Tag Archives: Justin Shaun Coyle

How I Teach Atheism to Seminarians

by Justin Shaun Coyle | български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски

Decorum sometimes wrests from friends and family desultory queries about my job. They know I teach at a seminary, so they ask after my courses. “Mostly church history this semester,” I say. “Some modern philosophy, and a course on atheism.” “Atheism?” many balk. Others of more urbane sensibilities nod approvingly. “Well,” they say, “I suppose it is useful to train seminarians to defeat the enemy.” 

My course on atheism does nothing of the sort. In fact, my first lecture outlines what our course will not do. It will not teach students to brandish dialectic against internet atheists. It will not dignify the dogmatic scientism of a Richard Dawkins or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, pretenders both to atheism’s tiara. And it will not teach the sort of genealogical legerdemain so common in religious circles that reduces every position with which Christians disagree to atheism in three easy steps. Desirous of apologetics the course will not provide (perhaps), some students invariably and quietly drop it.

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In Defense of Uniate Idiosyncrasy

by Justin Shaun Coyle

Synthesizer Keyboard

Recently I made up my mind to visit Eastern Catholic parishes. Though canonically Roman Catholic, I have long known my theological portion to fall with Origen and his heirs. But for reasons now dark to my gaze my theological predilections did not translate to liturgical ones. Until anyhow they did—not least due to the compelling (if inadvertent) advertising campaign for the Eastern Catholic Churches pitched by Adam A.J. DeVille’s Everything Hidden Shall Be Revealed (Angelico Press, 2019). Resolved, I flick through some Robert Taft books on the history of the Divine Liturgy  and tell my children (7, 5, 1) to steel themselves for “a long Church.”

I visit the Melkite parish first. Its white brick climbs skyward, its motion stymied only by a golden dome outfitted with a Greek cross. No Latin parish, this. Perfect.

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