • An Augustinian Wasteland: A Canticle for Leibowitz ~ The Imaginative Conservative — A Canticle for Leibowitz has been one of my favorite books for most of my adult life. I have read it and reread it many times. In fact, I have read it and perused it too many times to count. I find the work as compelling as the best of T. S. Eliot. But, while Eliot always leavens, Miller always sobers. In Canticle, one discovers some of Eliot’s thought, but also Christopher Dawson’s and Jacques Maritain’s thought and especially St. Augustine’s thought. Much like his fifth-century forebear, Miller places a variety of anthropologies and humanisms before the reader, as well as competing visions of history. Unlike his North African counterpart, though, Miller never answers his own questions and puzzles definitively. The reader remains restless, for he never rests in Thee.