Through Shadows and Images...

A Blog by Tom Gourlay

Month: October 2019

Book Review: Book Review: Educating in Christ, Dr Gerard O’Shea

The following is a review I wrote for a wonderful book by Dr Gerard O’Shea, Professor in the School of Education at the University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus. The book is titled: ‘Educating in Christ: A Practical Handbook for Developing the Catholic Faith from Childhood to Adolescence—for Parents, Teachers, Catechists and School Administrators.’

I would wholeheartedly recommend the book, and pretty well everything else that emerges from the mind and pen of Prof. O’Shea.

Here is the review:

“Every pedagogy implies an anthropology. This is the truism that underpins the great practical insight and theoretical wisdom of this book.
Combining a broad range of experiential knowledge as an educator
in a variety of levels and capacities with a profound grasp of traditional and
contemporary theological, catechetical, and pedagogical research, Prof. Gerard
O’Shea’s Educating in Christ will no doubt be of tremendous value to parents,
teachers, catechists, and school administrators…

… Continue reading

Hey, St Macrina

I am proud to announce my involvement in an exciting new project, the Macrina Magainze.

This is the brainchild of Micah Enns-Dyck, a friend of mine, whom I have only met online, and who has drawn together a wide and diverse group of people seeking to honestly and openly explore faith, culture and everything else in critical and creative ways. It is pretty cool.

Please check out the website and see for yourself.




From the website:

Macrina Magazine is an online Christian philosophical journal that offers readers a platform to explore faith, politics, and culture critically and creatively. We seek to offer a respite for overstimulated yet undernourished minds that are hungry for more substantial reflection than the twenty-four-hour news cycle can provide regarding our world and how we ought to live in it. By featuring diverse and engaging content we hope to enable readers to engage with intentionality, thoughtfulness, and charity – both as thinkers as well as people of faith.

Also, check out some pretty nifty endorsements below:

“The arrival of Macrina Magazine is exciting and welcome. It offers a vital new space between unmediated mass trivialisation on the one hand and the increasingly dead hand of academia on the other, locked into excessive mediating processes and specialisations. The role of bold independent editorship is here being reinvented to the benefit of both real intellectual life and a more widely-diffused culture.”

– John Milbank

“How delightful to see a new journal dedicated to genuinely fascinating topics, prosecuted with such imagination and creativity.”

– David B. Hart

“Macrina Magazine offers serious, creative, and accessible engagement with a wealth of texts critical to reflecting on Christian life.”

– Natalie  Carnes

The Nature of Nature…

While this has been available online for some time now, it is exciting when you receive the physical copy in print.

This is an article I wrote for New Blackfriars over a year ago now. Within I look to engage a particular mode of natural law reasoning that seems to be a favourite of believers who are trying to argue for some kind of Christian ethics in the public square without invoking explicitly their Christian faith.

The question that I raise is centred upon the efficacy of such approaches, particularly in a context that no longer recognises as meaningful the concept of nature.


Recourse to natural law reasoning has long been a part of how Catholics and Christians engage in debates about issues of public and private morality with people and communities of people who do not share the Catholic/Christian faith. But with the rise of modernity, the scientific revolution, and the relative success of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, many Catholics have begun to question traditional natural law reasoning. Some, including theorists like Germain Grisez, and John Finnis have sought to modify traditional natural law reasoning and continue to employ it within debates concerning public and private ethics, while others, acknowledging the radically altered conception of nature that followed the scientific revolution have thought to look for alternative modes of engagement. The following paper will seek to develop an argument against proponents of this altered version of natural law theory, what has come to be called New Natural Law theory, on the basis of the altered understanding of nature in the contemporary West, and the New Natural Law propensity to sideline the question of nature itself. The paper will then go on to advocate for an alternative and more confessional mode of engagement in public debate.

Read the paper in full here.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén