Me: the guy at the helm

(UPDATE — 9 Oct 2013 — I “fell away” from blogging for a while, so I’m only just now dusting and tidying things up. The following introduction was last updated in March, 2012, but enough has changed in my life since then that I decided to keep the older version as a time marker [although more recent changes will be indicated in red].)

Made my start as a lowly fetus, like the rest of us. Grew up in the Presbyterian church in Florida, loved going to school, got a major in German and a minor in philosophy, got tired of going to school, then came [went] to Taiwan in 2003 to be an ESL teacher. Now I’m getting a bit tired of that and would love to go back to school.

After becoming a Catholic in Taiwan in 2005, I staggered around for my vocation until I married a wonderful Taiwanese woman in 2011. We’ve been blessed with our first, but hopefully not last, child. [As she’s Taiwanese and I’m an American world-language teacher, we’re also hoping to raise our children multilingual. I’m back in the USA, teaching at a public high school. I still want go to grad school, but I think it’s probably best just to go for a PhD if I’m going to do it. History of science, classical metaphysics, cognitive science.]

I’m a language lover, though not a certified language “nut”:

  • English
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Latin
  • Taiwanese (roughly in that order of competence).
  • Sorry, no Esperanto or E-Prime! This here’s a respectable blog, y’hear!

My academic and writing interests focus on:

  • religious & scientific epistemology
  • Catholic piety & theology
  • the history & philosophy of science
  • late antiquity & medieval thought
  • cognitive psychology & neuroscience
  • political economy & Catholic social teaching
  • semiotics & ethology
  • causation, determinism, natural law, the philosophy of action, rational freedom
  • and
  • (would you believe it?)
  • weight training & sports physiology

How about yourself?

17 Responses to Me: the guy at the helm

  1. Syphax says:

    Was born and raised a Mormon, and have lived it quite devoutly over the last 26 years. However, my heart has been pulled towards Eastern Orthodoxy, and I think it’s only a matter of time. I am being trained in experimental psychology, doing research in the psychology of religious belief (minored in Islamic Studies as an undergrad). I would love to be a college professor but could also position myself to work for the government if I need to.

  2. graywills says:

    I was born into an Anglo Catholic family in southern England, and as a child and young man, with great fortune, studied and grew at the feet of a very wise and devout parish priest. Twenty five years ago I became an Anglican monk and later ‘swam the Tiber’ to join the Church of Rome. I continue to be a canonical solitary religious, following the Camaldolese tradition. I have a great love for God’s Church – warts and all – at the centre of which is the Mass alongside, for me, the Daily Offices. I live alone with my cat, Anoosha.

  3. Excellent! I won’t envy, since that’s a sin, but I do envy you in some ways. You should re-name your cat Shenoute. 😉 I’m glad to hear from you! I know I can come across as polemical, but generally everyone who knows me knows I am a wacky intellectual above all. I still think O’Halloran is out of line with his post about the Last Supper, and the filter they’ve put over me at Whosoever Desires only serves to strengthen my hunches.

  4. graywills says:

    Shenoute means what? I cannot find any reference to the name. Regarding the filter at Whosever Desires, I am really not surprised. There are gentler way of being provocative. Charity brother, charity! Such an immense intellect, ( which I most certainly envy – only a sin if one doesn’t deal with it ), you can use to teach and share, rather than get people’s backs up.

  5. Shenoute: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Shenoute-Besa-Cistercian-Studies/dp/0879078731/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366021567&sr=1-2&keywords=shenute

    And you are right, thank you for appealing to my conscience, brother. As they say, “There are no pious scholars.” Over the past few years I have learned to avoid such arguments and be more productive in my own little plot of land. But O’Halloran’s post triggered my polemical nature. I stand by the content of my replies, but, as my patron Saint, Francis de Sales, said, “We win more flies with honey than vinegar.”

  6. graywills says:

    I’m not at all sure why St Shenoute didn’t come to mind. Shenoude is of course a better known name in modern history. I met the previous Coptic Pope a couple of times -lovely man. Thank you for reminding me of him. And yes, St Francis de Sales is right – of course!

  7. Brock Fowler says:

    Raise Protestant, became atheistic/agnostic, and then Catholic–initially converted based upon Natural Law considerations.

    I have become increasingly a traditional Catholic (a journey that began nearly 15 years ago)–often feeling that I was being pushed there as much as attracted there. By “pushed” I mean conservative Catholics–most of whom were astoundingly wonderful Catholics–taking onto themselves an authority that the Pope and bishops declined to exercise: or at least SOUNDING like they were excommunicating, withdrawing imprimaturs, etc. That was often the tone.

    Pope John XXIII: Ad Petri Cathedram (1959): “But the common saying, expressed in various ways and attributed to various authors, must be recalled with approval: in essentials,
    unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.” But “doubtful matters” is a null set: to us I mean…not to the Church.

    I’ve come to believe that we are structurally FORCED to make decisions that no Catholic should have to make: between (current) authority, and tradition (i.e., past authority). Making such a choice is disorienting, and it is easy to make a idol of whichever we choose…and turn it partially into an ideology–which is where the conflict comes from.

    There is an alternative of course: holiness…

  8. graywills says:

    Ah! That one word that it’s all about – holiness – wholeness. And just what the Church should be helping us toward. By the ‘Church’ I do of course mean all of us, each helping the other. God speed.

  9. It’s an interesting lexical issue, how “one,” “holy,” and “catholic” might all be rendered into the same concept, “whole” (or “full”). –> I believe in the whole (or wholly) apostolic Church, i.e. the Church that wholly captures and preserves the experience had by and graces given to the Apostles by their intimate union with Jesus, the Incarnate Word. By being the “wholly Apostolic” Church, we can come as close to the same experience of our Lord, as far as I our eternal destiny is concerned, as they did. Hmm…

  10. Pingback: The wholeness of holiness… | F(ide)C(ogit)A(ctio) : omnis per gratiam. C.S.S.M.L. + N.D.S.M.D. + V.R.S. N.S.M.V. S.M.Q.L. I.V.B.

  11. graywills says:

    Yes, yes, and yes!

  12. We wonder how you came from a Presbyterian church into Catholicism and did not find a way to find Biblical truth and only One God instead of a triune God, certainly because you are also interested in language and as such should have been able to follow just the words they are written in the Bible. Naturally this is difficult when one has been brought up by dogma’s and can not put them aside.
    Though we do hope you may study the Bible with your wife and children and will find the Truth.
    God bless.

  13. Pingback: A new trend: Identitarian Religion | Occam's Razor

  14. King Richard says:

    I am a husband, father, Catholic (systematic) Theologian, and a head of state.
    Yes, really.
    I enjoy engaging with others in person and via the internet.

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