A general reading tip for this blog: Don’t take me more seriously than I take myself. So don’t take me too seriously.

In the Fall of 2012, I was accepted as a columnist for the University of Notre Dame’s The Observer. I requested the title “The Idea of a University,” named after the classic text by Blessed John Henry Newman. However, my editor asked for a shorter title. I responded with “Idea of a University.” My first column published under the title “Ideas of a University.” Whether by miscommunication or mistake, I do not know. My second column published under the name “Idea of a University.” Regardless, I have titled this blog “Ideas of a University,” and in it I will post various writings on life, learning, the University, faith, reason, and everything in between.

Comment Policy

Please keep all comments thoughtful, respectful, and worthy of a dialogue among gentlemen. Please no profanity, slander, or unnecessary ad hominem attacks. This isn’t facebook.

When I Write

I write from my own rather limited experience. Although there is an eternal and unchanging objective Truth, I am only able to see this Truth through my own limited and subjective lens. Thus, I only write about those particular aspects of this Truth that I am able to see. Being only a man, I can only give a finite perspective on an infinite reality. Thus, I ask that you be patient with my musings and forgive me for the times when I will mistake one aspect of the Truth for another or when I fail to see an aspect in its proper light.

Because I am only a man with partial views, I hope that you can supplement, correct, and rearrange what you find to be lacking or mistaken. Comments are always welcome (see the comment policy above). At the very least, I hope that I can provide a perspective that may supplement your own and that, together, we may gain a more complete view of the Reality that awaits discovery and rediscovery, that sustains and fulfills us, that seeks our acknowledgment and devotion.

When I Write About Catholic Stuff

I do not claim to have a teaching authority within the Church. When I am writing on “Catholic issues”, I do so primarily as an amateur layman who is trying to understand and help articulate Church teaching, but my words are only binding insofar as they cohere with the Catholic Truth. I write neither as a theologian nor as a saint, and I claim the authority of neither.

If you are my Bishop and you have stumbled upon this blog by accident- In matters of dogma and doctrine, I defer to your apostolic judgment, and I humbly submit myself to your authority. Please contact me, should you find anything written on this blog to be objectionable or unnecessarily scandalous.

If you are a proponent of academic autonomy and scandalized by my proclaimed obedience to my bishop- I ask that you respect the authority that I submit myself to, as I respect the various authorities you submit yourself to. I offer myself to my bishop, and you offer yourself to your readers, your various academic communities, your publishers, and your profession.

4 comments on “About

  1. Hi Christopher,

    I really appreciate your careful work in regards to “The Gay Issue” articles. I’ve been so impressed that I wrote up a brief summary of each of those postings to date (1/3/13) and provided a few reflections to my readers. If you have any feedback, I’d be happy to receive it and make proper edits to represent your views more accurately.


    All the best.


  2. Daphne Jacobs

    Hello, I would like to apologize for the very rude comment left yesterday on one of your articles. The internet has the power to inspire some pretty nasty anonymous vitriol. I appreciate you taking the time to include queers in Catholic dialogues, and hope that you consider yourself an ally for that community. That being said, I do think you need to get off your high horse when discussing queer issues. Best wishes.


    • Hi Daphne, No worries at all. Especially issues involving sexuality are very high-tension issues, because they involve real people. We often get upset because of a love for the people we care about. When we feel as though those people are being attacked or misrepresented, it is natural to be angry, and so I took your frustration to be a sign of your care and attentiveness to others.

      There’s a great difference between theorizing and explaining. Anyone can create a theory about anything, but, if one wishes to explain something, one must listen to and seek to understand the real experiences of real people. Theorizing is a good thing, but people will always be bigger than our theories about them, which was something I hoped to convey something in that particular post (A Theory of Sexual Attraction: Part 1).

      It is good to theorize and to seek for explanations, even if they may be insufficient to account of the whole thing. Pope Benedict XVI argued that “men and women are free to interpret, to give a meaning to reality, and it is in this freedom itself that the great dignity of the human being exists”. We seek to understand and explain because this is part of what it is to be human. As you suspect, my understanding of these issues is extremely limited, and, so I appreciate any help in navigating these issues.

      I think I would consider myself an ally to the “queer community” (I’m not sure if that’s what the community would call itself), partly because I believe that every human being possesses an inherent dignity that calls each of us to love and to lift up others to the best of our abilities.

      Thank you for your comment, and feel free to comment and to speak frankly and openly on this blog.


  3. Hi, I am from Australia.
    In the now boundless and centerless Quantum world in which everyone is instantaneously inter-connected what is “universal knowledge”?
    Even more so when every aspect of every known religion and their multi-various cultural expressions is freely available to anyone with an internet connect.
    This includes their blood-soaked history – especially in the case of the “Catholic” church and Christianity altogether.
    Even more so when every proposition ever made about the nature of Reality in all times and places is freely available to anyone with an internet connection.

    Why then does everything have to turn out to be Christian, especially “Catholic” (which by the way is NOT a, or the, “universal” religion and/or faith)
    Please check out this reference on what kind of “knowledge” is permitted and excluded from the modern academy, including those that presume to be religious.


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