Sunday, January 14, 2018

National Review Online interviews me about the Jesuit who changed my life

The new book by Francis Canavan SJ that I edited, Fun Is Not Enough, is again in the spotlight, this time via a feature in National Review Online by Kathryn Jean Lopez, who interviews me about my friendship with the late Father Canavan:

Lopez: What was prophetic about Father Francis Canavan?

Goldstein: Canavan had a gift of discernment that enabled him to rightly judge the signs of the times. He also read the literal signs of the Times — the New York Times, that is — along with bumper stickers, everyday conversations, and other things that clued him in to what people were talking about and thinking about. In that way, he was able to identify trends in popular sentiment that were not adequately understood by many of his peers in the world of academia.

In particular, Canavan dissected the philosophical errors that have led contemporary culture not only to embrace radical individualism but also take it to its logical conclusion in utilitarianism. Writing years before the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, he had the foresight to observe that “the primacy of choice is wrecking our sexual morality, but not only that. At a deeper level, it is destroying our ability to have a social morality that goes beyond sexual conduct to question the right of any society to establish and maintain social standards on any other than utilitarian grounds.”
Read the full interview at National Review Online.