Michael Severance

Posts by Michael Severance

‘Regulated leisure’, the basis of culture?

Every summer, as I prepare for much needed vacation, I am reminded of my favorite book, Josef Pieper’s Leisure: The Basis of Culture. It was written by the neo-Thomistic philosopher who condemned a world of “total work.” The context in which Pieper’s masterpiece was authored is his native Germany in the late-1940s during a furious rebuilding of Europe after the Second World War. Continue Reading...

Genoa’s Morandi Bridge: Detonating an Economic Era

Today’s demolition of the already half-collapsed Morandi Bridge is the definitive end of an economic revival that began over 50 years ago in the mega Italian port city of Genoa. The economic boom lasted well into the early 2000s thanks to what was then considered a perfect marriage of civil engineering and rapidly globalizing commerce. Continue Reading...

Author of ‘Aquinas and the Market’ wins Vatican’s Economy and Society prize

  Yesterday, Prof. Mary Hirschfield of Villanova University received the prestigious “Economy and Society International Prize”, a €30,000 biennial award given by the Vatican’s Centesimus Annus Foundation. The dual doctoral degree holder in economics and theology was granted the prize money for her groundbreaking book Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy (Havard University Press, 2018). Continue Reading...

Humanity 2.0: The human progress accelerator that ‘should’

  Matthew Harvey Sanders, a former seminarian turned successful technology and communications entrepreneur, has sought to fuse deep theological and moral convictions with his natural talent and contagious pioneering spirit. His brain child: Humanity 2.0, a self-described “human progress accelerator” showcased last May 9 at a forum held inside Vatican walls. Continue Reading...

As Notre Dame burns, France called to re-set world ablaze

Like most big stories, the world discovered last night’s fire devouring Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral at breakneck speed on social media. Images and video reached billions within a few minutes, nearly as fast as the dramatic flames took to completely engulf the ancient roof and send its tallest spire hurdling into a billowing smoky abyss. Continue Reading...

Religious liberty defenders must be ‘light sleepers’

Last week in Rome, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich invited think tank leaders, journalists, and human rights advocates to the private colloquium “Stand Together to Defend International Religious Freedom.” Among the many experts giving brief testimonies and talks were Msgr. Continue Reading...